A small, unassuming book, printed simply, with a few black and white photographs ...
|Leaf decomposing on sidewalk - Leonard Koren|
... short enough to read through in one sitting. It has kept my mind occupied for over a week now. So, not the kind of book that you read and promptly forget when you close it.
It sets out Koren's idea of what wabi-sabi entails, and starts out like this:
"Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
It is a beauty of things unconventional."
He goes on to describe the links with Zen Buddhism, attempts to explain the subtle differences between wabi and sabi, compares wabi-sabi with Modernism, and then sets out what he considers to be the wabi-sabi universe - its metaphysical basis, spiritual values, the state of mind it fosters, its moral precepts, and material qualities.
I think the Ngoni stool I purchased recently embodies some of the elements of wabi-sabi. Unadorned, sturdy, rustic, imperfect. Used. Although wabi-sabi is not necessarily about functionality, I like the fact that my stool can be used (and has been used) as a neck rest, a stool for meditation, a cutting board, and to hold tea lights.