Wabi-Sabi? Huh? Is it, some weird version of wasabi paste? No, it is not. It (侘寂) is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

That describes me to a tee. I celebrated my wabi-sabiness yesterday. It was my 65th birthday (gasp! did I just say that?).

So how did I spend the day? It started pretty much as usual with a glass of lemon water, a quick flick through the newspaper, and then serious concentration on the crossword and scrambled words to get the brain juices flowing. Whilst I was doing that, TRH (The Retired Husband) cooked breakfast. We were joined at table by son #2 who had arrived for a sleep over at some stage during the night before. It was a nice leisurely breaking of the fast.

Seeing that the day was cold and wet outside, I decided to treat myself to a pyjama day. At two thirty of the clock in the afternoon, it was time to go for a shower and change into clean pyjamas. That was my nod to convention. However, in transit to the shower, I decided first to treat the wabi-sabiness of my face to a nourishing, hydrating  mask. I found the recipe in the weekend paper.

Whipping  up a mix of egg yolk, lime juice and olive oil took no time at all. Bowl in hand I padded my way to the bathroom and attended to the face. The instructions were to allow the mask to dry, then rinse off with lukewarm water. So I lay down on the bed, next to an already snoring fur baby. It was cold. Under the blanket was so much more comfortable.

Kintsukuroi vase – more beautiful for having been broken *

I woke up to a face that felt very tight. Did I have Botox, I wondered in my sleep haze? No. I won’t have that #%*@ stuff anywhere near me. I felt my face. It had a clingfilm like layer attached to it like a limpet mine. That’s gotta be good for the complexion, I thought. Like a natural face lift. A niggling worry in the back of my mind had me wonder how hard it would be to remove given it had been applied two hours previously.

The egg yolk blend, much to my relief, rinsed off without a fuss. My wabi-sabi self re-emerged into the world with a glowing complexion, fresh jamies, toasty woollen socks and slippers, wearing Sofia Vergara’s Love parfum gifted to me by the children. What could be better than this?

Well, this story has a better ending. I had just made myself a fresh cup of tea when my phone rang. It was my good friend and neighbour, the homeless feeding Mother of All.

I was half asleep when I took this – that’s why it’s so blurry

What are you having for dinner?

I don’t know. I just woke up….

Don’t cook. I’m sending over a traditional Croation BBQ meal for you. It will be ready in ten minutes.


FYI it consisted of lamb, beef and chicken kebabs with the Mother of All’s secret blend of herbs and spices, flat bread, garlic potato dip and salad. It tasted so much better than this picture looks. We had enough left over for tonight’s meal.

Here endeth the tale of my Wabi-Sabi birth day.  What more could I ask?

© Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace 

An unapologetically biased, but true, quote for this wasi-sabi day 😀
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” Steve Maraboli

July Soul Gifting

Jane Basil from Making it Write  is it for July.

In her own words  ‘I’m hot on honesty and openness. Like most people, I’m prone to many moods, and all of them are represented on these pages.’

Jane is a gifted writer. Her posts are raw, authentic, passionate, at times irreverently funny and witty. We have shared laughter, tears, grief, pain, outrageous political incorrectnesses – often to be found in conversations threaded through the comments. Do  pay her a visit. You won’t regret it.

* photo credit: Wikipedia

19 thoughts on “Wabi-Sabi

  1. Wow! you’ve taken the breath out of my sails! Making me Soul Giftee for July! Thank you so much, Raili. I’m honoured, and will do my utmost to deserve that honour by continuing to write about the issues that matter, such as the plight of addicts, of the abused, and of all those who are oppressed and elienated… with a bit of insanity and humour thrown in when the occasion permits 🙂
    Really, Raili (ha – really Raili Really Raili, I like the sound of that), I’m serious. I consider that your generosity carries responsibilties on my part, and I’m happy to think it may help to keep me on my toes.
    That’s my acceptance speech done….

    1. I like your acceptance speech. But you do know there are no strings attached. However, your shouldering of responsibility to carry on writing is so like you. What can I say! You write – I read 🙂 I think my future email signature to you will have to change to RRR 😀

      1. I hope I’ll never stop writing, but I’ll try to make a point of being constructive on a regular basis.
        I still haven’t started on the peace thing… I need to sort out a routine.

  2. So glad you had a great birthday! (I’ve done a couple posts on the wabi-sabi art. It’s just gorgeous and such a wonderful reminder that all us cracked pots are still beautiful!)

Your thoughts ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s