Wabi-sabi is one of those Japanese phrases whose meaning is elusive in English. On a website devoted to wabi-sabi its meaning is said to have been originally associated with sadness and loneliness, but that it now means living a simple and modest lifestyle- one that is peaceful, balanced and in tune with nature. In other words more or less the Slow Life. Another definition is that wabi-sabi recognises three simple realities- that nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. Is wabi-sabi one of those indefinable foreign phrases which comes to mean more or less what the westerner wants it to mean? I put the question to a Japanese friend and his reply is that wabi-sabi means “less is more” and that the concept is best illustrated by a Japanese garden. The concept is explained in this video, ably translated by Phil Jacobson.
The idea of Slow Life is to take the principles of Slow Food, which are “good, clean and fair”, and extend them to life in general.
Here in the Lake District, the air is clean, the pace is slow and the atmosphere is calm. If we don’t grow food ourselves, we can buy it in friendly small shops, where you know the quality is going to be the best.
This blog is a celebration of the Slow Life, with forays into the world of design, music, the arts, gardens, and my particular weakness, Japan.