Saturday, November 22, 2014

When Empty becomes Full

Zen Garden, Folded accordion book, by Donna Watson

Here are some of the books I have on Zen and Wabi-sabi.  Wabi-Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.  Actually, Wabi-sabi also encompasses life, nature and the cycles of life and death, the changing seasons, and feelings.

My most recent book acquisition is Wabi Inspirations by Axel Vervoordt.  Wabi is a Japanese concept
that derives from simplicity and authenticity.  It values the beauty in imperfection.  Elegance in natural materials, timelessness within tradition:  these are the principles that define Axel Vervoordt's personal take on the concept.  In this book, he reveals the interiors that are inspired by Wabi.  He shows how to create calm, peaceful spaces in which beauty is distilled to its purest form.  Photos are by Laziz Hamani and all the images in this blog post come from the book.

Within this void we can explore the very essence of time itself:  the pregnant possibility of everything.

"Every something is an echo of nothing."  John Cage

"Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth."  Yoshida Kenko, (1283-1350), Essays in Idleness 

The intrinsic beauty found in peeling paint, bare concrete, exposed plaster, rusty metal pillars, battered floors, and weathered stone reveres the beauty of imperfections and honors the passage of time.  Patinas and textures in their primal state become even more expressive.

"The emptiness is the space where the essential unfolds and then it becomes full/empty."
Jef Veheyen

The spirit of Wabi deepens the profound experience of this immense space, and provides an insight that leads to an inner sense of peace.  The vast emptiness resounds with silence.

"I am seeking to represent the void.  Humanity, in accepting the idea of infinity, has already accepted the idea of Nothingness."  Lucio Fontana, Self Portrait, 1969

The untouched and the unrestored has a character and warmth that is one of the underlying concepts of Wabi.  The result of benign neglect works its subtle magic.

This image is from the blog Mundo Japon

"Ichi-go, ichi- e" was first used by Sen Riikyu, the monk who first created the traditional Wabi tea ceremony.  It translates to 'meeting with people' and today is used to express
'for this time only' or 'this is the moment'.