The adjective ‘Flawsome’ entered the realm of linguistically blended words, flaw and awesome, through text messaging, blogs and social media channels.
Its conception intended to embrace flaws, with the unapologetic acceptance of surface imperfections, odd quirks and the rough and tumble scars acquired throughout life. The concept of flawsome, however, has been around for quite some time.
The French DaDa artist - Marcel Duchamp created an infamous art piece in 1923 called "The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even". The large composition was created with imagery sandwiched between two glass panels framed together like a window and stood approximately nine feet tall. Duchamp worked on the art project for over eight years. A key component in his artistic statement was that it was to remain unfinished and incomplete. Four years later the large glass panel was accidentally dropped while being transported to an art collector. By a twist of fate the accidental shattering of the glass had added the final artistic touches in a way that Duchamp was unable to accomplish himself; he was extremely pleased with the end result, declaring that the piece was finally completed!
Enveloped with his insights in Buddhist philosophy, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen poetically captures the essence of flawesome. In his song "Anthem" Cohen ever so gently coaches us to contemplate about the self-imposed obsession of attaining perfection and society's collective quest for a Utopian world.
While crooning "there is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in" Cohen serenely delivers the lyrical and very poignant message for mankind to ponder.
How much longer can mankind continue to pursue flawless physiques or perfection in our worldly possessions?
The Zen philosophy known as Wabi-Sabi is a concept that focuses on appreciating the beauty within the naturally imperfect world. This ancient aesthetic deeply embraces the cycle of growth and decay while celebrating flaws, chips and cracks that evolve through the natural wear and tear of time.
Loosely translated, the spirit behind "wabi" is simplicity while capturing the serenity and mood of austere beauty.
"Sabi" may be described as the visual appeal of anything well-worn, faded and aged.
Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete is revered as attractive and highly desired provenance gained through time and age. The patina of a useful life that comes from burnished wood edges, frayed denim jeans and hand polished leather is joyfully sought out and enjoyed for its unpretentious earthy naturalness.
Accidental and happenstantial are key ingredients in both the Wabi-Sabi and flawesome recipe. From a blemish in a heirloom carat to a knitted fault in a hand-made sweater, these unique characteristics are integral in the growing and making of one's earthly belongings and are relished for their inherent quirks and unique distinctive traits.
Deeply connected to Wabi-Sabi is the repairing of prized broken ceramic objects called Kintsugi in Japan. The pieces in the repair are glued together first and the cracks are then sealed with real gold. The obviously damaged object is celebrated for its flaws and is given a rebirth, finding a new purpose and acceptance for beauty within the imperfect. Gemstones and polished sea glass are often used in the repair of severely damaged areas, adding grace and dignity to the vessel's second life with skill laden artistry.
Wabi-Sabi concepts and flawsome principles can bridge in and touch everything in our lives - from food to personal relationships. Making a meal should be a creative, joyful act focused on nurturing ones well being. By improvising the recipe with ingredients on hand, like using basil versus thyme and enjoying the fresh textures of regionally grown heirloom veggies, one is joined to the heartbeat of what is flawsome. In relationships, the same principle applies by quietly accepting the idiosyncrasies of an individual's personality. A friend’s oddities may be embraced as endearing rather than being critically chastised for their uniquely eccentric quirks and foibles.
The majority of us are raised from childhood to strive for the ideals of perfection and are driven through life's journey to achieve the extraordinary. The daunting pressure of attaining and maintaining the exceptionally high standard of perfection is rapidly depleting our global resources and mentally exhausting the human spirit. With the shedding of expectations and disengagement from meticulous behaviours while accepting flaws and faults - mankind can collectively take a gigantic step forward.
Cocoon yourself in a favorite pair of well worn jeans, saddle into a weathered old chair and relish eating from a chipped vintage pottery bowl.
These subtle messages of daily acceptance bring us to the essence of a life well lived while soulfully embracing what is naturally flawsome!