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  • Denise Frakes

Creating you love...that loves you

One of my first exposures to what community is comes from a book called Wabi-Sabi for Writers. by Richard R. Powell. This book, is for everyone...yes writers...and everyone else. It teaches us how to live beautifully. It has an amazing chapter on community. One I highly recommend to us all. One I've read and re-read...and apparently forgot and need to reread. Such is life.

Before I begin our chat on community, and that's what this blog is ...a beginning of a conversation on community, I'd like to give you a few definitions to chew on.

Furyu: "The expansion of appreciation for beauty both in nature and in unlikely and unnoticed places." "A way of living that gradually expands a person's sense of beauty, taste, and aesthetic appreciation." "It takes a long time to develop furyu; it takes trial and error. You try things and see what they do to you, develop your taste, open yourself to the unusual, the different, and the beauty that others miss or overlook."

The Way of Elegance: "Involves a combination of courtly grace and rural charm." "If you follow this path and someone you love is injured or dies, you will feel deep sorrow and loss, but because you have developed your ability to see beauty, because you have opened yourself to the constant flow of things, your brain will remain balanced an you will discover other attachments rising to compensate for your loss. You will notice things to be thankful for; you will see beauty and poetry shining from the darkness." "The Way of Elegance prepares you for loss and pain; it does not resolve or remove them." It's getting a PhD and still grasping the brilliant wisdom of simplicity, your beginnings.

Community: "The true self is the self beyond your individual ability. It is revealed in community. If the group is in touch with furyu, one person's verse will inspire another to produce a poem with similar beauty. It is a kind of magnification of beauty one beautiful verse inspiring another and so on. This experience is hard to duplicate in any other way." I love this...especially us inspiring each other's poetry.

Wabi-Sabi: "Represents a way of being that celebrates the beauty of age, the richness of character, the importance of imperfection, and the reality of impermanence." Wabi-Sabi sees all times, places and people. Beyond what is flashy beauty. Wabi-Sabi sees beauty in loss, in ugliness, in the flower brave enough to bloom on the side of the road.

I share these a beginning. These words are hard to define by mere words. They must be felt, traveled with, experienced. They need to grow on you, with you...kind of like moss or fungus or a tree with deep roots, or winter.

There are a few Wabi-Sabi books and type of books in my library. I read them over and over again and still feel I've only grasped a flicker of this life. Seeing beauty in everyone, everyday, in loss, in mornings and nights. It's a rich appreciation and awe of life that you wake up to, learn to see, to feel to love. This kind of beauty of seeing of a life long journey.

The definitions here all come from one of my favorite Wabi-Sabi. Richard R. Powell writes about writing. You don't need to be a writer to love this book. As I look over it again this morning to find quotes...I'm drawn back in. Like a vacuum grabbing my dog, Thomas's black hair from below the heater. Swoosh and it's gone.

I want to read the chapter on community again. it helps me see the potential of community. I move away from feeling I'm a group leader and back to a humble learner, incomplete, imperfect, curiously traveling and discovering. In our groups, our circles, our communities...I want everyone to feel loved, welcome, valued, appreciated, heard, seen, celebrated. With all our bumps and lumps those beautiful marks left behind from life...they are welcome too. To be authentically and unfinished ..and loved.

Rounding the year and feeling like a beginner feels good.

Happy Travels my friend,


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