Thursday, January 31, 2013
Imperfections: the spice of life. I picked this particular picture for this post because while some may consider his tattoo to be an imperfection and a blemish on the Body Temple, others might see tattoos as their stained-glass windows. It just shows the difference in perspective that many different people have about many different things. No one can escape imperfection. Imperfections can bring people together or tear them apart. Perspective is a powerful thing. As for me I think "imperfections" give people texture. In books there are flat and round characters. Flat characters are characters that seem to only have one mood, or personality trait, in short they are a relatively uninteresting side characters. Round characters are vehicles for discovering, exploring and portraying humanity. Usually these characters are flawed and colorful. It is their humanity and imperfections that give them dimension. Movies like Pleasantville celebrate this. Imperfections turn a grey world into a world full of color and zest. Maybe it is the romantic in me talking but I love most of the little blemishes of everyday life. Yesterday for example. I took my dog up the canyon to go on a trail run. She is very lively so my car was covered in fur and she tried to jump in the front several times. I may have slight OCD tendencies because I like to keep things very clean and organized in specific ways. I love animals but not on the upholstery. Anyway, we went on our run and by that time I had just given up trying to keep my car from becoming dirty (I put a towel down to try to contain the fur and slobber but to no avail.) We got back in the car and starting driving home. All of a sudden I felt Bodie's (my dog) head rest right on top of my shoulder. She smelt wet and dirty but it was one of the sweetest things to happen to me in a long time. That is the beauty of imperfection. The cliche' perfectly imperfect. Today I went and had my car cleaned. Problem solved. I'm not saying search for imperfections in the people around you but don't be afraid to laugh with another when the little imperfect moments happen. Like, when someone drops their ice cream or says, "you too" when someone wishes them a happy birthday or your kid is blowing bubbles in his chocolate milk again. The remedy? Laughter first, fix later (not every imperfection needs fixing though). Laughter is a fantastic painkiller and mood enhancer. Life happens when someone doesn't blow out all the candles on their birthday cake the first time. Life happens when I try to curl my hair and it just DOES NOT work (initially this can be annoying but why turn a bad hair moment into a bad hair day?). So you tried to flip the pancake you made that was supposed to look like Mickey Mouse and it turns out looking more like something Pluto might have dragged in. It still tastes delicious right? You barely finish cleaning your room and suddenly you realize the shirt you want to wear is at the bottom of your hamper. After pulling out every piece of clothing in your hamper and your clothes are, once again, all over the floor you discover the shirt you thought was in your hamper is actually hanging up right above you in the closet. Laugh. Think you have a dorky laugh? Share it. If your voice cracks while you are singing at the top of your lungs in the car by yourself, cringe involuntarily, then laugh. At least your singing. I'm not saying harmful addictions should be cherished and accepted. Those may be considered, in book terms, "fatal flaws" if they become out of control. I'm saying that severing relationships and trying to change someone by coercion into your idea of perfection may not be the best, or the most enjoyable road to take. Maybe your drunk uncle makes the worst wedding toast ever. Maybe you go in for the kiss and you miss. Maybe you've married someone and they, for the last 25 years, still don't know how to get their socks from their feet to their hamper without leaving them on the floor for days. But no matter how many socks are piled up that person can still make you laugh when no one else can. No matter how terrible your Uncle Tom's toast was, at the end of the day your still married to the love of your life. And that, "missed kiss?" well at least you tried. And that is brave.
There is a time to laugh and a time to be still but for most of the harmless everyday mishaps, laughter turns those weird, quirky, times into gold. Laughter can turn a dropped ice cream cone into a fantastic story or accidentally bumping into someone on the subway into over fifity years of love, life, laughter and family.
I'm not perfect at this. Sometimes I wish my nose looked different or that I could be better at math than I am. I struggle sometimes to see the humor in some things. But I'm trying to recognize where laughter fits into everyday life. That is it belongs quite frequently. As long as I strive to be happy and help and hope others are so as well it makes life's like a huge chocolate bar that doesn't make you gain any weight. Or a perfect season for your favorite sports team.
Perfection is unattainable in this life. Happiness is there to be had. So why not take it, why not share it, why not make the happy moments into a happy life?