Constant Motion

Topiary Park, January 12, 2013

Topiary Park, January 12, 2013

Excerpt from Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Kohen

Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness...While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness.

But we can't really determine by cursory observation whether something is in the evolving or devolving mode. If we didn't know differently we might mistake the newborn baby boy—small, wrinkled, bent, a little grotesque looking—for the very old man on the brink of death.

In representations of wabi-sabi, arbitrarily perhaps, the devolving dynamic generally tends to manifest itself in things a little darker, more obscure, and quiet. Things evolving tend to be a little lighter and brighter, a bit clearer, and slightly more eye-arresting.

And nothingness itself—instead of being empty space—is alive with possibility. In metaphysical terms, wabi-sabi suggests that the universe is in constant motion toward or away from potential.