A Change In Context: A Writer Wednesday PostDecember 12th, 2012 | Posted by in Essays
Glad To Be Human update–thanks for your patient understanding while the publisher works out yet more details–I am as eager as you–
To listen to this post, please click here:A Change in Context
Another brief reflection on wabi-sabi this week, the highly useful Japanese aesthetic concept of finding beauty in the impermanent, the worn. Like our New York City signs last week, only this time highly local. And a mark of the feet, not the hand.
We are renovating our third floor –re-organizing the storage of our creative work and making a new studio space, thereby liberating a second floor room for guests.
Wanting to recycle as much as possible, we saved useable parts of the old flooring and our builders salvaged an old porch floor from another job. Once in place, we planned to paint this new/old floor. But after the cost and effort of preserving these materials, we were disappointed to discover there simply wasn’t enough wood. We would have to buy new flooring.
Rather than dump the old boards, though, we decided to upend the old scruffy, paint-peely porch floor and use it for wainscotting. The change of context is stunning.
Instead of a sanded, scraped-down, repainted pretendy-new floor, the worn boards greet you round the top of the stairs, quietly resplendent with subtle colors and textures. More beautiful than we could have imagined. An effect we would have yearned for and tried vainly to achieve. It’s like entering a corner of Monet.
These boards are humble. They are themselves. Life and human use has made them beautiful. Nothing more need be done, but to wax them and preserve the gift of their patina.
A change in context. I smile at this little domestic parable–the worn, the scuffed, the literally downtrodden shall be lifted up, shall have pride of place in an airy new chapel of art.
Are you inspired by a change of context this week?