Saturday, March 14, 2009


Chef Cthulhu mentioned the other day he did not blog as much as he could because of his hangup about perfection. If you have suffered through even one of my posts, you can see I have no such hang up.

But the Chef got me to thinking. Just when did I decide perfection was not attainable and my loftiest goal would be "give it my best shot"? Of course as precise an idea as perfection is, it leaves no room to interpret a relative value for oneself. Right. I guess I need to come to an agreement with myself just what perfection is before I can demean my own best effort as somehow never being perfect.

( I know, I know. It is looking like Mike is about to have another Orange Barrel moment here. And I will admit it is tempting.)

The humorless and sterile Daniel Webster type might define perfection as something without flaws or mistakes. The art gallery crowd with their wine in hand might agree with this, but base perfection more on who the hot artist is at the moment. Each group or individual tends to value perfection based on an arbitrary set of criteria. And some cultures, religions resolve this idea of perfection by assigning one supreme being the honor of being the only thing that can be perfect. Everything else in the Universe is flawed in some fashion.

Math guys and gals often get on their high horse and contend the only perfection is found in numbers. Calculations that either work (perfection) or don't (imperfection). If I was able to add 2+2 and always get 4, I might agree. But I have my brain skips on occasion when even that does not make sense.

For me, perfection is a fluid thing. A concept that binds a mind and a moment in time and space where what is happening, being seen, read, heard, or felt is perfection. A moment when most if not all of our senses are satisfied at the same time.

We can seek perfection. But why bother? Perfection seems to have it's own agenda. It's own schedule. Perfection is not one thing, but a combination of things, ideas, and perceptions. We live our lives for the most part below perfection. We have become used to making our lives in world that will never be perfect. And when an example of perfection passes before us, more often than not, we miss it.

Often people will talk about the perfect day. Or mention how a trip went perfectly or flawlessly. Maybe they might mention "aged to perfection". People are always assigning perfection to small parts of their lives. And yet they often miss the implication. For me those moments are perfection. The times I realize a deep sense of satisfaction with part of my existence. Perfections are small things that go right in my life.

But what of the commonly accepted idea that perfection does not exist? It is unattainable. I have been programmed to think this way. Most of us have. But I think it is a cop out. A negative view that is not based in reality. Perfection surrounds us. We just need to open our eyes and our minds to see it. Life is perfection. What we do with it after is what turns it imperfect.
I wrote the above in one breath so to speak. I cleaned up the grammar, etc. But what's there was one word and my immediate train of thought that followed. I have re-read it and find it way less than perfect. But I feel I came close to almost mediocre. Anyway, it by no means is my over all view of perfection. Just the take I had at the moment.

What I find interesting is where I started and where I ended up. I had nothing a half hour ago. And yeah, I may still have nothing, but at least it's a lot of nothing.

See Ya...............

(662 / 5972)


Randal Graves said...

I must concur with your analysis, for it might be perfect, 2+2=5.

There are perfect moments, but unless assigned some arbitrary mathematics, aren't quantifiable; one just knows. I think we've all, most of us, at any rate, have had them here and there, even if they are fleeting and far too short.

If those moments, whatever their origin, are recurring tropes in the mind or the soul (no, not some higher power religious gig, you know what I'm saying), moments that we would like to bottle and get a whiff of that emotional perfume now and then, then one should consider them perfect.

PresterJohn said...

Crummy, your lotta nothing is the best. Most of the time. Ok, often. How 'bout sometimes.

Don't want ya nothing to think it's something. But it is.

Demeur said...

I thought about this. Our quest for perfection is ingrained in our very make up. It is I believe for our very survival. We pick fruit vegetables and meat that are near flawless because it contains the most nutrition and anything less might cause illness.
I think Randal hit on part of it. It's part of our biological make up to seek perfection and experience it now and then when the hormone balance is just right and we are feeling at peace with the world.

Utah Savage said...

I hate it when I completely agree with Randal. But what he said is perfect. There are moments when I think, "I love my life." That is perfection to me. I love anything that makes me double over in laughter.

MRMacrum said...

Randal - I have had several hours to contemplate what I wrote. I have now decided that the only perfection attainable on a regular basis is successful urination without getting anything important caught in the zipper. That's meat and potatoes perfection. Er, so to speak.

I will say I do have that bottle you speak of. Memory. I can still sift through the sad batch I have been able to hold onto and pick out certain times where I witnessed or was part of perfection.

PresterJohn - "Almost occasionally" might fit.

Demeur - I wonder though if we set our standards too high sometimes.

Utah - Yeah, it is kind of irritating to think Randal could hit anything on the head. Sometimes the stars do align.

I think you may have noted the one perfect thing we all can have and it doesn't cost us much or take much effort. Laughter. Laughter is a kind of emotional perfection. For a few seconds, we allow ourselves pure joy.

AirmanMom said...

Isn't perfection measured by perception and perception is reality, then reality is perfection. and so it goes...

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

---what can I say, we all learn, well most of us learn, that if plan A doesn't go like perfection, to have a plan B to fall back on---or maybe I missed the point of your post---perfection comes and perfection goes---ya kind have to be there ---know what i mean?

Bill said...

Perfection is like the sound of that tree crashing down in the forest. It doesn't fail to exist simply because none of us were there to perceive it. The real question is, why aren't we there more often?