Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic ideal that is concerned with honoring simple, unadorned, natural objects and events in life, those things that are beautiful and beloved because of their imperfection and simplicity, not in spite of them. Mimi has a lovely storybook called Wabi Sabi, written by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young, about a cat by that name who seeks to learn the meaning of its namesake. Everyone she asks begins by saying, “That’s hard to explain …”
Wabi Sabi is hard to explain, but I think that a good way of understanding it might be to consider the apple.
Surely, the apple is one of nature’s most exquisite achievements, yet humans have done their damnedest to ruin it. As proof, I offer the Red Delicious apple. How perfect it is~
But isn’t it a little odd looking, for all its genetically-engineered perfection?
I cannot love it.
I can, however, love this misshapen Arkansas Black. Lopsided, blemished, and bruised — this is a beautiful apple.
And, unlike the Red Delicious, this one tastes good. Like an apple, if you can imagine.
Mimi and I spent the morning marvelling at the imperfect beauty of pumpkins, quinces, satsumas, persimmons, and apples at the Market at Blooming Colors, a new fruit and vegetable stand in Auburn that carries mostly locally grown food. The apples, for instance, come from a farm in North Georgia and they’re pesticide free. The market is a valuable addition to the area.
The weather is cool (finally) and the market was the perfect place to spend a sunny Fall morning. We indulged ourselves in utterly simple ways: picking out pumpkins and snacking on apples and roasted peanuts. We brought home with us five flawed pumpkins and two bags full of misshapen apples: our beautiful treasures.
Lunch, eaten amid the new pumpkins on our very simple front porch, consisted of apples and cheddar cheese. What else did we need? The sky was blue, the air was cool, and we were happy.