Friday, March 15, 2013


are you familiar with the term?  i had heard of it but was thinking in terms of a japanese restaurant or something like that… the japanese part turns out to be correct but i was totally unfamiliar with the true meaning of this word until i encountered it in the creative photographer (love this book!)

here are some phrases from catherine  anderson’s description of the term:

aged things of overlooked and imperfect beauty
things that are on their journey to disintegration
things that have been weathered and worn
details in the grain of old wood, patterns of rust, veins on an autumn leaf

  intrigued (and feeling this was right up my alley!)  i did some more research.  the concept has a long and interesting  history and quite a few nuances of meaning:

accepting the natural cycle of birth, decay and death.
simple, slow and uncluttered – reveres authenticity above all
celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, 
weather  and loving use leave behind.
it’s a mind-set – living modestly, learning to be satisfied with life as it can be 
once we strip away the unnecessary, living in the moment.

 sounds good to me…hard to believe i haven’t discovered this before!

 so shortly after reading about all this, i found myself at the salton sea – pretty much wabi-sabi heaven!!  this place continues to attract all kinds of looky-loos and photographers.  it’s because the whole wabi-sabi nature of it is so fascinating!  history, decay, disintegration and lots of behind-the-scene stories… every time i come here i’m struck with it but now i actually know what to call it!

more salton sea here, here and here (yes, we go every year!)


  1. I had no idea what that meant either, although I'm familiar with the term. I will send you a photo of myself immediately - it will fit right in, brrrhahahahah! Such beauty in decay. These photos are soul food for me - don't quite know why. The last one is my favorite - if in fact I can even choose. Thanks for the introduction to all this beauty in one spot. xodonna

  2. awesome photographs!! i love textures and weathered objects...there is a certain beauty in them!!

    i have heard that word before but can't remember what book i encountered it is the perfect word for that area!!

  3. It's a kind of reminder about how the nature takes it all back. The photos are very exciting and I like the rusty and green color together.

  4. Your photos do envision the wabi-sabi. I had heard the term before, but I had no idea what its meaning is.

  5. I love wabi sabi..and your imagery speaks so perfectly and clearly to the 'art'.

  6. I've known about Wabi Sabi for years. It is an important part of Japanese art...which loosely means -Nothing is perfect, nothing is permanent. Since I'm a perfectionist, I try to remember the concept, which adds truth to my art. I enjoyed your post!

  7. I always love the decaying beauty of roses as they fade and droop and turn brown. I'm also reminded of this quote: "Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Margery Williams "The Velveteen Rabbit".

  8. Does wabi sabi apply to people too?

    1. I'm guessing it does.... certainly to other forms of life, so why not?? I think it's such a great concept to embrace as we get older.
      What a perfect quote from the Velveteen Rabbit!

  9. I love the word and the concept.

    Lots of wavi sabi at the Salton Sea! Someday I want to see that. It looks so interesting.


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