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Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Wabi-Sabi Find

At Art and Soul Retreats we have Vendor Night on Saturday evenings. I had a table where I had copies of my book for sale and some art pieces. I was wandering around looking at other tables and booths before the event officially opened. I came upon a booth called Vintage Passementerie. I've seen the owner Margaret's stall frequently at Monticello Antiques here in Portland. I perused some antique Japanese prints and talked with Margaret about my love of wabi-sabi. She disappeared for a moment and then reappeared with the most lovely book I've ever seen! Reader, I fell in love at first sight. I happily parted with enough money to become the custodian of this lovely and most wabi-sabi item.

The book is really a series of Japanese account books, intricately bound together with rope. Each section has a tab. Some of the pages are blank, but each section contains plenty of breathtaking calligraphy. 

Both the top and bottom covers of the book has a large, exuberant, calligraphy character on it.

Many books bound together

The front of the book with tabs for each section
Imagine a world where something so potentially uninteresting as an account book could become almost a sacred object! Well, really, it is a sacred object because the design and the craftmanship with which it was made and used, must have lent itself to a mindful and appreciative carrying out of a daily task. At the same time, this book was not made for show. It is just itself, humble and beautiful.  Part of the art of everyday life.

P.S. I am not going to cut this book up! I'll scan some of the pages and print them out on lightweight paper. 

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