Nothing in nature is perfect. Even the finest of things have flaws and most things have many flaws. If you would live in a world full of imperfection and still see beauty, you must understand the beauty in the flaws

The world wants to celebrate perfection. The perfect body, the perfect face, the perfect performance record. Everything is gleaming and shiny and smooth. This is the way of depression, for no person lives up to that ideal. It is also the way of obsession as we consider ourselves inadequate due to natural imperfection and obsess over achieving an unachievable ideal.

The weed is as beautiful as the flower garden – if you understand it.dandilion

It is good to be imperfect. It is our flaws that give us individuality. With flaws, we are truly unique. Without them we are but figures in a cheap anime; identical smooth faces, and figures with nothing but variations on hair, color, clothing, and dimensions.  It is the shallow person who bases love on looks. The person of depth will find that loving a person is what makes them beautiful in their eyes. Thinking about how others see your loved one only means you love the person for what their appearance can do for you.

Wabi-sabi is also about impermanence. It embraces entropy. Decay of some sort is inevitable but it doesn’t mean beauty stops being beautiful. The beauty merely changes.

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. 

Ode on a Grecian Urn, Keats

Too many flaws and something becomes defective and unable to function in a particular application. It doesn’t make it ugly, it just means you are incorrectly seeing it. An old collapsed building can be more beautiful than a shiny steel and glass one. Adding a significant flaw to something seemingly perfect, yet sterile, can make it beautiful.

The Japanese have a name for this philosophy, Wabi-sabi, the art of imperfection. It is one of the things that helps me see beauty in an increasingly ugly world. And seeing beauty all around you is the secret to happiness.

Found this article in Utne Reader. I think it explains better than my imperfect blog.

Wabi-sabi: The Art of Imperfection