14 November 2011

Perfection in Imperfection

Why is it that we as humans must always try to perfect everything we touch? Often we have created the opposite result, by interfering. We are not perfect. Imperfections are more perfect than we are, and maybe we're better off trying to appreciate those imperfections for what they are, than trying to make perfection out of them and failing miserably.

Say a child creates a drawing of everyone she loves. She draws it sincerely, she draws it from her heart. Imagine taking that drawing and not appreciating where it comes from, but trying to fix the portraits, adding in the missing arms, etc. It's no longer what it was, it's no longer perfect. It lost it's soul and probably broke the heart of the child.

I googled "nature" and looked at the images that came up. So why do I see boats, bridges, boardwalks and roads? Is that nature? Or perhaps nature wasn't good enough. Shouldn't we appreciate where it came from?

Why do we seem to appreciate the beauty of meadows of wildflowers, a majestic forest, a natural sandy beach covered in driftwood, but when it comes to our own yards, we must try and perfect it? We put down lawn and plant foreign flowers, stripping the true beauty of nature.  Why are our native species not good enough? We love the monarch butterflies that pass through our yards, but cut down the milkweed that they need. Maybe they'd linger if we hadn't done that. We bury drainage pipes and sod over top so that we can get rid of the cattails and with that, the frogs, birds and the whole tiny ecosystem. Then of course we complain about how much lawn we have to mow. Maybe there would be more perfection if we didn't interfere the way we do.

Does anyone really find a city beautiful? Or is a beautiful city one that has trees and parks? Places that have been made to seem a little more natural?

Everyone wants their perfect house, too. One with clean lines, where everything is square. Everything is the current trend, made in a factory by machines to be perfect, then imported so that we can buy it for cheap. Because it's so cheap we can have more and more stuff. We can have so much stuff that we become buried by it, no longer appreciating it. So much stuff that even the Salvation Army no longer finds value in it. Then we need bigger houses to hold all of that stuff we don't really care about.

Is that then perfection?

Wouldn't it be something if everything you had was handmade, by yourself or someone you know? If everything you owned had a story, and a soul like the drawing by the child? Imperfect, but absolutely perfect. You probably wouldn't need that 4000 sqft home. Shouldn't our loved ones be a more visible, central part of our homes than the furniture?

What is wrong with us? Why do we do these things? If we can learn to appreciate things as they are (as long as there is a solid roof over our heads of course), maybe we wouldn't have to complain about mowing all of that lawn, pulling native plants from our gardens, or cleaning the 4000 sqft house. Maybe we could spend less time imperfecting the perfect, and enjoy life a little more, appreciating true beauty, appreciating things the way they are, imperfect.

(My perfect spell checker pointed out that "imperfecting" is not a word. I'll choose to ignore that.)

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