Today, walking through Kathmandu Durbar Square (See my travel blog entitled: Kathmandu Day 2- Durbar Square & Freak Street if you are interested in where I got my inspiration for this piece), I was reminded of a Japanese legend that I’d like to share with you today.
According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen no Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden. Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.
To this day, the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood to his very core a deep cultural thread known as wabi-sabi.
Due to the devastating 2015 Earthquake in Nepal, much of Durbar Square was destroyed but now the rebuilding and restoration is proceeding. With the many tell-tale signs of repair and restoration in progress, there was beauty everywhere; from the cracks in the brick work to the remains of fallen buildings.
And this beauty in the imperfect is known to the Japanese people as wabi-sabi. I will keep this blog post brief as I have a feeling that I will find more wabi-sabi in Nepal that will inspire me to write about this topic again.
Update: I did find more INSPIRATION to write about wabi-sabi again, please click on the following link if you would like to read more about it: Nayapul to Ulleri.