09/29/2013 § Leave a comment
“Pared down to its barest essence, wabi sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind.”
On our living room floor lays the most beautiful antique kilim rug. Its pattern is more intricate than most and the colors are just the right. My mother gave it to me when she moved to another country and for that reason alone, it has special meaning to me. We also have this beautiful little dog. And I love her so much. When we brought her home from the pound she liked to chew. A lot. One night we were watching a movie and in the back ground a small chewing noise began, but it was so subtle and faint that we barely noticed it. The sound grew louder very slowly. So slowly, in fact, that it took us all a while to ask what that sound was. It was my beautiful little dog. Chewing a rather sizable hole in my beautiful kilim rug. My first response was to absolutely one hundred percent completely loose my mind. And scream. Loudly. And kick my dog into the cold back yard. And to yell at her. A lot. In the midst of my rage came a moment of clarity. Like a splash of cool water. “When your beautiful little dog is gone, you will always remember her when you look at that hole in the rug.” And it is true. I will. I will forever look at that as of yet un-mended rug and think of how much I loved my dog. How I loved her little face and the way she would greet me every morning at the side of my bed putting her front paws up as high as they would go. Trying so hard to touch me. And it will be like she is always reminding me that she was here. Wabi sabi. Celebrating the cracks and crevices – and in this case, chewed holes – that loving use leaves behind.
The Pennyroyal Market bag is designed with this philosophy in mind. The leather will patina. And it will stain. When your child’s sippy cup leaks in the bottom of your bag, it will leave an indelible mark. But my hope is that by seeing that ring, you will always remember the day in the car with your little ones. Perhaps it is just my poor memory, but all the little marks left behind bring back floods of memory. And I fear without all those little marks, I would not remember the tiny sweetness of the everyday. Because really, at the end of our short crazy lives, it is all the little moments that we breeze through without notice that make up our time here. They occupy the space in between the big events. In between birthdays and family dinners are hours of simple daily activities. And I want to remember them. I want to remember them all. But I will settle for the ones that are recorded like so many homework assignments on the dining room table – and since no one can ever seem to remember to put a blotter under their paper, the little letters remain embedded forever in the old wood. The wood that I will never, ever sand.
My Market bag. Emblazoned with the wonderful memory of my last trip to Twain Harte with my kids, my most loved sister and her daughter. My niece’s sippy cup leaked in my bag. Every time I see the mark, I remember that amazing car ride as we watched the enormous plume of smoke rising into the sky from the Rim Fire. Pulling over and wondering if we should turn back. But since we were crazy or careless or just plain desperate for a vacation, we continued on.