Monday, May 2, 2016

Tuscan Tiles tell tales of the wabi sabi

Hi there. Wabi sabi appeared on my day's horizon this morning as I try my hardest to get started with the packing. The house move is in less than ten days and I have yet to make a start! I'd rather dream up new colour schemes and planting ideas for the new garden or read or blog; anything other than doing what actually needs to be done!
Tiles I saw in Siena two years ago occupy my mind today. So, I looked at this old post, edited a few lines I don't like any more and decided to share. I do hope this little bit of blogging will give me the boost I need to go back to my mundane and find magic there:)

Tuscan tiles
on a wall
of an ordinary
as they go up
and come down
morning, evening and noon.



We jostle past each other-
struggling with maps,
looking at our phone screens,
trying to make it to the
parking meter
before the ticket
runs out.
Seeing the tiles
but not seeing them
because we have
for the day!

in our zombie-like state

Wabi sabi of my life embraces me
and begs me to look at the beauty of my naturally imperfect world.

I see the sights
that don't make it
to the
'sightseeing' list.
And feel content.

My unmade bed and
messy kitchen counter
can no longer stop me from
relishing the latest
Khalid Hosseini novel.
The  overflowing laundry basket
has lost its power
to stop me from
enjoying a lie in
on a Friday morning.

Joint pains
this summer
reminded me
that life is too short
to worry about perfect place settings
to enjoy
a meal with my friends.

The tiles tell tales
of the wabi sabi.
It's cool to be scratched, chipped, faded and jaded-
as long as
you are you.
you have
the time
not  just on facebook
but face to face,too.

I hope to go down this road
of wabi sabi
one baby step
at a time.
It's a journey
I know,
for I still use henna to hide
my greys and
have hit more 'likes'
in the last one week
than have
a tangible

If you are wondering about wabi sabi, here's an extract from an article I love to read:
Wabi sabi is asymmetrical heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery, crow's feet and the frayed sleeves of a favorite wool sweater, exposed brick and the first draft of a difficult letter. 
You won't find wabi sabi in Botox, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones, or the drive for relentless self-improvement. It's a beauty hidden right in front of our eyes, an aesthetic of simplicity that reveals itself only when animated through the daily work of living.

I do wonder about the future of our race when I watch people zipping in and out of elevators, doors, offices, homes (yes), cars, museums, churches and restaurants.

Let's not even get into what happens indoors- scenes of a family sitting down for a meal without a word being said because everyone is on their phone sends shivers down my spine.

These are fleeting moments when a mute tile or a torn paper bag captures all that is beautiful in this transient world, but we miss it.

I, for one, want to slow down now and live in the moment- notice these mundane imperfections before time takes them or me away.

And now for the tiles that captivated me in Siena, Itlay; stuck on an escalator walls near San Francesco car park which is near the church of San Francesco.

Commuters around me looked at me quizzically while I clicked.  The husband, of course, had given up long ago and was making his way back to the car park!

Parking in Siena can be a daunting experience in the summer- especially around the 2nd of July and the 16th of August (Palio days) as the city centre is a limited traffic area. So you park in any one of the parking lots dotted around the city and take an escalator to go up into the city.

If you are planning a trip, this is a good site to start your research to find a parking lot. The importance of an early start and a bit of research to ensure a hassle free parking experience can not be stressed enough.

A few other wabi sabi clicks from Siena...

Another elevator wall...

Have you had a wabi sabi moment today?
Have a lovely ordinary day:)


  1. I was not familiar with wabi-sabi before this. Love the idea and love your interpretation of it! I like things that I have made by hand, which are not always the best quality, nor have the finest finish. But I value them more than store-bought perfections. I value them because of what I learn when I make them and what they represent every time I use and see them. I guess this is my wabi-sabi thought. Thanks for teaching me something new every time I read your blog! :)

    1. Your wabi sabi thought is beautiful Shweta. Store bought perfection can never compare with a home made/hand made piece. Thank you for your kind comments:) xx

  2. Arti, I just loved what you wrote and those beautiful pieces & photos... oh my... Yes, they all do speak to me, one way or another. Your words just ran off my tongue & i found myself thinking "ah, so true" after every line. ;-) So glad we found each other. I'll be back for another good visit soon. xx

    1. Thank you Pauline. Yes, despite my 'love/hate' relationship with the modern day gadgets, I'm thankful for blogging- coz I found you:) xx

  3. Loved your poem, moved me inside. Thanks for sharing ..the tiles are simply beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much Seema. I'm so glad when things I feel ring true with you, too. love and hugs. xx

  4. Arti, Beautiful interpretation as always and every time I read your poems I am more amazed of your talent every single time... and those tiles are just lovely!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Prasanna and for stopping by:) xx

  5. dear arti, you are such an artist! it's always a treat to visit your site! i LOVE tiles, and these are gorgeous! love the spontaneous mix of styles! xx

    1. Two emotions Ananda- one of elation and the other of disbelief- on being called an 'artist' by you who I consider a super talented human with a beautiful soul. THANK u:) If you ever visit Siena- you'll love this wall- it's a riot of styles. xxx


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts and comments here.