I’ve decided to start a new occasional series. From time to time I come across humans who just astound me with their whimsy. They do something a bit off-beat. A bit you’re-not-meant-to-do-that. I’ve noticed there’s usually One Thing that prompted them, or motivates them, or keeps them happy and therefore whimsical. I’m always busting to tap them on the shoulder and ask, “What’s your One Thing”. Now I do here. To kick off…
This week I do things at the wrong time
I take disproportionate delight from eating non-breakfast food at breakfast. This morning I ate mashed pumpkin with garlic. Sometimes I eat grilled sardines on lentils. Once I ate lamb chops.
In the comfortable, middle-class world I inhabit, such deviations feel like perverse acts of rebellion. My grandmother, for 65 years, used to put out two Weet-bix in a bowl every night ready for breakfast in the morning. Bless Grandmother’s gentle soul, but my non-breakfasts say booyah to that!
Doing things at the right – or conventional – time can make sense. Turning up to weddings at the time specified by the bride and groom is always good. And getting your bikini line waxed is best done mid-afternoon, a week after your period, when the skin is least sensitive.
But this week I played with the idea that doing stuff when you’re not meant to is a tidy way to inject joy into life. At a purely pragmatic level doing things out of step with the masses is efficient. In the book Buy Ketchup In May And Fly At Noon, Marc Di Vincenzo makes the case for eating out at restaurants on Tuesdays
Wabi sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. That statement in itself makes me happy. Observing it is a meditation and a tool for keeping life cool. And whimsicaly creative. I’m playing with it at the moment as I write. It’s proving a nifty little tool!
Wabi stems from the word wa, which refers to harmony, peace, tranquility and balance. Sabi, by itself, means “the bloom of time. Through wabi-sabi we learn to embrace our scars, rust, uneven finishes and the “bloom” of time they represent.
I found this post on eco salon about living a wabi sabi life: “Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind.”
Ways to get wabi sabi with it today?
- pick some flowers from the side of the road and play with them until you find a nicely discordant arrangment. Stick em in a jam jar.
- take 2 or 3 old toys or heirlooms you’ve hung onto, stored in a box, and arrange them on the mantlepeice.
- make a “still life salad”…