Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Hunting and Gathering Report: A Wabi-Sabi Find

At Art and Soul Retreats we have Vendor Night on Saturday evenings. I had a table where I had copies of my book for sale and some art pieces. I was wandering around looking at other tables and booths before the event officially opened. I came upon a booth called Vintage Passementerie. I've seen the owner Margaret's stall frequently at Monticello Antiques here in Portland. I perused some antique Japanese prints and talked with Margaret about my love of wabi-sabi. She disappeared for a moment and then reappeared with the most lovely book I've ever seen! Reader, I fell in love at first sight. I happily parted with enough money to become the custodian of this lovely and most wabi-sabi item.

The book is really a series of Japanese account books, intricately bound together with rope. Each section has a tab. Some of the pages are blank, but each section contains plenty of breathtaking calligraphy. 

Both the top and bottom covers of the book has a large, exuberant, calligraphy character on it.

Many books bound together

The front of the book with tabs for each section
Imagine a world where something so potentially uninteresting as an account book could become almost a sacred object! Well, really, it is a sacred object because the design and the craftmanship with which it was made and used, must have lent itself to a mindful and appreciative carrying out of a daily task. At the same time, this book was not made for show. It is just itself, humble and beautiful. . Part of the art of everyday life.

P.S. I am not going to cut this book up! I'll scan some of the pages and print them out on lightweight paper.


Laura said...

Hi Serena,
I have to comment, After receiving you book Wabi Sabi workshop, reading only the first two pages...I thought to myself this is how I create to a point but I wanted to let go of the perfect part...then I did search about Wabi I've got books coming in for Amazon..but the one book I was able to get on line was Living Wabi Sabi, Gold, Taro...amazing I've been creating a collage every day with what I read in the chapter...then now after signing up with you blog and sorts you show this picture of the accounting book...I just love this repeated pages stacked upon each gets me so excited to see that...the years of dedication in one stackable form...well Thanks I'm so glad I happened upon you sure is opening my inspiration and intuitive side even more and a deeper understanding of letting go of being perfect...kind makes me giddy. Peace Serena...

Roberta said...

Indeed a treasure!

hawkes said...

What an amazing find - it is so beautiful!

Linda said...

that is an amazing book Serena-wow! I've never seen anything like it-what a treasure. It was just waiting for you.

Bren Thebeau said...

What an artful treasure! Just glorious