From page 51 of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers:

“Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness,

Wabi-sabi is ambivalent about separating beauty from non-beauty or ugliness.  The beauty of wabi-sabi is, in one respect, the condition of coming to terms with what you consider ugly.  Wabi-sabi suggests that beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else.  Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view.  Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.”

3 comments on “ON BEAUTY

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  1. Daphne

    The thing that came to my mind as I read this was tank barges. I used to inspect them, and that entails going inside the tanks (once they are clear of cargo) and normally there are several hatches (doors) that are opened on the top to let air and light in, though you still need a flashlight. Here in New Orleans, especially in the summer, these inspections end up being roasting sessions in huge metal boxes that absorb and radiate heat and have residue of some pretty nasty stuff still inside (benzene, meth-ethel-death, etc.). And yet, I used to stand transfixed watching sunlight stream through these hatches while dust particles danced in the light and the yucky residue sparkled and shone in the most amazing bronzen and irridesent colors. I always meant to bring my camera with me, but it was probably one of those things that you just can’t capture on ‘film’. Beauty in such an unusual place. For me, a little smile from God when it was very much needed.