Wabi What-y?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Turns out my love of imperfect things dates back to ancient Japanese tradition. Who knew? You see, I had this doll when I was in third grade. I remember how all of our backpacks were lined up on pegs outside the third grade classroom. With the scarcity of homework back in those wee days, my backpack often held other schoolgirl treasures. For awhile, I carried this plastic doll with me everywhere. I was so worried that one of my arch nemeses would weasel their peanut-butter fingers into my bag and out me and my closet doll fetish.

You see, I found this plastic doll in the little attic offshoot of my bedroom. She was a bit bedraggled. Her hair not as luscious as Barbie's. Her moving eyes were a little creepy and she sort of had that musty antique doll style to her. But those little worn patches on her skin and the permanent dirt on her knees endeared me to her even more. She and I together made a complete package of misfits. A little off-kilter, a little sloppy, a little defective in manner, if only to the naked eye. She belonged with me.

Turns out there's this ancient philosophy called Wabi Sabi that celebrates the imperfections, the worn-out places, the dirt in the cracks. This Whole Living article turned me on to the whole idea and it completely clicked with me. It makes sense that I was repelled by perfection. Nothing bothered me more in school than copy-cats who strove to be closer to the cool girl's idea of perfect. The pretentious, the trite, the mainstream--all of these things bothered me to no end. And for good reason. Perfection is delusional and denotes a lack of character. Striving for perfection is a fruitless endeavor, while celebrating flaws encourages us to take pure delight in our own and others' idiosyncrasies.

Now I have an excuse to not get rid of my little teapot with the crack through the lid. Oh happy day! XOXOXO Baby Doll.

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