perfection, imperfection

Perfection: Symmetry found in Nature. Synchronicity. Art, when honed to perfection. Harmonious music.

But try to apply it to people… When it comes to us individuals, humans in all our facets, perfection comes over as something unnatural, suspicious, a bit spooky even. It feels rigid, cold, and with no room to play.
And yet, we strive for perfection. Maybe driven by the will to please our parents, and thus, “the others” instead of simply expressing the flow from within. We do our very best to be perfect, at least in the things that matter most to us.
In trying to be perfect lies a big “but”: it’s all fine and dandy until it stops us from developing further, because we’re afraid to make a mistake or – oh my, the plural of it – mistakes.

Imperfection. When we measure imperfection with our Western minds we find: Flawed. Worth less than. Of an inferior grade.

And yet, in Japan it is considered of heightened aesthetic awareness to create ‘perfect imperfection’ – a bowl that is just slightly off its perfectly round form, a flower-arrangement that is not symmetrical… And in the Arabic world “only Allah is perfect” and thus, the artisans insert an imperfection in their work on purpose. Hence, the pattern in the rug has an oddity in it.

When I see imperfection in my own child, my first impulse is – yes, to correct it. Do I follow the footsteps of my forefathers? And create yet another perfection-freak? Or do I bite my lip, take a step back, and see the wonderful totality of my child and his potential? Watching him unfold into his own personal being is fascinating, and I need to find a way to temper my urge to perfect things. I need to leave room for play and the unexpected – for him and for me.

Imperfection is also: Potential. Interesting. Alive. Real.

So. I surrender to the fact of being imperfect, also in the areas of life that matter the most to me. And with admitting my imperfection, yes, even with the things that matter most to me, a deep sigh escapes my being. And in doing so it leaves space for joy and enthusiasm: since I’m not ‘perfect’, I can get better at these things! What a fun challenge! Let’s get at it!




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