artist in garage studio with large handmade planter with tray. Celadon blue green.

wabi sabi thoughts

This napkin is a glimpse into my inner world.

I used two highlighters and a pen, and doodled while I was having conversations with people I love.

My brain needs white noise to stay connected to a thread. Rote physical motion is fine, but creativity unleashed is better. I get distracted, sidetracked, clumsy, my thoughts making pirouettes, spiraling downwards. I struggle to stay present.

I sometimes think my own special hell is that I am in heaven, but my every thought comes equipped with it's own panic button set for nuclear annihilation.

Staring at these doodles, I see my thoughts with more compassion.

Not black and white but definitely binary in some form. Categorized in flags of green for growth and yellow for caution. I am fearful, nihilistic, existential and moody. I am hopeful, idealistic, radical, and full of wonder.

I’m stubborn, impulsive, symbolized by the single pen used to draw these forms. Sometimes my thoughts are linear, but oftentimes they meander with no real structure until the larger image is formed. The trail they take is organic and undefined. I seemingly cannot be swayed from stomping off the beaten path.

When looking at this napkin, it makes sense why constructs that are rigid like calendars and time seem to leak through the cracks. My mind gravitates towards natural forms, their chaotic organization runs in a symbiotic harmony that no human structure has yet achieved.

Wabi sabi, beautiful as it is.


Ephemeral in essence.

There’s something bittersweet about the doodles having been drawn on this canvas.  A drop of water and the whole landscape changes, already one or two forms have lost their hues. Reminding me that those moments already have altered and changed me, we can hold on and also let go.

"To live is to change, to die one hundred deaths." -Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver

I had a hard time throwing this napkin away. It sat on my dining table, shuffled around for a few weeks. I decided to keep it as a physical keepsake of cherished quiet conversations, and now it’s taped up next to my wheel living out its finite days.


This is why I create.

To embrace the imperfection, the flaws, and still have compassion: if I am unable to do this for self, how could I do this for others?

Because in trying to describe my own flavor of neurodivergence, I’ve revealed that really we are all the same. We live a paradox of demanding individuality while craving collective security, all the while, trying to explain the scars and tell our story. This complexity is what designs our unique individuality, and in accepting this as good and true, we strengthen a collective humanity towards good and truth.

To be perfectly imperfect is to be human. It is wabi sabi.


When I share my art, I hope you feel the pinch of my soul, telling you: “You are not alone. Feel, take a deep breath and ground yourself in the little moments where life is lived. Yes, change is bitter, but that makes life even sweeter. You are perfectly imperfect. You are good.”

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