Christmas message 2018

As we celebrate Christmas 2018, let us reflect upon the wabi-sabi of life. This is a Japanese term about accepting and celebrating the imperfect and temporariness of life.  From Wikipedia:
“In traditional Japanese aestheticswabi-sabi () is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.[2] The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[3] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching…”
The reason I am urging this concept is that as the years go by, we all age (and physically deteriorate as we become elderly). I feel the impermanence due to the recent deaths of Tucson activists whom I knew along the campaign trail, Claudia Ellquist and Dave Ewoldt, Green Party members who ran (respectively) for Pima County Attorney and  State Senate. It’s hard to believe both are gone, as well as strong Democratic educator Georgia Cole Brousseau, formerly on the PCC Governing Board. Their powerful voices for social justice, education, and the environment will be missed.

Wabi- sabi also teaches to enjoy and appreciate the imperfect.  Recently I found a green bowl at my parent’s home, which had a small chip on the edge. Instead of throwing it away, I kept it as a shampoo and soap holder. The bowl is beautiful, no longer perfectly intact, but still pleasing (and functional) in its marred state.
All of our lives are temporary but we don’t need to dwell on our mortality, but enjoy our happy times, as we gather with family and friends for Christmas.  Of course Christmas is a Christian holiday, so celebrate (or not) as you choose, religiously (or not).  Every moment is transitory, every moment is indeed fleeting.
Season’s greetings and happy holidays from us at Blog for Arizona.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. What a wonderful concept and so well written. May all who read this take it to heart. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    • Thanks Tori. It is a useful concept when things break or disappear in your life (lost, stolen), then you just try to accept things are they evolve, and appreciate what you have/had. Happy holidays to you & Lori.

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