Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our Biscuits Are, In A Sense, Wabi Sabi

I've mentioned the term Wabi Sabi on many occasions. A few have come forth and inquired about this term. Is this a word we made up? Does Wabi Sabi really exist? What is it? Wabi Sabi exists. Although a silly sounding term, this philosophy has been around for centuries.

Wabi Sabi "is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is the beauty of things modest and humble. It is the beauty of things unconventional." 

As Noble Harbor so eloquently puts it, "Wabi Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. It's simple, slow and uncluttered and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi Sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores, aged wood, not Pergo, rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leaves behind."

Wabi Sabi fills our home. For those who have visited, well, it's obvious. We adore unique finds at flea markets and antique stores. You won't find anything from Crate & Barrel, JCPenney Home or Pier 1 Imports. Our choice of decor leans towards all things vintage, retro, antique, re-purposed and items we've refinished. And, we support local artisans. Handmade is always preferred.

Earlier this year, my mother-in-law said our home has a museum quality. It's homey. Inviting. Simple. Wabi Sabi.

You don't have to be a flea market enthusiast to embrace Wabi Sabi. Some devote their life to it while others have scattered reminders that beauty can be found in all things imperfect. Maybe you have a vase that's been passed down from your great-great grandmother. It's chipped and worn. Well used. Weathered. Or, rather, a trinket from your childhood in less than desirable condition. It could be anything, really.

I have a small teddy bear sitting on a wood chest. It's pathetic in appearance. However, it was a gift given to me the day I was born. The teddy bear has endured over 40 years of wear and tear, moving, the elements, etc. He's my Wabi Sabi bear.

Wabi Sabi is reflected in our attitude, one we've gravitated towards over the years, and our choice to hang on tight to old-school. Our lifestyle is humble. Unconventional. We're not impressed with shiny, new objects of desire or big houses. Simple is better. Being satisfied with what you have, in the here and now, creates a sense of being content. And, when one is content, it alleviates the urgency to acquire bigger, better, newer.

Our biscuits are, in a sense, Wabi Sabi. They're not uniform in shape, size and thickness. Humble. Nothing fancy. Our decorated biscuits (swizzled with sprinkles) aren't elaborate, high-end or smothered in layers of royal icing and edible bling. We take pride in simple goodness. That's what our biscuits reflect. Wabi Sabi.

Let's be honest here, the visual appeal of gourmet, fancy biscuits is geared more for the "hoomans" than anything. Dogs aren't going to base their preference for a biscuit on how "pretty" it is. They don't care. As long as it tastes good, they'll gobble with gusto.

Occasionally, people have offered up suggestions that we should upgrade our biscuits or spend a little more time on the "fancy stuff." You know, make 'em more visually appealing. This is usually followed by, "You know, like the ones at (bleep). Their biscuits are decorated so pretty with icing and lettering and they're bordered with more icing...like a cake."

And you also paid $4.00 for one biscuit. That's over $40 for a dozen. 

The biscuits we bake and offer, both plain and swizzled with sprinkles, will continue to be Wabi Sabi. We're not a business. Our mission is to provide Bodacious Biscuit Love to shelter and rescue pups. We offer our biscuits to the public for a small donation. Every bag helps us pay it forward to the pups in need and every week we deliver and ship biscuits to animal shelters and those who rescue and foster. The pups who receive our biscuits haven't turned up their noses at the un-posh appearance. It's quite the opposite. If allowed, they'd probably polish off an entire bag. We are humbled by this.

That's our Wabi Sabi. And, we're stickin' to it. 

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