Walking across the busy intersection of 124th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City, we were astonished find a soda can so perfectly squashed on the street that its straw was intact. It seemed like the work of a visionary pop artist but was, in fact, one of the millions of tiny, ordinary miracles that go unnoticed every day. We had to wait for the light to turn green to take a picture, even as we dodged cars threatening to turn.  We emailed a photo to a friend who titled it:

refreshing summer drink preserved for eternity

We are sorry we did not try to pick it off the pavement to take home. It seems so curiously….wabi-sabi…in a modern street-life sort of way.  Every passage we read in our treasured Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers seems to apply to the squashed can:

Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness…Wabi-sabi, in its purest, most idealized form, is precisely about these delicate traces, this faint evidence, at the borders of nothingness…

…While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness.


Sally Schneider


…things wabi-sabi often appear odd, misshapen, awkward or what many people would consider ugly. Things wabi-sabi may exhibit the effects of accident…or they may show the result of just letting things happen by chance…

The closer things get to nonexistence, the more exquisite and evocative they become.

Beauty can spontaneously occur at any moment given the proper circumstances, context, or point of view. Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.



We find that the more we practice seeing what is around us, the more that “altered state of consciousness” and “extraordinary moments of poetry and grace” become commonplace.

We wish you just THAT as you wander through your day!

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3 replies on “Wabi-Sabi Soliloquy for a Squashed Summer Drink

  1. Wabi-Sabi, dear IL, just one of the wonderful things you have introduced me to. As always, thank you

  2. And what could be a more wonderful wish?
    Here’s to the art of Truth – seeing what is.
    Thanks for your daily wonderfulness,

  3. An interesting found object!!!

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