Perfectly Imperfect

May 25, 2019

Modern social media is full of it. People proudly showing off their abs, their glutes. Perfect family photos, never crying chidden, tidy houses, fabulous vacations, happy marriages. I do it too. I post pictures of the finished product, not the messy process that comes before.

The casual eye digests this and can't help but compare our imperfect lives to these seemingly idyllic ones. There are no unpaid bills, no threatening health concerns, no unreasonable boss in those images.

Right now my lawn is about a foot tall. The spring rains and my mower in the shop have left me with a mess that I am a little embarrassed by every time I walk up the drive.  But I've noticed that when I walk through that burgeoning meadow I can see that it's made up of graceful grasses whose seed heads brush my calves and cheerful buttercups and nodding violets. Little toads pop up now and then to give me a good start. Birds and squirrels plunder its bounty. Yes it's a mess, and it's also perfect.

I've spent hours looking at this single tulip. Its grace and gentle colors. It's perfect just the way it is. But a random deformity caused a petal and leaf to merge, another petal seems to have wanted to cleave in two, its center spine oddly thickened, a few age spots beginning to form. It's hardly an ideal specimen. What it is is unique and graceful and fully possessed of the essence which is tulip.

Maybe we could take a lesson from this beauty, that all beauty is not perfect, that all perfection is not necessarily what we think it is and that finding beauty and perfection in the messy part of our lives is just as worthy as the perfect post.

Painting: Perfectly Imperfect © Lissa Banks 2019