Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Zen Oxymoron of Perfection

I remember while reading about Japanese art a long time ago, that it is the imperfections which make an artwork perfect, desirable. What a life changing idea. If there is no flaw, there is no uniqueness. If an item is unique, it is perfect. I love Zen circles.

I think that having that thought in the back of my mind all these years has kept me from completely losing it at more than a few points in my life. Somehow that tucked away concept kept me going when I was at my most ‘unworthy’.

There have been an awful lot of close calls with losing it…

I could list all the bad choices, rough roads, etc ad nauseum, but I won’t. I have discovered that far from being utterly alone in my imperfect state, it’s crowded in here. We all have this kind of stuff we carry around, doing our damndest to ensure that no one else knows how unlovable we are.

The last few years, in trying to shed this need to be perfect, I have had some setbacks, with me clinging to the idea of attaining that perfection like it was the air I needed to breathe. It matters less to me now. I like me most of the time. I like me a lot actually, and if there are people out there who don’t, well-their loss. Seems to me those folks are the ones dancing the perfection polka the hardest. It used to cut me to the core when I would get blown off/ignored/overlooked because of some perceived imperfection (insert “not whatever enough” of your choice here) I possessed, now the cuts are shallower and I am beginning to feel sorry for them, that they will not know me.
It hits me the hardest when I see my 7 year old son struggle with what other people think of him. All my past pains become sharper, and I see what I have lost by allowing the pursuit of perfection to rule me. Watching him, that’s pain, a boo boo I can’t kiss and make go away, I have to offer him skills instead, skills to recognize and dismiss the utter soul suicide of assuming personal responsibility for everyone else’s happiness. And it’s really hard, since I am relatively new to those lessons myself. What bullshit. And no I don’t use those phrases with him.

My art, my jewelry is part of this epiphany. It isn’t perfect, but it is, in an oxymoronish Zen sort of way, and I like it that way, its individual, part of a journey, creative, part of me, birthed from a particular moment in my life, (hmmm, my son is all those things too, and more) it’s the kind of work that speaks to a person’s inner self. Not about karats, carats or anything else, except the connection. Maybe that’s why I give it away sometimes.

So two things born of me, my son and my jewelry, are giving me a new perspective, a rebirth of sorts My life is awesome.
I apologize to my husband for the insane amount of commas in this post, but I write the way I think....

I am simply letting go of the idea of impossible and doing my best to embrace my Zen-like uniqueness. And it feels good, and I am grateful for that.   oooohhhhmmmm

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post! None of us are perfect, and if we were, blah - how awful that would be! Keep it up.


What do you think?