Thursday, October 21, 2010

Echoes of Pythagoras



I was talking to a friend yesterday about the chateau and the process of discovery that continues to unfold as I make myself at home here. "Some parts of the house are settled but it's not perfect," I told her. She said, "Perfect is tension. You can't keep it up. Imperfect is so much better." Whoa. Or should I say WOW? How right she is.

There is so much wisdom in what she said that I'm still thinking about it. What is it with we homo sapiens anyway, striving as we do towards perfection? Is it part of our idealism? Does that pursuit increase our tendency towards dissatisfaction? Is it a control issue? Why do we expect the impossible of ourselves and each other? What makes us expect perfection within our environments? What gives?? What do you think?

Perfection (here in the manifested realm) is fleeting, ephemeral. The God I worship is perfect, but here on planet Earth it's a different story. That said, it's true that I've enjoyed so many perfect moments during my 57 years, and yes yes yes I remember fondly those perfect experiences, perfect moments. I long for MORE PERFECTION. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

But - imperfection is spacious, it allows us some wiggle room. Imperfection makes possible things like evolution, growth. When a situation is imperfect, that phenomena gives us a chance to DO something about it. Imperfection is fertile ground for worthy endeavors. Perfection is truly overrated!

Thanks Susan. Brilliant. Wow.

20 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Ha, just yesterday I had one of those moments. We had a light sunshower here in Phoenix, the sun was shining through some darkish clouds and there was a rainbow out my back window. It was touching down on the mountain and my eyes were quite delighted - perfect.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh yeah

The Bug said...

You're so right! The other day I was looking around our house at all the stuff we meant to do after we moved in & never got to. I have a friend who might visit next weekend & I started getting a little anxious about how the house looks. Then I decided to focus on how COMFORTABLE it is for a guest & quit worrying about Southern Living.

ellen abbott said...

One of the finest moments of my life (well, wasn't an actual moment but a period of letting go) was giving up on perfection. that doesn't mean I don't work to make things the best I can but I now can more easily know when I have reached that point and don't make myself crazy in the pursuit of perfection.

karen said...

Wow, this really resonated with me! I can relate to Ellen's comment, most especially!

Reya Mellicker said...

Yeah, Southern Living, Martha Stewart, even Oprah, make it seem like perfection is absolutely possible.

Oy vey!!

Linda Sue said...

Got that right!

Jinksy said...

Perfect moments are all the better for having the non- perfect ones to highlight them! :)

Liza said...

"imperfection is spacious"
I can breathe!

Barbara said...

The ultimate in the freedom of imperfection is driving a 25-year-old Volvo wagon with the trim held on by duct tape. The current theory is when something breaks you simply disable it or get rid of it unless it is necessary to pass inspection. Most things aren't fortunately. I love imperfection in every aspect of my life. It's much more comfortable.

Reya Mellicker said...

Liza, me too!

juscogens said...

Akshully, these days, when I say "perfect" it's reminiscent of the time I had a Yoga teacher who always used to use the word to mean, among other things,

-"Perfect" for each of us (as we were stretching, etc.) attaining whatever was just right for ourselves or even
-"Perfect" as it is meant paradoxically; we often spoke of all things Wabi Sabi (allowing and understanding, and accepting imperfection).

Of course, no one from the outside would have a clue what this little mantra means to me, unless of course I shared with them (oh, I know, explaining anything is soooo taboo). But that's just the nature of things, which is a third kind of perfect - perfectly natural. Love it. Oh yeah!

Reya Mellicker said...

Perfectly natural. Yay!

lakeviewer said...

You keep getting smarter; or, your keep smarter company.

steven said...

i love to feel the edge of perfection . . . the soft silky smooth spillway of the deep mappings of what i call the best goodness. it's often something so essential, so grand in its simplicity that i am left gasping in wonder. for example, today - looking back down the length of a darkened early morning autumn street, my daughter's hand waving goodbye. one very small entirety of a perfect moment! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Steven, you blow me away every single day with your wisdom. Thank you AGAIN for teaching me - about the "edge" of perfection.

the soft silky smooth spillway of the deep mappings of what i call the best goodness.

Oh man. How do you do it??

Pauline said...

My Mama used to tell me there was perfection in imperfection. There you have it - the impossible is just a label. Seek the perfect in the imperfect and you'll feel much better ;)

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Pauline!

Karen said...

Haven't read all the comments, but am thinking: what if perfection *has to be impermanent* in order to be perfection? In other words, what if the fleetingness of those perfect moments is part of what makes them so special, so precious? Hm...

Karen said...

Also, I spent many years as a perfectionist and it kept me from doing lots of things & kept me from being happy with what IS a lot of the time. I'm done with that. I still occasionally have my perfectionist moments, but I'm done with letting it drive me so hard. And I'm so much happier for it! (to the point where the people who live with me have NOTICED it!) Thanks for the post, and I hope that good feeling sticks with you!