Very nice, Rick. Very nice.Hot, goes well with sushi
"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.
Now that, was funny.
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.