Wabi-sabi, fresh bread and stoicism

Another thing we should remark is the grace and fascination that there is even in the incidentals of Nature’s processes. When a loaf of bread, for instance, is in the oven, cracks appear in it here and there; and these flaws, though not intended in the baking, have a rightness of their own, and sharpen the appetite. Figs, again, at their ripest will also crack open. When olives are on the verge of falling, the very imminence of decay adds its peculiar beauty to the fruit.

I’m no expert on either concept, but this passage from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations (book 3, verse 1) seems to get to the essence of the Japanese concept. As Wikipedia has it: “a world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.”

 

Photo by Tobias Maschtaler on Unsplash

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