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wabi-sabi thoughts

I like the way the panels of wood on our upstairs apartment balcony alternate between dark and slightly lighter, but not in any particular pattern. It makes me feel like things don't have to be exactly right.

Wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a Japanese concept that acknowledges the beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. There is poetry in the ephemeral and the way no single moment can be recreated exactly the same way with the same factors. We can only experience it this way, this one time.

I want to pay more attention. To notice more in each moment. The way I feel when time seems to stand still as loved ones' laughter fills the room or my gaze lingers on my calico tabby cat just long enough to catch her stretching in her sleep and resettling into restfulness once again. The way the air feels in my lungs when I first step outside or a particular look of amusement I'm constantly trying to evoke from Jason because I enjoy knowing I can still surprise him with my silly antics.

I want to soak up and savor flavors and words and textures. I want to enjoy things more because I've taken them in more fully and not brushed by on my way to the next thing.

I think it's going to take some concerted effort on my part to invite these things into the everything-elses that seem to be filling up all the space, climbing the walls and claiming all the air. But as I begin this new year, there are some things have to change. I need things to become more easeful even if nothing is easy. I need to be able to leave space for my color on the coloring page without coloring in everyone else's hues and shades first, only to realize the picture's all filled in, and I've left myself out.

I know it'll be challenging because all new things are. Holding wabi-sabi close and my therapist's thoughtful reminders near, the trying itself doesn't require perfection. Every time I try, I build a little more awareness that there's an opportunity to try something different in that moment, and that is movement.

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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© Kimberly 國子Taylor-Pestell

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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