Living Wabi-Sabi, A Simply Beautiful Life

Clean and Simple is the Key

Cherished items are favorite poetry books, a champagne bottle from my baby's christening, and the ballerina I had as a child.
Cherished items are favorite poetry books, a champagne bottle from my baby's christening, and the ballerina I had as a child. | Source
Grandma's writing desk
Grandma's writing desk | Source
My kitchen wall is decorated with Mama's cast iron skillets.
My kitchen wall is decorated with Mama's cast iron skillets. | Source
Granny's crocks
Granny's crocks | Source
The only item on a wall. This was a wedding present to my parents from Grandfather over 60 years ago.
The only item on a wall. This was a wedding present to my parents from Grandfather over 60 years ago. | Source

Just What is Wabi-Sabi?

It is NOT the green stuff enjoyed with sushi and is NOT something The Lone Ranger’s sidekick used to call his friend. Wabi-Sabi is the essence of a simple, clean and uncluttered lifestyle or view of life. It is living with the minimal and eliminating non-essentials and clutter. Wabi-sabi is seeing the beauty of imperfection and making it perfect by loving it anyway. It is appreciation of modest, humble and unconventional and incompleteness.

Even the term wabi-sabi is can be pared down to a more singular essence. Wabi is from an ancient root word meaning sad or lonely, desolate and alone. Over centuries it has evolved to include humbleness and being one with nature while forgoing materialism. Wabi now comes from the root wa, referring to harmony, peace, balance and tranquility.

A Wabi person is content with little or even nothing, finding beauty and freedom in the lack and enlightenment from worldly items that hold the soul captive to cares, fears, angers and greed. When the wabi person has only the most basic items, he or she becomes attentive to beauties previously unknown. These can be the joy of ant watching while learning from their industrious work and love of community and social interaction.

Wabi people are happy to be themselves and do not care to be anything else. Hollywood’s portrayal of the perfect human does not cause the wabi woman to wish for a longer nose or a flatter tummy. She appreciates the plastic perfection on the screen without feeling the need to emulate it. She can see designer clothing and footwear in the stores and walk away. The appreciation does not create a need to own it, but to enjoy it just because it exists. An old Zen saying describes Wabi as "the joy of the little monk in his wind-torn robe."

Long ago Wabi was a derogatory term and used to describe beggars and outcasts that were miserable and unhappy misfits and society’s debris. About the fourteenth century when monks and other disciplined religious persons separated themselves from worldly pursuits, Wabi became recognized as a worthy endeavor. As one abandons the chains of materialism he gains freedom in Wabi and lives freely without pretension, discrimination or greed.

Sabi is totally different and basically means appreciation of age. The basic interpretation is the “bloom of time” and focuses on the patina acquired over years of just being here on earth. It is seeing the beauty of what once sparkled but now gleams instead, what was smooth but now is lined with time. It is the rust on iron furniture, the green oxidation on copper lines.

A person who is sabi takes pleasure in the old, faded, cracked, weathered appearance of the aged whether that is person or item. The current appreciation of antiques is a form of sabi. These things are looked upon as lovely for the burden they carry, the tarnish on old silver, an abandoned landscape with only a chimney rising from the spot where a home used to shelter a family or perhaps an old town with its handmade brick buildings which bear the scars of centuries. All of these hold mysterious beauties that came only through the years.

This yearning for sabi explains why people flock to the past, visit the oldest towns we can locate, gasp at the sight of a crumbling stone artifact, and gaze longingly at ancient artifacts covered with centuries of wear and scars.

Sabi is not something that can be purchased though humans certainly try. Distressed furniture and shabby chic designs aspire to create an atmosphere of sabi. A person with a true sabi heart will discern the difference though. It cannot be manufactured, bought or acquired. It is a gift that is freely given through time and the passing of life itself.

Put together Wabi-Sabi is a love of simplicity, of finding beauty in imperfection and seeing more in less. It is accepting that all things become more valuable as they become older and less complicated. It reveres authenticity without condemning duplicity because judgment is not needed for the wabi-sabi person nor is a feeling of vindication.

Often here in America, we grab a Goliath sized mug, toss in a Lipton teabag, fill it with water from the spout and microwave it for two minutes. Then we are out the door to drink it as we commute to work in a noisy, overcrowded environment. Often, the taste is not even noticed or enjoyed. We just want the caffeine effect or a jolt of energy.


The Japanese Tea Ceremony is Wabi-Sabi

My Mother's favorite tea cup
My Mother's favorite tea cup | Source

Compare this to one of the best known Wabi-Sabi experiences. It is the traditional Japanese tea service. It is a ritualistic and long drawn out appreciation of a simple act. Tea drinking is not complicated and does not involve a lot of preparation or tools. All one needs is a pot to heat water, a cup and tea leaves. Yet it becomes a meditation and renewed appreciation of the five senses when wabi-sabi.

  • Touch- the warmth coming through the cup.
  • Smell- the delicate freshness of the crushed tea leaves or buds.
  • Sight- look deeply into the liquid to notice the caramel translucent tint.
  • Hear- the water as it falls into the china cup and trickles from the tea as it is strained.
  • Taste- the purity of life giving water flavored with one of nature’s best herbs.

Wabi-sabi is an acquired art for most people. It is a real way of life, simple and close to nature; frequenting flea markets instead of shopping malls, rescuing old wood for flooring rather than choosing manmade substitutes.

A Wabi-Sabi home contains minimal decorations which were chosen for their use and beauty and not because a sports hero said it was “the thing” to have. It might not have window coverings at all or they may be old silk, hand painted scarves or baby quilts rescued from yard sales and thrift stores. Every item is chosen for a reason and not just randomly purchased out of the habit of spending.

It is a soft and understated lifestyle choice that is patient and unhurried because time only adds to the value of beloved items in the home. So one waits for a desired piece of furniture or painting knowing it will be even lovelier for the length and the search for the perfect piece with patina. A wabi-sabi home and person, is one that can be considered for a lifetime, calm and uncluttered, without drama or hysterics, beautiful and never gaudy.

It might come with a downsizing in space, a learning to be content with a smaller home or a car instead of a large van. A wabibito (wabi person)does not require twenty shirts but minimizes for maximum satisfaction and usefulness. He will not be one to carry out two hundred dollars worth of product fro ma store just because it was on sale for a fraction of the cost or to clutter his little home with anything cheap or unnecessary.

Wabi-Sabi is a minimalist lifestyle that continually reduces until only the beloved and useful remains. A room may contain only a bed frame and mattress with a single unadorned quilt made by a beloved grandmother’s hands. The nightstands, if any, may be an antique writing desk with ink stains spilled from quills. The walls and textiles may contain various shades of the same color that create a cozy yet sparse interior. Yet this is not Feng Shui. There are no limits concerning placement but the focus is on seeing the value and beauty of each item in the home.

Yet it is never messy, unmade or dirty. Imperfections and worn fabrics do not include unmade beds, maniacal dust bunnies and multitudinous spider webs. An introspective love of natures is no substitute for cleanliness and organization. Even the seemingly random madness of an ant colony is for a reason and everything laid out for a purpose. A wabibito cares for her treasures sabi items, keeping them clean, oiled and polished. It is a matter of respect which brings back wabi. No one will appreciate Grandmother’s quilt if the bed is unmade and unclean, reclaimed wood is unseen if covered with crumbs and dirt from shoes. A wabi-sabi home can just seem old and outdated if allowed to be less than immaculate.

The wabibito life, home or person contains layers of quality, always presenting a part and inspiring onlookers to seek more. If one catches a glimpse of a shooting star immediately he watches and longs for another and a rainbow remains forever a treasured memory. The same is true of a wabi-sabi person, place or thing. It is the difference between a television comedy and a Shakespearean tragedy. One is quickly forgotten and one grows better known and loved through the decades that make up our lives.

Source

Are You Wabibito?

Many artists appreciate this and live-or lived-this way. Henry David Thoreau spent time in a simple log cabin isolated from the dictates of society and produced great work. Many painters removed themselves to lonely areas and created their best works. This is much different than the “starving artist” presented as an angst ridden, poverty stricken person gaunt with hunger and depression. A wabibito eats when hungry but does not go hungry; he may write in a garret but has heat and a space comfortable enough to produce finished works of art.

Many do not have the luxury of relocating to a place of peace and quiet and must create it where they are. We live in a culture that worships chaos and noise. A conversation with a cherished friend is often cut off when a cell phone rings, dinner with the family is interrupted by a knock at the door or the chime of a computer alerting that a text message has been received. The wabibito turns these off so he can focus on what is in front of him right now. The person he is talking with is the only one on the planet, the meal on the table is looked upon as the last one to ever be enjoyed. This creates an atmosphere of peace, joy, love and an acknowledging of spirit over the material. It is the Wabi-Sabi, simply beautiful life.

Look For The Beauty and Potential in Everything

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Hints To Help

  • Keep a box at or near the door you always go out. As you choose an item to give away, put it in the box. When the box is full, take it to the thrift store.
  • For items you love, take a picture. Then if you ever miss it you can still see it. And without the clutter!
  • Purchase sabi boxes and baskets to store papers, toiletries, etc. You will have beloved and valuable items for organization without adding plastic to your home.
  • Do not strip the remaining finish or paint old items. That destroys the sabiness.
  • Less is always best. Go through kitchen drawers and cabinets. Do you really need 20 knives and 5 colanders? Keep one or two and donate the rest.
  • Do not buy new ink pens. Find old ones and use a refill. Your writing will be inspired.

Update

After living this way for several years now, I love it more than ever. My spirit is much more calm, my home clean and peaceful and my happiness beyond measure. I have a young child and he is learning the Wabi way of life and is a contented and joyous child.

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Comments 69 comments

liftandsoar profile image

liftandsoar 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

Never heard it called this, but it sure is an appealing way of life. Thanks for inspiring read.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

We are digging out from years and years of accumulating 'stuff'. Enough already!

Good Hub!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

I'm working towards the things mentioned in this hub but not there yet. Since our move to Delaware a decade ago, I've been trying to let go of and give away many items that we no longer use and that have no sentimental value. I try to keep the house uncluttered and the decorations I do have are things I find beautiful and that also have sentimental value like the buoys painted by my sister, gifts from family and friends reflecting good times we had together. I also spend as much time in nature as possible both alone, and with others as it renews my spirit and soul. Thanks for posting this, I agree with the benefits and values of Wabi-Sabi and yet hadn't heard of those terms until today.

Love the photos in this hub. The ones of your house decorations really seem to reflect your values and match the values expressed in your writing which is very awesome.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM

Beautiful, beautiful hub Hyphen! Voted up! I loved reading this - your photos and home décor is beautiful and simple. I didn't know it, but I am a Wabibito! I have a home full of family antiques and minimal decorating, but over the years, I have gathered too many nicknacks from my travels. That is the one thing I have to pare down. And I hope to in the near future. In fact, I only have blinds at my windows and I have a snooty neighbor in Ohio who thinks I should have window treatments. She doesn't understand that my home is decorated in a German fashion after having lived in Germany. Some people just don't get this, but the ones that do, have lovely, uncluttered homes that others enjoy being in.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hyphen this is so well presented. As a person who has spent time searching through homes at estate sales, I at times enter a living space where clearly the person or people who dwelled their created an environment of peace and clarity. That did not mean they were impoverished. They just created a ‘human’ space. I have also stepped into space where there was clearly money, but no sense, no taste, and nothing of value was created. Ok that was the serious response.

now

Wabble-savy that’s me to a tee. Dust and cobwebs are the epitome wabble-savy. Books tumbling over. Untouched items an inch under the good dust freely provided from the air.

Thanks. You did a great job with this.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

what a wonderfully presented idea and a beautiful way to live! I loved reading and finding bits where I could say "Yes I am doing that!" course I am not total Wabi-Sabi but I am working on it! the older I get the less I need all that 'stuff'!! right on Hyphen!


mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 5 years ago

This was amazing! The feeling and thoughts behind this life style do everything to make life better and happier. I am, I believe for my age anyways, a lot like that. I do have some clutter so I am not very wabi-sabi, but I prefer my things to be tokens of family and special items. I also love antiques!! I always have and greatly find the beauty in some old piece of furniture and how it was used. Although I do embrace a lot of other types of lifestyles so I can see the wabi-sabit bit coming out in some areas of my life, but in others it is completely lost. For example I have my music corner... ya that is not simplistic or uncluttered or well anything! All of my music and instruments and things needed to make pretty music are in that corner so it is a bit of a lot. Still I love your hub. It spreads a wonderful message. Even if you can not be wabi-sabi you need to stop and enjoy the simple and good things of life. It is refreshing and rewarding. Live in the moment and enjoy!! Beautiful :-)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello there liftandsoar. It really is a way to leave the clutter of man behind so we can see through spiritual eyes and value what is really meaningful. Thanks so much for dropping by.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello WillStarr. All of America, and probably other countries, is full of clutter. People have buildings behind their homes full, basements and attics packed with minutia. It is a burden and prevents one's mind from being free. The more I give away, the happier I am. I keep only what is meaningful and lovely. I even gave away about 500 books last year, now for the other 1500! It is good to see you today.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 5 years ago

At long last.

I thought I was the only one who lived this way.

People are so materealistic they neglect all the simple, yet beauty around them.

I can only say Way to go. When you live this live you are much happier and more content.

Fantastic article


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Happyboomernurse. It is a continual process and takes a longtime for most people. I am still paring down. Just today I found a few more items that I can live without and will take to the thrift store tomorrow. That dresser in the first picture is totally empty. It no longer holds my son's little toddler clothes. I took pictures of them before giving them away. Now I can see them when I want and they do not clutter up the house. Ans another child is getting use of them. Your keeping the special irreplaceable items is hat Wabi-Sabi is all about. Beauty, sentiment and usefulness is the key. Those hand painted buoys are unique and part of your sister. Other things are mass produced and hold little value. As one lets them go he has more time to love what is left and becomes a wabibito. Wouldn't that be a great Hub name?!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Suzette. Here a Wabibito, there a Wabibito, everywhere a Wabibito. laugh

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Our home is simple, yet elegant and comfortable. When I put my son to bed at night, my hands caress the same quilt that Mama's hands sewed. That means so much more than putting a beloved child under a mass manufactured thing that thousands of other people have. And I also have people who cannot understand my minimal decorating frame of mind. A friend gave me a lovely scarf that had belonged to her mom. I use it as a drape and love both ladies when I see the sunlight spilling through it. Take photos of your mementos before you give them away. Then you can always look at them on a digital scrapbook. All the imperfections of the cherished items remaining bring joy and smiles. I loved your comments and appreciate you so much.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

mckbirdbks, you are wonderful. Thanks for the encouragement. I was unsure about what category to put this under. I know what you mean by going into homes at sales. One can feel if the possessions were owned or owners. Wabi-Sabi or Wabble-savy, you are great in this Wabibito's book.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi there RNMSN. We are on the right path and that makes us smarter than the average bear. Every day I see a perfection or a flaw in an important item and my heart catches. One of my mother's quilts has a loose seam and having time to think about that brought me lovely moments of reflection. Thank you so much for stopping by.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Mythical. You ARE wabi because your items are special and meaningful. If your music corner was an unused bunch of equipment it would be different. Each one brings joy and beauty to your world though so they are important. Removing other unused and unloved items so you have room for these makes you a Wabibito! Keep sorting and cleansing, you will love the results. I promise! Thanks for stopping by. I love these virtual visits from Hub friends.


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 5 years ago from BIG APPLE

Thank you so much, you taught some Japanese vocabulary, except from that I was already a Wabibito! I want now to explore more what I can transform and reuse. I just made two headscarfs out of a wool jacket and a denim dress for my daughter and me. I definitely think that peace, quiet and contentment are the jewels we need in life. I hope to teach my children what is essential, so they can have a fulfilling life too@

Love and peace to you and reading more from you. NiaLee

I love to meditate on a piece of furniture, a flower, a line, a point... your picture of the table with a bottle and other items is the greatest art I appreciate, seeing somebody's everyday items laid and layered tells so much, inspires me a lot.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I have a collection of old cast iron trivets hanging in my kitchen. When I want to use one, I just take it down off the wall. So many pretty shapes, looks nice and simple but they are useful as well.

I also have an old quilt but it hangs on the wall. My great-grandmother made it in 1905. It won a prize in the crazy quilt category at the fair that year. She was so proud of it.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

teacherjoe52, you are not alone! It certainly does sometimes feel that way though. So many people cannot understand that we don't need stuff and especially new stuff all around us. And when our home contains loved and important items, love fills it. I also am glad to find others who share my sentiments. Wabibitos rule!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

NiaLee, your re-purposing those items is fantastic. When we love an item but do not need it and convert it into usefulness, we make it sabi. Like you, I find beloved articles art worthy and so much more valuable than something a strangers claims to be beautiful and necessary to my home. I am so pleased this Hub inspires you as it does me. How lovely it is to meet you here on HubPages!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Hyphen this is very close to home for me. I walked away from a marriage where I had every conceivable new gadget you could name, expensive furniture, anything I wanted I had. Except happiness. The only thing I brought away with me was a valuable painting and my Lilliput collection. At first I was heartbroken to lose all the beautiful things that I had built up over the years to make my home beautiful and easy care. It took me over 2 years to get over that. Now I live with my new partner he is a wabi I think and we live very simply now and have just what we need and is useful and paintings that are beautiful. Oh I still have my gadgets but they are used daily and not purchased because of the idea of owning the most up to date model. But more importantly I have happiness.

I enjoyed reading this Hyphen Thank you


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

My pleasure Rosemay. I am glad this has touched a chord with people. I hope folks tire of the materialistic, plastic junk and are grounding back into a simple and meaningful life. I know I am. You are happy now with your stuff that is used and not only taking up space. I looked at Grandma's desk this morning. The 100 years of scratches, stains and cracks are lovely and fulfilling. Wabi's are happy people too. Yeah for us.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...since the first day it was my privilege to know you my divine Miss B - you have often shown me the way to enlightenment - and you have educated me - moved me - and pleased me - and only the really great writers have that ability to do that - and you certainly always fit that supreme category - please know that I love and respect you greatly as my hub friend and esteemed colleague.

lake erie time ontario canada 8:20am


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Why thank you Sir Epi. I return the sentiments along with my appreciation and thanks to you.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

What an amazing hub,you have the gift of writing so naturally:that's plain to see.

Here's to very many more hubs to share.

Take care my friend,

Eiddwen.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

A beautiful way to live indeed! I'm sure the chi flows much better through us and through our homes if we're wabi-sabis. Amazing concept - and so wonderfully written!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Wabi or Sabi, these are my kings. What an exciting discovery here Hyph, had no idea about the Wabi-Sabi type people and way of life. The experiences are exactly like taking the time to look around and listen to the little things in nature all about. There is wonder and real magnificence in the Wabi-Sabi ceremonies, as in nature. They indeed see clearly. Simply unique and beautiful Ms. Hyph, simply beautiful.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello dear Eiddwen. thanks for taking time to drop by. This was on my heart and I wanted to share, especially with the Christmas season fast approaching. Appreciation of the unique and natural while eliminating the mass produced junk is a freedom I never expected. I would not change a single thing, but continue to declutter which gives me time to appreciate the joys in life. Have a lovely evening dear one.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Shalini Kagal, you are right. Chi and all spiritual energy grows and can be acknowledged when we are not overflowing with excess material stuff. The barer my home gets, the happier I am! Thanks for coming by. It is great to meet you.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Alastar. I barely realized this was happening to me as it was so delicate and natural. Now I relish being a wabibito Wabi-Sabi! What a glorious freedom indeed. Good to see you here.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi Hyph, I just love my uncluttered lifestyle! Living in a condo we don't have much space for unnecessary "stuff". I'm a Wabi-Sabi believer :-)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Beautiful Hyphenbird - How I needed to read your timely hub on Living Wabi-Sabi. I am inspired as never before to begin the process of "letting go" of "stuff" and living a more simple and natural life.

I can see how easier the energy flow would be as a clean and clear path is formed. I have wanted to do this for so long, but have been guilty of procrastination, something I dislike in myself.

Now, thanks to you, my beautiful friend, I have realized what I need to do. I am more motivated when I have help with something like this. But, I don't have help...but I do have motivation, especially now.

If I can complete this goal and become a true Wabi-Sabi, I will feel a joy which will be welcomed. I haven't been into material things for several years now and that in itself was a huge change.

I can't begin to thank you enough, dear one, for writing this hub. I shall print it out and mount it where I can see it each day as I begin to de-clutter.

Your photos are priceless! And...so are you! Voted up and across the board. I can't wait to begin - so here I go!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Cloverleaf, I am so pleased to hear that. Sadly, many who live in small spaces still pack up tons of junk and value plastic and mass produced items over old, cracked sabi pieces. Thanks for coming by. I appreciate it very much.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I love my antiques, most of which I got from my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Most of mine too Becky. The age and knowing our loved ones hands touched them makes them even more beautiful.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Dear lovely vocalcoach, bless you! Take it at a pace that works for you. I am still paring down. I must say that I have never regretted even one item that I parted with. I went back and posted some helpful hints at the end of the Hub. Maybe those will help also. They worked for me. When we have less, we can love our items even more. And that joy you mention becomes overwhelming and I draw closer to our Lord in gratitude and appreciation. I am so pleased you are encouraged by this. Thank you for letting me know this. Until next time dear wonderful lady, thank you again.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

I have this problem. I am a collector of almost everything and I don't know when to let go. It is quite difficult to let domething go that has a little bit if value with it. Thankfully, I live in an apartment! Well written. Glad to be a new follower of your work.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Great Hub Hyphen, I used to keep everything, couldn't stand to throw anything away, i now clean out closets, cabinets periodically. If i don't use it, i get rid of it. Many people are in need. We have a place called, ' The helping hand ' that i take my things to also the senior citizens building collects and gives to the needy. I love to shop at thrift stores and the Salvation Army. Thank's for great helpful tips. If every person would just give one item, think how much that would help...


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi lyricwriter. So many people have collections of stuff. And those collections are not wrong, just unimportant. We place value on them incorrectly. In the Wabi-Sabi way of life, one would have 1,2 or 3 items that are old and treasured for their past. And really, we think most items have more value than they actually do. I would rather take a picture of something I like then give it away or sell it on Craigslist than keep it because it is worth $20. This way of life takes time and is a revelation. As you ponder it, you might be surprised how you are affected and freed by it.

I am so pleased to meet you here and thank you for coming by.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello always, it is great to see you. There are so many needy people and we have so much. It is great to help when we can. Most people will store clothing and other items for years only to trash them because the fabric is ruined. The Wabi way is not to need the excess at all or to even desire it. The other weekend I walked around a fall festival and enjoyed all the little knickknacks even more knowing they were not coming home with me. And I love books, LOVE books. But now I keep only the treasured old and rare. My Sara Teasdale poetry books are almost 100 years old. Sabi loves the cracks and worn bindings which have come with age. That is much more valuable than a spotless, mass produced paperback.

Thanks for your comments. It is "always" a pleasure to see you.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Hyphenbird, I had never heard of Wabi-Sabi and found this just fasinating, this style of living is really appealing!

Many thanks for sharing.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Movie Master. It is a deliberate choice to live in appreciation , understanding and honor of the world of spirit as well as flesh. I have drawn closer to God as I become more Wabi and Sabi. I also am more peaceful and my former raw nerves have been soothed. I am pleased you liked this. Thank you.


feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, Hyphenbird,

This is a useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting post and I checked each of those boxes and gave it a great-big UP.

Also, I just printed out this article so I can read it over-and-over again (that is what I do when I believe that the content of an article is important enough for me to brand it into my brain for the purpose of improving my life).


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you feenix, I appreciate that very much. This is something I am leaning more and more into. It has changed my life as I declutter and purge my home, life and mind while turning into the focus of the natural and beautiful. I hope this helps you too. It is nice of you to come by.


HReichel 5 years ago

Love the dew on tomato pic!!!!! Keep going in your 365 project too! All your photos are beautiful :) Sorry took me so long to get to do it :( the contest was very close - now we wait until Monday to know who won-


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

HReichel, I hope you win. Your photography really is art. I know there are some great ones out there, I have been on the site several times. Just amazing. Thanks for coming by. I also love that picture. The tomatoes never grew but are red now. I may do it again and see the difference.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

"the beauty of what once sparkled but now gleams instead"

Wonderful line. This article really moved me like no other. I love the Wabi-Sabi concept. It is a beautiful way to live. Thank you for one of the very best articles I have ever read. I love your photographs, too. This Hub is a treasure.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Oh James, how can I thank you for these kind words? This way of life is continually becoming mine and I love it. I notice the integrity of people, places and things so much more. I hoped this article would enlighten others to the concept. I am thrilled it did so for you. Thank you a thousand times over.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Dearest Hyphenbird - I am back. It has been 2 weeks since reading your hub. I am almost finished with the garage! It was a joy to donate my "hidden treasures" (giggling). And it felt almost like a sense of experiencing freedom. That may make no sense, but for me I realized that to hold on to things creates a burden. When I let go of the material things I no longer needed, I made room for spiritual blessings. And I am begining to understand the old adage, "cleanliness is next to Godliness." And now that the garage is just about all cleaned out and organized, my bedroom is next.

I loved reading this just as much the 2nd time and seemed to find even more "lightand knowledge." Oh, what a treasure you are...what a blessing, not only to me but to our total hubpage family. Stay very close - we need you!

vocalcoach


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

vocalcoach, thank you so very much. Knowing this is helping others makes my day. Isn't the freedom simply amazing?! I am currently working on the basement. The big things are mostly gone and now

I am going through boxes of baby clothes and that sort of thing. Only this morning I walked into my immaculate, clutter free kitchen and was so happy. We really do draw closer to God without all the distractions of minutia. I am SO happy for you. Keep me informed of your progress. Bless you precious friend. Bless you.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I was digging around in your hubs looking for something to read when I came across this article. I'd never heard of Wabi-Sabi before but as I was reading, it describes me in so many ways. I would love to live as Henry David Thoreau did. I would be quite happy off somewhere in a log cabin without all the pressures that society places on us. I really enjoyed reading this.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Susan. Thank you for digging around my space:)

Since I have adopted this way of life I have more peace of mind, more free time and more money. It is a great way to just simple live.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

Missed this earlier and now too brain-dead to read! Bookmarking to read later. Can't wait--looks great.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

I hope you enjoy it Teylina. I love this way of life. It is so simple, beautiful and peaceful.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

I guess we all could learn from this hub. Clutter can find it's way into our life at some point. With our minds cluttered as well as our homes, it's hard to appreciate what's really important to us. I have found as I age I can let go of far more useless things than I could before. Thanks, Hyphenbird. I'm a bit behind on reading my favorite hubber's entries. Too much hub hopping and not enough paying attention is my only excuse. Voted up.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Diana. It really is a wonderful way of life. The lack of material excess and beauty of aged things brings a sense of peace. Never worry if you don't get by. I know you are busy and that you care.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

This hub was lovely and reminds me of kotodama- the power of words to transform our existence. Masui Emoto illustrates this via water.

It is funny, but when distributing recent inherited items, the pleasure of receiving was short lived. Soon, I began to analyze my connection with the piece to determine its true value versus monetary value. The emotional connections are much more powerful! Thanks.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hi Storytellersrus. I strongly believe in the power of words. I may do a Hub on that. Loving an item for its beauty and connection makes it lovely. Valuing it simply for monetary value never enhances it. That is the difference you noticed. Thanks for visiting my Wabi Hub. I thought it had been forgotten. But they always pop back up at the right time, don't they?


Pfennig profile image

Pfennig 4 years ago

Reading your beautiful hub was interesting. I didn't know my longing had a name. Unfortunately, my real life trends towards hoarderism instead of wabi sabi - ness. Every artifact is either dear, full of memories that tether them to me or useful, t'would be wasteful to be rid of. ~grin~ Regardless, I enjoyed reading how you cherish, care for and honor the items you do keep... because it is not really the item itself you are doing it for, but what it represtents to you.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Hello Pfennig. That longing consumed me for years. Once I learned how to soothe it, I had such peace. As you said, many items have such sentimental value and it is hard to let them go. I take a photograph and that makes it easier. I can still see the item if I get nostalgic but not have it cluttering p my home or my life. I rarely throw away anything, but donate to thrift stores or find a loving home for a special treasure. You are so right. I keep things because of how they make me feel. I love that having less makes me feel more love for the things I keep. Thanks for the lovely comments. I appreciate you very much.


Teylina profile image

Teylina 4 years ago

I finally got to read, and it's so nice to know what I am! My son, too, is definitely a Wabi, bordering on Sabi! Learned a lot here, and thoroughly enjoyed.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Teylina! How lovely to see you. Your son is a wise fellow indeed. It takes many of us most of our life to discover this. I have purged even more from my home and feel so great about it. Wabi-Sabi is the life for me! Thanks for taking time to come by.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Enjoyed your hub. Have never heard of any of this. You have taught us something new. I'm a sabi. I know that for sure. My husband rolls his eyes when I say "Look at that beautiful house." The poor thing is falling down. I always feel sorry for sad little homes no one loves. Voted up and shared.


mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 4 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

I have never heard the word but it is beautiful. I recently earned a certificate in organizing and it basically teaching this in a nutshell. I have worked with hoarders and try to explain to them a simple life enhances every area of being. Voted up.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

What a beautiful article about a beautifully calm and serene way of living--loved this!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Interesting hub. You have explained very well Wabi- Sabi. Now I know how to call people who loves simple life and it is really neat. I want to be a wabi sabi too. Thanks for sharing hypenbird. voted up and more


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

moonlake, I do also. An old home or abandoned table bring me to tears. The ability to appreciate aged grace is priceless. I would rather have one old piece than a house full of mass manufactured modern items. Thanks for reading about my Wabi-Sabi life. I love it. Updating my profile must have brought this to attention. It had languished, much like me. laugh.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

mvillecat, congratulations on your new endeavor. It will be so fulfilling. This really is a wonderful way of life. I wish I had been this way in my younger days. Without the chaos of clutter, the mind and spirit can know peace. Your work with hoarders must be fascinating. It makes me feel claustrophobic to think about it. Thanks for the visit. I am coming to your profile right now,


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

Thank you AudreyHowitt. It really is a lovely way of life, very uncomplicated and chaos free. I am so pleased it touched you too.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful Author

ignugent17, anyone seeking more pace and rest needs to live this way. My nerves used to be on edge all the time. Now the few beautiful and meaningful items in our home help me calm and relax. I can truly say everyone can benefit from it. Thanks for the visit.

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