Beauty In Imperfection Or Perfection In Things Not “Beautiful”

Legend has it that centuries ago in one of Kyoto’s many majestic gardens at the peak of the Japanese autumn, a disciple was asked by his grand old tea master to prepare the garden for an upcoming tea ceremony.  

The young man then proceeded to trim the hedges surrounding the garden, raked the garden’s court and made sure the moss path was immaculate. When done, the garden looked pristine with not a blade of grass nor a tree branch out of place. The grand old tea master then walked and inspected the garden slowly and deliberately. He then stopped by a maple tree, looked up thoughtfully from a few angles and reached up to a low branch and nudged it ever so slightly with his cane, watching the golden-brown leaves fall with grace onto the tidied earth. The disciple puzzlingly asked the tea master why he did what he did. He then whispered to his disciple “There it is now, the magic of imperfection”.  

Diamond for example is often regarded as the universal symbol of purity and perfection. Its value far exceeds that of all other gemstones. However, even the most flawless and colourless diamonds have imperfections such as internal defects and impurities but thankfully, at the minutest atomic level. The fact of the matter is that these “defects” are largely responsible for the clarity (one of the 4Cs that determines the quality of a diamond). They are also being used to differentiate between a natural and an artificial diamond. Another example is when imperfection does not only make something beautiful but also equally useful. 

One then begs the question: Why value imperfection? 

In attempting to answer this type of question, one cannot go terribly wrong by turning to philosophy for a quick and hopefully intelligent answer. I chose Zen. Now, there are many definitions of Zen as there are Zen philosophies and schools. After doing a fair bit of reading, the following definition stood out: “Zen is the art of seeing perfection in imperfection”.  

Being perfect usually means that the painting or house that you are looking at is completed, doesn’t require any further enhancements, has been created wholesome and therefore untouchable hence depriving us to become a part of the creative process that produced it. And so we leave the museum or showroom feeling that there is actually no beauty in what we ourselves can’t see or regard as beauty.  Now, when someone else (hopefully someone famous) starts to regard imperfection as being beautiful or at least acceptably beautiful, this suddenly opens a window of opportunity (and birthright) for us to exercise our own imagination, point of view and creativity to define what beauty is to us. And that is why we find imperfection beautiful for when something resonates with what we deeply believe in, we find it beautiful! 

Learn to appreciate imperfection. Adore heartfelt feelings and experiences that are not caged by the rigid laws of languages, enjoy the sweeping insight of fleetingness and changes in nature. Accept, as a part of who we are, the natural world that we co-exist with all its natural majesty and splendour.

so-called imperfect pearls such as Baroque pearls are also beautiful and captivating and that they are not what they are made out to be. With enough creativity, they can accessorise, complement and highlight the normal pearls and jewellery as they are competitively priced and therefore very much affordable thus widening your collection and choice for pearls necklaces and earrings. There is currently a shift in attitudes surrounding jewellery where imperfectness and not adhering to rules and tradition is gaining acceptance.   

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