Beauty in Imperfection

I drew a fourth creative action this morning, the equivalent of pulling back on an arrow of desire in preparation for letting it fly. I was delighted to select:

Create a new vignette. 

I enjoy this creative project and I have an assortment of vignettes throughout my house. I especially like creating vignettes in pieces such as my old suitcase or in my vintage wooden sieve, however a shelf or table top works well too. 

Vignettes are slices of life, small scenes, that follow a theme. The fun for me is in gathering items from around my house, to create a fresh grouping that expresses an idea. I could go buy items to create a new vignette, but I prefer being inspired by what I already have. An idea begins to take shape and then it becomes a scavenger hunt to find items in my house to support that idea. 

Here is how a vignette comes together for me. 

When I drew today’s activity, I opened up to creative energy. I wanted to create a vignette that used pieces I’d never used together before. This lovely shell came to mind. I found it at Greg’s parents’ house in Arkansas. When I cleaned it up I discovered it had been broken before and repaired. But it is still gorgeously iridescent. Wabi sabi…beauty in imperfection…came to mind. I knew I wanted to build a vignette around this item. 

With the shell in mind, I selected a scarf and a large crocheted vintage doily. The blue scarf topped with the delicate white doily made me think of water with foamy waves crashing into shore. I’m imaginative, I’m know! The linens belonged to my grandmother. 

The fun begins then. I played around with arranging different items together. Because the interior of the sieve I’m using is fairly small, I stayed with the rule of three. The blue vase was a gift from my grandson Dayan years ago. The sea shells mug was handed down from a friend. To vary the heights, a small glass candle holder was tucked under the doily, and the mug placed atop it. I added clear glass rocks to the large shell and tucked tea lights inside it and the mug. The shell made me think of pearls. I strung a necklace across the shell. 

I trimmed the daisies down, as they seemed too tall. Better. And tried a clear glass globe candle holder. I liked this look as well. I may go back and forth between using this globe and the sea shells mug.

It’s a fresh vignette. Simple. Beautiful. 

The accompanying thought that arose as I completed my vignette was simple too and profound to me. I use items from the past to create these vignettes, finding new uses for these old pieces. My past is not something I want to dwell in. I want to live right here, in the now. 

Bringing a past thought into this present moment, and reframing it in the light of who I am now and what I have learned, is a way to create fresh “vignettes” with my memories. Doing so allows me to see my past, and therefore myself, differently, especially pieces of my past that I’ve considered difficult, flawed, broken. 

Wabi sabi works in my life as well. I have broken pieces that have been repaired, just like my large shell. I can look at myself as unflinchingly as I look at the shell and see beyond the hurts and the fragments of who I was, to the beauty of who I am becoming. I can look at others in the same fresh, open way. 

I am whole. They are whole. We are wabi sabi. We are beautiful in our imperfections. 

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