Saturday, January 5, 2008

What is it about Perfection?

It seems we humans have a fascination with Perfection. We relish the thought of it. The perfect season. The perfect ride. The perfect day. The perfect wedding. The model body. Occasionally, we see glimpses of perfection in this life. But even perfection isn't perfect. Tom Brady didn't complete 100% of his passes that night. The opponent was not shut out. But, still we cling desperately for that which we can call perfect. It is an obsession.

It seems a part of our human condition to want to be perfect. And yet, it is also part of our condition that we are absolutely unable to do so. I guess that's part of the tragedy and beauty of being human. It's tragic that life cannot meet with our definitions of perfection. But, there is also beauty in the imperfect. A scar in an otherwise perfect face, an old piece of furniture with a crackling patina, smoke in the atmosphere turning a sunset crimson.

So, though I yearn for perfection, I'm learning to treasure contentment. I can be content with the floorboard that creaks, the little lines forming around my neck, and the general restlessness in my mind. I believe some day I will understand true Perfection, but not for now. Not here in this place. But, for now I choose to be content - content with the imperfect season, frustrating days, clumsy rides. All those imperfect things combine to make a life that is beautiful and rich beyond measure. And, I am thankful for it.

That is what I hope for this year. Not that I will give up striving for perfection or slip into complacency. But, that I will celebrate and be content with all that is good in my life and the world around me.


Chris said...

Good post, Chatterbox.

CyclistRick said...


bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Every now and then it strikes me that I treasure the "imperfections" in everyone else, because that's what makes them who they are, but always pick on them in myself without stopping to consider that maybe they are the very reasons other people like me...

Too much time to think, I guess ;).

chatterbox said...

Thanks, Chris and Rick.

Panda - yes, that is a good point.

Seamus said...

Supposedly Dali said
"Have no fear of perfection
- you'll never reach it."

I stumbled onto your blog
via Flickr - shared interest
in bicycles. This entry
caught my eye as I've been
thinking about art, craft,
the pursuit of perfection
the comodification of art
commodity fetishization
and conspicuous consumption
a lot lately.

Richard Benson, at one time
the dean of the Yale University
School of Art said some
interesting things about
perfection here:

Shaker furniture is a hot commodity
because Oprah et. al. are willing
to spend boat loads of money on it.
The chairs and cupboards have become objects of desire,
the antithesis I think of what
the Shakers were about.

Seamus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.