Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi
Contemporary Wabi Sabi tea bowl

Greater minds than mine have studied why human beings, perhaps in today´s society more than ever, seem to strive toward perfection.  Life is shockingly inherently messy and chaotic so, is an urge for perfection seen as some sort of talisman for good luck, for protection, success, happiness, assuredness?  This is never more evident than when planning a wedding. Some couples seek or crave a “perfect” day and get upset if things don´t go according to plan.  But. Sigh.  So many things are beyond our control at weddings particuarly if you are optimistic and brave enough to get married outside. If there are any animals, people or children involved, (which, ahem, inevitably there will be) well then, you´d better hang on to  your very nice wedding hat… When I was starting out as a celebrant, I observed a ceremony conducted by a highly experienced colleague who turned to me, and said, most sagely and rather wryly,  “The chances are something will go wrong today Lorna …and the chances are it won´t matter a bit.” In fact, as one groom said to me, “I shall be disappointed if nothing goes wrong today Lorna, something going wrong means the ceremony will be memorable and give us something to smile about and talk about in the years to come.”

In a nutshell, if the peacocks fly into the centre of the rose garden and start strutting their stuff and squawking (or, shudder,  perhaps worse)  just as the couple exchange their vows; if the ring bearer – four legged or two -” Can´t understand it, she is normally so responsible” – momentarily legs it and has to be retrieved;  if the flower girl pulls a very public and sour face when the happy couple have their first (admittedly seriously yukky) kiss; if the darned dog has to be rugby tackled by the best man, – what a hero! – in order to rescue the wedding cake; if it starts pouring with rain the moment the ceremony starts and the sun comes out just as it finishes…well, I´m sure you get the picture.

Of course, everyone wants their ceremony to go well and I know all involved, from your photographer to the person who makes the wedding cake, will be completely professional and do their absolute utmost to make your event go swimmingly.  Perhaps though we would all have a lot more fun and be a lot calmer if we were  a little bit more realistic,  lightened up a tad and and tolerated just a teeny, teeny  bit of imperfection here and there? Let´s just take the pressure off.  Why, the Japanese even have a term for it!  It´s called “wabi sabi” and it means the philosophy of living a perfectly, imperfect life.

Hope your wonderful day goes (im) perfectly well!

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