In Praise of Imperfection
September 3, 2009

Waking with thoughts, I remember a quote:

"If one strains to seek perfection, in a moment he has marred it."
(Instruction of Amenemope)

As I hunted for the file I saved in which resides that quote, I scanned a file name:

In Praise of Shyness, Solitude, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder...


I, the awkward one, wonders...

Web access down for the moment, I bring up the file, and see a paragraph, the gist of the article:

"Let it be said, maybe we are too connected. Maybe we need more solitude. Maybe we need more silence without the relentless need to hear (or see on screen) the clattering voices of someone else, as if we are too afraid to listen to the clattering voices in our own imagination."

Let it be said, now in this moment, I visit with myself...
and think again on that quote.

What means this 'strain'? I have known this 'strain', I have known it in many ways. I pull towards the future, and strive to know things from it, clues for the present. I strain at my limitations, the many walls of blind ignorance which seem to hem me in here.

What things could I know, and how would they influence my actions now?

I strain in my art, frustrated at times with my limitations. The best thing for this is to seek out the great artists' works and criticise them as if they were your own pieces. There are a few pieces of 'perfection', (doubtless, Vermeer did not 'strain', but quietly perservered).

But mostly, they are 'almost perfect'. Still, in their 'almost perfection', there is perfection.

This 'strain', like 'lusting for results', brothers to each other, born of the same mother, could haunt me. But I wish to banish them, send them packing to go torment someone else. And they will, they always will. They are relentless in their efforts.

How best to banish? Embrace each and every imperfection. This awkwardness here, this confusion there, and smile my best charming smile, and say, "It is all okay, it is all part of the process." I am here, at this part of the wheel of becoming, and it is an interesting ride.

How best to inscribe a circle?
How best to feel the roundness?

How best to surround myself,
this now, this when?

I surround all, embrace all.
On this day of awkwardness,
(tomorrow I begin again anew).

To be this, 'forever young',
is to continually see new possibilities.
In there, the dream,
it is not tested yet.

From vision to reality,
(that's where the awkwardness starts)
I am the magician with shaky hands,

the artist whose line slips.
But I will pick it up again,
with a firmer grip.

I will play 'jump rope' with it
(I both twirl and jump),
mind's knees do not ache.

Round and round I go,
smiling, frowning, smiling,

Just after I'd written this poem, the serendipity of life, I came across a quote which fits right in with my thoughts this morning:

"The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal."
Aleister Crowley

I raise my mug of black tea softened by vanilla soy milk, and salute "unattainable ideals"!

Go back to Stretch!
Go forward to Learning Patience
Go to INDEX of Markings Of My Path
© Joan Ann Lansberry: