I guess I should have been more specific. I appreciate the link, it is interesting and has a lot of good stuff in it, some of which I have read before.
Very nice, Rick. Very nice.Hot, goes well with sushi
I can't define it, but I know it when I "feel" it"What is wabi-sabi to you?"
At the beginning, this was a very exciting concept to me. I went to great lengh to understand it, and purchased a few books on the subject.
Then I noticed that people started to use it more an more, in discussions about bonsai. To often, in my opinion. Mostly, as a catch-it-all expression. What bothered me though was that I always seemed to mix up wabi with sabi, I could never get it right which one is which. Is austerity wabi or sabi? How about the patina of age? Every time I looked it up, I couldn't remember a few days later.
So, if you ask me what wabi-sabi means to me today, I would say: not much, it's just a foreign word that has to do with Japanese aesthetic principles.
I can tell you what austerity, simplicity, tranquility, or naturalness means to me, but I wouldn't use wabi-sabi to express that in my own words...unless I wanted to sound really smart. In which case I would use wabi-sabi and let you figure out whatever that means.
Thank you both for your well-reasoned and respectful answers. It's this kind of tone that is killing web forums all over. Attila, I didn't want to think you were jabbing me, but seeing your compatriot join in has led me to believe that you were.Now that, was funny.
Attila, that's what I was hoping your response was. I have always felt exactly the same. Those who bandy terms about when you know in your heart they are merely quoting someone else and have no internal understanding of the concept are laughable. Sorry I let other comments color the way I read yours.Thanks Walter.
My answer was totally honest, in fact may be too honest. I thought you would appreciate this unhindered honesty, and prefer it instead of some politically correct answer that would make me look better.
Admitting that, after trying hard to understand a concept, I gave up on it, is like admitting failure, which is more that what many people would disclose on a public forum. How can you interpret this a jab, I have no idea. I don't jab at unsuspecting people, (it is cruel and dumb to do so), it is against my nature.
My self-deprecating comment "I use wabi-sabi to look smart" is an admission of my own hipocrisy that I was guilty of, occasionally in the past. You are assuming, that just because I was hipocritical, I am accusing everybody else who uses wabi-sabi to be the same, which is a very unfair accusation. How would I know other people's understanding of this concept, to pass such a judgment?
When you ask other people's opinion about something, you have the right to expect an honest answer, but not to expect an answer that is to your liking. If my feelings about wabi-sabi do not exactly mirror your own, I am sorry that I disappointed you, but there is not much I can do about it.