Wabi-Sabi Fabulous

You wouldn’t know to see it, but I’m a little bit of a fashion junkie. Okay, junkie is relative. I splurge on Vogue every so often and usually tune into New York fashion week via the New York Times. I’m also a big fan of Bill Cunningham’s “On the Street.” I went to see the documentary on Anna Wintour, albeit alone (and very pregnant). So when early September comes around, you can occasionally find me tracking down some live streaming U.S. Open coverage or scanning slide shows of various spring collections, hoping that Cathy Horyn has found the time to record her wrap-up of the week. Yeah, the models are aliens. Beautiful, gawky, disproportionate. I’m fascinated. And I can get sucked into the body image thing to an extent, but honestly, I have two tremendously “busy” boys (a euphemism that gets thrown my direction quite often), and it takes way too much time to care that much. But there’s something in fashion that reorients my capacity to see beauty. Not unlike the Japanese and Buddhist concepts of wabi-sabi, contradictory as that seems. Wabi-sabi emphasizes worn textures of an apparently unrefined and simple style. The beholder must know (learn) how to discern the object’s beauty. In Zen Buddhism, this aesthetic is translated to mean that the natural erosion and weathering of everything around us can serve to help us connect to the real world. Acceptance in practice–a true (and what seems to me) healthy detachment.

In the words of Confucius, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” I hardly ever have trouble seeing the beauty in my boys, and every so often, someone in our tribe has a good look going on. Today Gabriel garners the prize.

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