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22 May 2016

Wabi Sabi Korean Bowl (+ "On the Soul-Sustaining Necessity of Resisting Self-Comparison")

I brought this amazing and unique wabi sabi handmade bowl back with me from South Korea in 2013. Wabi sabi is not easily described in words, but when I teach my workshops and private painting mentoring online, I often share my thoughts on handmade objects, and the spirit and gesture embedded in them. If you're interested, Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren is the seminal 1994 classic volume on the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. This painting is part of my Paintings of Handmade Pottery work, here's another wabi sabi bowl of mine from Patagonia, Arizona, and here's a 2013 post of mine about wabi sabi.

Renowned writer Maria Popova recently delivered the commencement address to the 2016 graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, her alma mater. I wanted to share an excerpt with you:
"Whatever your specific vocation, your role as a creator of culture will be to help people discern what matters in the world and why by steering them away from the meaningless and toward the meaningful. E.B. White said that the role of the writer is to lift people up, not to lower them down, and I believe that’s the role of every journalist and artist and creator of culture. 
Strive to be uncynical, to be a hope-giving force, to be a steward of substance. Choose to lift people up, not to lower them down — because it is a choice, always, and because in doing so you lift yourself up. 
Develop an inner barometer for your own value. Resist pageviews and likes and retweets and all those silly-sounding quantification metrics that will be obsolete within the decade. Don’t hang the stability of your soul on them. They can’t tell you how much your work counts for and to whom. They can’t tell you who you are and what you’re worth. They are that demoralizing electric bike that makes you feel if only you could pedal faster — if only you could get more pageviews and likes and retweets — you’d be worthier of your own life." [Source]
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