My legs are a map of misadventures — pedals to the shins, hiking turned to bushwhacking — and the backs of my hands are proof that I used to be a terrible crack climber.

The best people I know bear the scars and battle wounds of hard living, and that’s what makes them so interesting. Swollen knuckles, skinned knees, bruised elbows, the occasional bloody nose…I love being around people who weigh the consequences and risk the fall; people are most beautiful to me when they have failed, gotten up, and tried again.

The cycle of failure and recovery makes us humble and compassionate. It’s hard — of course it’s hard — to stand back up, but it must be worse never to have fallen, never to have gained the perspective that comes from the ground. How boring.

“Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all…Wabi-sabi reminds us that we are all transient beings on this planet — that our bodies, as well as the material world around us, are in the process of returning to dust…Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace both the glory and the melancholy found in these marks of passing time.” — Utne Reader