A Gnarl of Beauty


It finds beauty and harmony in what is simple, imperfect, modest, natural, and mysterious.

[Rarasaur’s Prompt for the Promptless | Wabi-sabi]

Whilst out hunting the lark, Tim and I happened upon such a thing of imperfect beauty. A gnarl. A lovely log, thrown off to the side with the other rejects.

Gnarl Profile 1

A gnarl is defined as a “knotty protuberance on a tree”. It appears to be some kind of over active growth of cells forming into these knots in trees. They are not in any way harmful to the tree; they are merely an imperfection.

Gnarl profile 2

It stole my heart right away. Both Tim and I were very enamored with our gnarl.

I’m not sure what I want to do with it. I’m thinking of creating some sort of cage to lay over it and work into a coffee table of some sort. I think it would be fabulous. I would want the cage to just hug the log, no nails. So whatever the material is would have to be bent to work around it, to rest on it. Or, just leave it the way it is. Conversation starter at the very least … “hey, what’s with the Predator log in the corner?”

Gnarl Profile 3

I really do admire the Japanese aesthetic, that quiet rustic elegance. It is like the softer, more gentle reflection of nature. Not nature itself, but rather an hommage to it. The very essence, at its core, is that beautiful, raw aliveness; with all it’s bends and gnarls.

Gnarl Profle 4

For more of the GNARL – see my other blog – PaulaB | through a lens only

21 thoughts on “A Gnarl of Beauty

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      • It would be neat if you could make it look like one of those puzzles (brainteasers?) that hold an object within it. Especially if you finish the wood of the cage, to contrast it. Polished caging natural.


        • Yeah… I like the language of that … in ancient times when people met they would often converse through puzzles, to test there personalities against one another. I’ve seen where they say Solomon and the Queen of Sheba conversed in such a way when they met.

          Now there you go..I’m going to have to sketch something out. Maybe do a follow-up post… :) Thank you


  5. I love this.my partner and I have a bookthat call the Wabi sabi.in it we write all of our life plans.what Beautiful word.thank you for sharing


  6. Love the first shot, Paula. I thought it was a big mushroom. I love how it now lives as thing of beauty in your house and heart. For some reason, all I could think about was Gnarls Barkley. :)


    • Had to look Gnarls up…soul singer…:) That piece can look like as many things as you can imagine…that’s what I love about it. It has a bit of the shape-shifter about it.


  7. I’m pretty sure I’d love any story that starts, “Whilst out hunting the lark”, but this one doubly won over my heart because that gnarl is EXACTLY the sort of thing I’d pick up and bring home. It’s beautiful! :) How big is it? A fist, or a loaf of bread? Oh, and thank you for participating in Prompts for the Promptless!! :D


    • Your welcome :) It’s 19in long, 8in deep … it is not small. And its blawdy heavy. I saw Kozo’s post and I went straight over and read the prompt, knew right away what I’d do. Great idea, BTW


  8. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 1 – Wabi Sabi | rarasaur

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