Can you find "adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence"?
I’m reading The Book of Tea by Kazuko Okakura, written in the very early 20th century to introduce the Western world to the art of the tea ceremony of Japan.
In the very first paragraph, she writes:
The 15th century saw Japan ennoble tea into a religion of aestheticism – Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in the impossible thing we know as life.
I find these lines to be quite enchanting. I have sat through the tea ceremony once in my life, and I was moved. Each simple motion was deliberate and refined. Nothing was wasted. Nothing was extraneous. The tea itself was very bitter and served with sweet rice confections.
I taught English to a group of Japanese teachers of English for a year a long time ago. They each wrote an essay at the end of the year, and I remember one in particular after all this time. She wrote about finding pleasure in very mundane things like vacuuming.
Have you ever found beauty in ordinary activities?