08 Nov Perfectly Imperfect
The Japanese have this wonderful philosophy called wabi sabi that encapsulates the idea of finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection. It’s about embracing the raw and authentic beauty of the perfectly imperfect.
While there isn’t a textbook definition or translation that perfectly encapsulates what wabi sabi truly is, the closest I can get, is to say, that Wabi is about finding beauty in simplicity and sabi is to do with the passage of time and the way that the natural process of ageing impacts the way things look.
How wonderful it would be if we all gently overlaid this beautiful philosophy onto our bodies as we aged? To forgo the relentless pursuit of perfection and take pleasure in the way our bodies evolve through all the seasons of life.
Now more than ever as I age, I want to celebrate the history of my life that is reflected back at me when I look in the mirror. Reframe my appearance, as though I am looking at myself through the eyes of a loving parent and embrace the wabi sabi beauty in all of my perceived shortcomings and imperfections. I would see my Mum’s green eyes framed by the lines of a million smiles, my Dad’s ample forehead imprinted with the grooves of concentration and concern and my Grandma’s ‘rosebud’ lips that have fed me and formed millions of magical words. As I looked down, I would see a map of freckles on my sun kissed chest and a tummy that showed the signs of being home to other lives. A beautiful patchwork of the people I love reflected back at me. Perfectly imperfect, just as I am.
Ang Galloway is an Australian-based writer, MEA alum, and midlife explorer. You can read more of her stories on her blog at www.angiam.com.au