What is Wabi-sabi

God is at eye level

What is Wabi-sabi?

I became familiar with this term in order to complete this weeks photography class assignment.

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things modest and humble.It is a beauty of things unconventional.

                                                             ~Leonard Koren

We were given copies of pages from a book, The Artist’s Rule- Nurturing you Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Paintner. As a group we read the brief chapter aloud. Now I must tell you that I consider myself to be fairly well read with a decent size vocabulary, these few pages really tested me. At home later I had to sit with the dictionary to be certain I understood all the words(this is why I really love my Kindle). Further understanding was still desired so I headed to Google. I found an excellent article titled, What is WABI-SABI? Here is an excerpt from that article.

Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. 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. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.

The assignment would be to take a walk with my camera, easy enough to start. Focus on centering myself, close eyes, breath, connect~ you know the drill. Opening my eyes I need to focus on my experience and maintain this during the walk. Not always simple when walking with my energetic dog but I cannot think of leaving her behind. As I walk I am to stay open and present to the places of beauty in ugliness, decay and death.

Participating in this assignment has exposed me to a new term and concept. I was inspired to go looking for beauty in less than the obvious place. As I become better acquainted with the concept I could see how this pertains to life and love of self and others. And as always I was surprised by the beauty that God revealed to me. Below are the photo’s I will share with the class.

Below is a close up of the base of the tree. Obviously is being consumed by insects. Guess you could call this the tree of life.

I was close to home when I saw this stump. I thought it visually interesting.

When I turned from taking the snapshot of the rotted trunk I discovered the most fantastic surprise. Never having noticed this rotted tree from this angle I discovered in its center a heart shaped hole.

I was thrilled with my find. I have been walking past this tree for seven years and never before noticed the beauty in the decay.

Life is to be Lived

As Sunday evening draws to a close one week ends and another on the verge of beginning. Time is a peculiar thing. We complain that we don’t have enough yet we wish the days past longing for the weekend. How did you spend your weekend? Did you indulge? Did you make your heart sing? Did you write a blog post for Share Your World or Jakesprinter Landscape Challenge? I did a few of all these things.

Date Night on Friday with my favorite guy at one of our favorite places to eat called the Bridge in Westerly RI. Good food, cheap beer and live music.

On Saturday I was blessed to get a new office chair and the re-gifting of a computer monitor for my home office. Cooked a wonderful meal at home and shared it with 3 of my favorite guys, hubby Steven, son Joshua and stepson Jeremy. Good food and good company.

Sunday morning found me in my house of worship enjoying the presence of the Lord. Afterward we went to lunch with Steven’s daughter Christina and our granddaughter Piper.



Having sufficiently dined we headed home to change into some warmer clothes, get Haley and go for a walk along the river.

It was hard to keep the dog from going nuts when the four deer arrived on the scene. I thought this one was going to run right into me.


Below you see the Mohegan Sun Casino towering above the tree line. Looking at it from the sky it has the appearance of an arrow. It is a beautiful building inside and out.


Norwich is a river community with many old factories such as the one pictured below.


This railroad has plates dating 1923. Pretty cool in my opinion.


These old rail ties are just laying around. Wonder what the purpose is now?


In the water is the remnants of an old boat.



The walk was nice. Beautiful, crisp day as you can see. When I got home I made a movie with the photo’s I snapped of Piper(the red headed cutie) and will post it to Facebook for her Great Granny to see; I know she will enjoy it.

Hope that you had a great weekend.


This weeks Water Dragon photo challenge over at Jakesprinter

Here’s how the weekly photo Competition works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
~Dorothy Frances Gurney, “Garden Thoughts”










Daybook Entry February 25, 2012


The Simple Woman’s Daybook


Outside my window… the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds and the wind gusts are loud and strong.

I am thankful…that I had the luxury of sleeping in today, spending quiet time with my Lord, that my son is home from college.

In the kitchen…I have just finished preparing tasty breakfast.

I am wearing…a warm turquoise colored turtleneck and a well worn pair of jeans.

I am creating…an authentic life.

I am going…shopping with my husband later this afternoon.

I am wondering…what I should do for dinner tonight.

I am reading…see my Goodreads Widget on the sidebar.

I am hoping…to get outside this weekend even if just for a little while.

I am looking forward to…spring flowers.

I am learninglean into the Lord for everything.

Around the house…things are in fairly good order.

I am pondering…the upcoming assignment for my photography class, God is at Eye Level.

A favorite quote for today…never put a period where God has put a comma.

One of my favorite thingsis to share the love of God with others.

A few plans for the rest of the week: probably a warm meal and a movie tonight, worship followed by lunch with at least one of our children and granddaughter tomorrow, if weather permits a walk outside.

Look who visited my door stoop…it was self service in the cabinet where the bird food is for this little guy…made the dog NUTS!


Enjoy your Sabbath everyone.



Indulging in a sweet moment before we say “I do”.

Wedding 2005 024

IMG_1247I I was surprised when I entered my room and found rose petals EVERYWHERE. Having a Jacuzzi tub to relax and enjoy was a real indulgence.


The scene below represents indulging in the beauty of our world.


My Heart Sings

Cover of "Romancing the Ordinary: A Year ...

Cover via Amazon

On Saturday I read a page in the yearly devotional I am using, Romancing the Ordinary, by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Using words, quotes from others and personal testimony Sarah weaves together a page about discovering things that make our heart sing. Cee Neuner posed the question in her Share your World weekly, what makes your heart sing? I didn’t make it to Cee’s party yesterday because I was off celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday however I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this topic today.

Sarah Ban Breathnach says that we can fall in love with anything that feels like part of your destiny. She goes on to tell an amazing testimony about falling in love with rare sheep. Now I don’t think that sheep would do it for me but I am not Sarah. It’s not about the sheep though. It’s about discovering the things that cause my heart to sing. It is in those things that authenticity is found.

Some things make my heart sing forever.

~my wonderful husband, my children, my Savior

Some things for a season.

~a beautiful flower,a friendship, a thrilling adventure

Some things for a moment.

~a songbird, a decadent dessert, the sound of laughter

What causes our hearts to sing is uniquely our own. We can at times miss it though. We can get so caught up in the busyness of life that we neglect to experience the things that may cause our heart to sing. Perhaps it is a new experience and we think to ourselves, I don’t have time for that or it is a stretch in a new way taking you beyond your comfort zone.(need some encouragement on this topic check out Inside Out Café for more inspiration) As the author of the devotional tells us, “What’s important is to realize how much we shortchange our chances for real happiness when we insist on how “it” has to be.”

I don’t know about you but I am wanting to experience real happiness in every aspect of my life. Recently I have done this by discovering new restaurants(Friday night we ate Dim Sum), fellowshipping with people that are outside of my usual circle of “friends”, baking a chocolate cake that I then drizzled real chocolate syrup and whip cream over, riding the Easy Street van which has given me back 2 hours a day(yippee), spending time with our beautiful granddaughter, buying a new DSLR camera. 

What has caused your heart to sing recently?


Beautiful Women

Everyday I am amazed at the strength and grace I see at work in the lives of the women I interact with as they struggle to deal with their breast cancer. Today was no different.

I met C.P two weeks ago after that fateful biopsy revealed the dreadful news for cancer. She is a 38 year woman who moved to the US 2 years ago to start a new life for herself. This unfortunately means that she qualifies for NO federally funded insurance and cannot simply not afford the payments on the plan offered by her part-time employer(in my state you must be in the US for 5 years to qualify for state aid).

Needless to say C.P. has done her share of crying in my presence. Today I accompanied her to the consultation to the medical oncologist, the doctor who will order the chemotherapy medications. She saw the surgeon last week and since then has had several body scans looking at various body organs to determine the extent of her cancer. She is very nervous when we go into th exam room to meet the doctor.

After reviewing her history, all the reports and a thorough exam, the doctor tells CP that there are several small areas in her lung that could be cancer. If this proves true it means the disease is now considered Stage 4, treatable but not curable. The doctor also tells her that she has what is known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Much less common, always more aggressive, and more frequently seen in women of color. CP has difficulty making eye contact with the doctor for much of the visit. She needs to remain strong.

When the doctor steps out of the room CP tells me that she is a Christian and that she has been praying. Yes, I reply, prayer can gives us strength. She asks, are you Christian, Paige. Yes, I tell her. The doctor returns to the room and reviews the things that need to occur next, a new long list of people to talk with and tests to be done. This is such a difficult process. So much new information, so many appointments, so much stress.

As CP and I say good-bye for now she tells me ” I am not going to let this cancer beat me, I am going to beat it.”

She is so strong. She is so beautiful. She is so courageous. And today she is hopeful.

I am so blessed and honored to have such a place in the lives of so many beautiful women.

Pink In Honor Of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Image via Wikipedia