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Simply Imperfect (PDF)
Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House
Wabi-sabi is about appreciating the simple and letting go of the superficial – the perfect antidote for a society in recovery from a decades-long consumerist binge. In 2004 The Wabi-Sabi House helped popularize this ancient Japanese philosophy in North America. Simply Imperfect is a fully revised and updated edition of The Wabi-Sabi House, aimed at moving past our belief in life, liberty, and the pursuit of stuff to finding beauty in austerity, serenity and authenticity.
Far more than home décor, wabi-sabi is a state of mind: living modestly in the moment, stripping away the unnecessary, finding satisfaction in everyday things. Simply Imperfect recounts wabi-sabi's rich history, tracing it from its Zen Buddhist roots through to the present day. This beautifully-illustrated book reveals ways to introduce wabi-sabi into your homesuch as:
- Clearing clutter and blocking noise
- Integrating salvaged and recycled materials
- Making and growing things yourself (or supporting local artisans who do)
- Taking time and space for self-reflection.
Wabi-sabi is everything that today's sleek, plastic, technology-saturated culture isn't. Simply Imperfect asks readers to see that mass-produced perfection is seductive but boring. This gentle book is for anyone who is overwhelmed by consumerism or whose focus hasshifted from getting more to getting by.
Robyn Griggs Lawrence is Editor at Large for Natural Home (www.NaturalHomeMagazine.com), Mother Earth News (www.MotherEarthNews.com) and the Herb Companion (www.HerbCompanion.com) and a prolific writer and speaker on topics ranging from green building and ecological design to organic gardening. She has been instrumental in introducing the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to a Western audience.
"Simply Imperfect is an inspiring breath of fresh air and freedom in our consumerist society— a book that awakens us to the beauty of life's imperfections. In looking beyond the contemporary world of shallow materialism, Lawrence invites us to celebrate the depth and elegant grace of authentic simplicity, both in our possessions and in our awareness of life."
Duane Elgin, author of Voluntary Simplicity and The Living Universe
"Do those TV home shows where every kitchen and bath "needs updating" drive you bats? Are you very DISinclined to follow the latest fashion trends? Do you find grace and beauty in things that are handmade and well-worn rather than in things that are new and flashy? Then I predict you will be simply delighted to read Simply Imperfect and discover the Japanese aesthetic known as wabi-sabi."
Cheryl Long, editor-in-chief, Mother Earth News
"Robyn Griggs Lawrence applies an ancient Japanese philosophy to today's world and comes up with relevant, poetic solutions for modern living. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to simplify and create peace— and respite— in their homes."
Wanda Urbanska, author, The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life and coauthor, Less is More
"Simply Imperfect is a meditation, a path to be walked upon slowly, a breath to be inhaled and exhaled consciously. Its use of the ancient Japanese philosophy "wabi-sabi", as a design point of view and, more importantly, a way of being in the world, returns us to the simplicity and beauty of home-made, home-grown, naturally inspired, and all that the cyber-world of virtual and superficial realities has seemingly forgotten. Wabi-sabi is the breeze through a screen door, the patina of a copper roof, the smoothing and grooving of an old wooden table. It is life unfolding without the need to change or correct it...it's simply, and wonderfully, imperfect."
Skaie Knox, editor-in-chief blogger, DiggersList.com
"Simply Imperfect is the ideal antidote to the strident, guilt-ridden environmentalism of yesteryear. Robyn Griggs Lawrence gives readers the perspective they need to really enjoy their homes and their lives while making changes in their routines that benefit the planet, and their peace of mind. This is a wise book that I find myself revisiting again and again."
Bryan Welch, publisher, Mother Earth News, Utne Reader, Natural Home & Garden, and author, Beautiful and Abundant: Building the World We Want
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