Wabi Sabi

Getting lost and embracing a Wabi Sabi wordlview

Have you ever found yourself lost in another realm daydreaming? I don’t know about you, but I often find myself getting lost in thoughts (dans la lune); thinking about a panoply of matters ranging from the mundane day to day stuff, to the big ticket items impacting our collective human experience on earth. 

Many years ago, during one of our many adventures to Vermont, my husband and I met and became friends with a couple of great humans. As we got to know each other, I was enamored and learned that one of them professionally trained as a potter, some four decades ago. Today, he is known as a master potter, and over the last few years, I have discovered his pottery pieces peppered across the beautiful green state of Vermont. 

Inspired by our new friend’s craft, and his beautiful studio (including a walk-in kiln) set
in majestic hills, just north of Montpelier, I embarked on my own journey of learning the
process of making pottery. I set out to explore who I could learn from in my home
community. How lucky am I to be surrounded by artisans in the beautiful Gatineau Hills?
I had no shortage of options and eventually signed-up to learn from a local potter and

This past spring and summer I learned about the science and magic that goes into turning
a blob of clay into a beautiful piece of pottery. Over the following eight weeks, I had to
loosen up and let go my urge for perfection. I learned that I could not always be in
control, and that in fact, the process of making pottery becomes more pleasant when you
embrace the unknown.

By the end of my first foray into the world of pottery-making, I had gone full circle and
found myself getting lost again… but this time in a different realm. I soon began to lose
any sense of time. I had somehow discovered the joys and benefits of moving from being
within my mind to becoming mindful and being lost in the art of creating with my hands.
During a recent trip back to Vermont, I gifted a piece of pottery to our dear friends. True
to myself, I presented the gift with a caveat that it was my first piece and certainly was
far from perfect… After all, I was fully aware that I was presenting a novice piece of
pottery to a master potter. They quickly responded that the piece was just perfect and set
in time. Its imperfections were a true gift. They told us about wabi sabi, a Japanese term
used to describe a world view focussed on recognizing and embracing the beauty and
uniqueness of the unfinished, the imperfect and the impermanent. They encouraged me to
learn about it and embrace it as a perspective on life.

Samuel Breau