I remember being spellbound when I first came across the concept of Wabi Sabi. It was late afternoon on a cold November day more than twenty years ago. I was gazing out my office window, enjoying the western sky as it turned shades of crimson with splashes of orange light around the setting sun. I picked up a magazine and came across an article with a striking black-and-white photograph of a large Asian urn sitting on a pedestal, with a long, crooked crack down the middle. The crack was highlighted by gallery lighting. Huh? It did not compute. The headline read, "The Art of Wabi Sabi."

Curious, I began reading about this exotic-sounding phrase. In the world of Wabi Sabi, the urn in the photograph was even more beautiful and valued because of the crack, because of its imperfection. Singer and poet Leonard Cohen clearly expressed this basic Wabi Sabi principle in his haunting song "Anthem": "Ring the bells that still can ring; forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in."

Seeing the ways that Wabi Sabi helps to illuminate the hidden beauty in life had an immediate and profound impact on me, and it wasn't long before I began to realize how this ancient art form relates to love. So many things began to make sense. I mean, I already knew I wasn't perfect and wasn't capable of perfection, but I had never entertained the idea that not only should I not strive for perfection, but that my imperfection is in its own way more valuable than perfection itself.

Arielle Ford, Wabi Sabi Love