The start of a new, imperfect chapter
Welcome to my twenty-third Thursday post. Whether you’ve been getting my emails since day one, are newly subscribed, or joined somewhere along the way, thanks for reading!
I began writing “Three Thing Thursdays” around Halloween last year. After fumbling with the scope of Turtle’s Pace throughout 2021, focusing on three, helpful ideas gave me focus.
But it’s time to pivot. I want to make this newsletter better for everyone, so you can expect a few changes:
One idea per newsletter. I will feature one strong idea, not three semi-related things, which should make reading faster and the idea crisper.
Weekly, not biweekly. I’m ramping up the frequency. Instead of receiving an email from me every other Thursday, expect a weekly newsletter.
New banners. I’m retiring the “Thursday” banners. I hope the gif helps you memorialize these wonky designs. But fear not! The dynamic banners will continue, but they’ll say “Turtle’s Pace” instead. Something, something, consistent brand, something, something.
Good idea? Bad idea? Let me know what you think.
Speaking of my wonky & imperfect designs, let me present today’s idea:
Picture a small clay bowl. It’s not quite a perfect circle. There’s a dimple on its rim and a chip on its side. This bowl is wabi-sabi (侘寂). Traditional Japanese aesthetics revolved around this concept of “flawed beauty.” A wabi-sabi object evokes a sense of “serene melancholy and spiritual longing.” You see the little bowl and feel a bit sad. Not depressed, but reflective, wishing to be part of something more.
While there’s no direct translation, wabi roughly meant “alone or separate from others,” and sabi meant “withered or capable of rust.” Things apart from others are imperfect, wanting to be part of the collective soul. Items capable of rust are impermanent, transient to this world. With time, the words gathered more positive connotations but retained their original sentiment:
wabi = imperfect
sabi = impermanent
Intellectual appropriation aside, many artists, writers, and programmers adopt the ethos of wabi-sabi in their creative process. They accept that their creations are imperfect, never finished, and will vanish in the sands of time—especially salient for digital products like videos or apps. But this state is a hard pill to swallow. My ego likes to believe that my work will give me a sense of immortality. Still, I know this is untrue—my imperfect little stories and websites will eventually disappear. However, the mere act of creation helps me inch closer toward a wisp of spiritual fulfillment. It lets me feel, if only for a moment, that I’m part of something more.
Or am I just rationalizing my bad doodles?
For your summer travel: tips from a man who visited all 193 countries.
Explore these point-in-time maps.
Experience the white noise of these loud cities.
Thanks for reading Turtle's Pace! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.