Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav: Ballad of the Perfectly Challenged  

travelingintexas 41M
8/5/2006 10:14 pm
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav: Ballad of the Perfectly Challenged

Occasionaly we write something that is profound even to us. It is the post or personal journal entry we write that blazes a new trail, a new direction before us. This is probably only one of two or three posts I have written that I would like to go back to one day, whittle away at, rewrite it with SJ and really hone in on the final product.

This was written in an Extended Stay in Las Colinas, Texas, just outside of Dallas. I had moved there to start a new job that I was promised but never materialized. Probably my greatest personal growth took place during this hotel stretch of time. (I just the last year by what hotel I was at and where. Weird huh?) Like most things I write, this was "flash" writing, capturing current thoughts and putting them to paper. Not a lot of editing etc. However, one day I would enjoy the opportunity to expound on what for me personally was a life changing post. I hope you enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed learning to live it.

I honestly don't know how much I will be around the next few days. I will blog in the evening. I have my kids for the following week and I am taking several days off this weekend. So my attentions will be there mainly. Those of you that need to reach me know how and where.


Original Post: Ballad of the Perfectly Challenged February 2, 2006 11:32AM

Ah Oh! Trav is on a soap box again!

I can hear many of you thinking this, however, stay with me. I had a fascinating conversation last night with Secret, [blog 1hotwahine], [blog sj365], Slide and KY. This one dealt with our imperfections. Someone, I think it was SJ or 1Hot, brought up Japanese pottery as an example. You see, Japanese pottery, especially from the 17th and 18th century, was valued not for its perfection but rather, its imperfection.

This thought struck me in a profound way and so when I awoke this morning I went searching for more information. This is what I discovered.

”Two terms are associated with the Japanese esthetic of the tea ceremony: Wabi, a form of beauty based on simplicity, austerity and imperfection and Sabi, which refers to the changed quality of an object through time and use, like a patina acquired from use or worn surfaces. Sometimes these terms are combined as Wabi/Sabi to indicate a preference for simple understatement.”

Oh so often we desire to be perfect! Paint ourselves as perfect, be perfect, act perfect for that special someone, for our family and friends or to feel worthy, even to our selves. How terrible that so many of us base our self-worth on the flawed, human idea of perfection.

“Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”-Michelangelo

Trust me; this comes from the very heart of one that deals with shame, humiliation, grief and hatred of himself. However, do you hear the words I speak? Does something within you jump at the thought that it is not our perfection but rather our imperfections that make us unique, different and worthy? That whole thinking typically flies in the face of our society and how we are “trained” to think.

Even Michelangelo, an artist in his own right, admits that perfection is not the whole but the pieces. Not the overall picture but the journey.

Try harder, do more, be better, fix this, self help that, become and so on. All mantras we hear constantly and feel immense pressure to act upon. “If you don’t do it” guilt sets in and you begin to struggle with unworthiness all over again. Your paint brush that you use to paint yourself with becomes harsher and uglier than anything you would ever paint others with. Your shame and personal disappointment begin to build up on the brush, making it even more difficult to paint. You begin to describe yourself in ways you would never describe others.

When I dealt with my past, I would deal with the perceived condemnation of my family. I would hear “Why? How could you? What didn’t we do right? Why couldn’t you be…?” and I finally came to the following conclusion and can clearly remember looking my mother in the face one day and quietly saying “Mom, say what you will about me. Be as mean, hurtful and as ugly in your words as you want because I can condemn myself in ways you cannot even begin to fathom and do a much better job at it than you ever could.”

And we do. We condemn ourselves over and over for our imperfections, mistakes and stumbles. We spend so much time attempting to paint ourselves with having our life together, no problems and perfect while in the background, hidden from public view our lives are in shambles both inside and out. However, it is those very imperfections, those flaws you have perceived within you, that make you unique. They actually make up that “perfection” you seek.

There is beauty in the ashes. I believe it was SJ that said in Japanese pottery, they would take gold dust and rub it into the clays imperfection. It would then be fired in the kiln and the gold dust would enhance the imperfection, making it visible to the naked eye. Does that thought scare you?

Taking and highlighting the very “thing” that makes you imperfect in the eyes of others and celebrating it as unique? That is beauty! Forgiving yourself and celebrating your chips and small breaks, make you one in a million.

”Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull” -W. Somerset Maugham

No wonder so many of us are bored. No wonder so many of us can not find that happiness we seek. We are caught up in seeking, on many different levels, a flawed idea of perfection. However, perfection as a human is impossible. Perfection as a human is flawed thinking. We are incapable of imagining true perfection, much less living it.

So what do we do? We seek the unattainable while missing out on the opportunity to flaunt our greatest masterpiece: US.

That fault, slip, trip, mistake, wrong word… they all become a part of the masterpiece. All become a lasting piece of the work. Rather than get excited about the uniqueness of our art, we get angry, trying to gouge it out or hiding it in more clay. We try to pretend the imperfection is not there when in fact it is. FOR WHAT? Do we really want or need a billion pots that look the same? How dreadfully boring.

There is beauty in your imperfection. There is beauty in your simplicity. Would you come out of that place of false perfection and live a live of Wabi/Sabi? Simple understatement is so much more beautiful anyway.

The paradox of living perfection according to Trav? (Which is probably a whole bunch of paradox all rolled into one anyway!)

Overwhelmingly under whelming
Complex simplicity
Ugly beauty
Tumultuous peace
Proud humility

So go grab you some gold dust and get to highlighting. You have a life to live!

Previous Traveling the Backhills:Retro Trav Posts:
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav: The Bed
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav:The Untold Story
Traveling the Backhills; Retro Sunday... New York, New York!
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav, "Movin' On!"
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav Sunday
Traveling the Backhills: Retro Trav

earthShiva 59M

8/6/2006 12:08 am

Imperfection is an artificial human construct that we use to hide from our divinity until the right time for it to be revealed to us.

Since when do we have the power to break the laws of the

cookiequeen1000 53F

8/6/2006 2:36 am

Been there, done that. Liking the wabi/sabi concept.....something to ponder.

ella1966 50F
1528 posts
8/6/2006 3:06 am

Very interesting indeed and it is weird, but I have just changed my profile to highlight my imperfections or paradoxes as I thought that perhaps my profile was coming across as having too much 'attitude' or being too sanitised...I have a friend on this site who is a "Western" woman living in Japan and married to a Japanese man, so imagine the paradoxes in her life... and your comments about Japanese art are very interesting indeed, I have heard this before, but you reminded me of it, a paradox of simplicity, yet it applauds imperfection...

sexyariesgirl 57F

8/6/2006 9:38 am

Enjoy the time with your kids Trav!

You have given me lots to think about with this re-post...THANK YOU!

Power To FOK

earthShiva 59M

8/6/2006 11:51 am

    Quoting travelingintexas:

    Can you explain your question? Trying to find a reference point for it and can't. Did you mean "perfection" is an artificial...

    Am I reading this wrong or is my mindset in a different place than how you read this? Please expound. Im curious. Seriously curious, no BS.
Okay, let's see if I can explain my thinking without going too pseudo-Hindu on you.

Everything in the universe behaves according to laws. We used to think that Newton's laws were it, then we found out that things didn't quite fit at the fringes of the very large, very small or very fast, and thus quantum mechanics was born. Those laws are weirder, still in a state of discovery and refinement, but the bottom line still seems to be that, on some level, there is an order to the universe. There's no jail sentence for breaking the third law of thermodynamics or Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle, because we can't break them.

So, the question is, at what point were or are we personally responsible for some exception to those laws? I mean, we really think ourselves into a double-bind on this one. If some Divine Force started the universe and everything is playing out according to some logical plan, then there is no room for imperfection anywhere in our experience. Everything is going according to the plan. But wait! What it there is no intention whatsoever behind the way these laws play out? Well, then I don't see that "perfection" is anything more than a highly subjective, human construct that is actually fighting the way the universe is set to play out. Either way, the things that we label as "imperfection" are just as inevitable as anything else.

So if all these events, including the very firing of the synapses of our own brains, is governed by unbreakable laws, how can we find any imperfection in anything that we do, any choice we make, or anything that happens around us? In doing so, all we are experiencing is resistance to the perfection, which is, in itself, also part of the very same perfection in that it helps create that experience for us.

I think we are in agreement on the basic concept that people are too tough on themselves in seeking a perfection that involves a non-acceptance of themselves and the beauty of the universe around them, but we are labelling things a bit differently. Over the last several years, I have become a person of deep faith(hopefully free, however, of excessive dogma...), and believe the Divine exists in everything we see and do. Reaching this point has opened up a world of
of beauty and love that I would never have imagined I could experience. More dogmatic types might find my celebration of this reconciliation with the Divine on a sex site profane, but I see no inconsistency in it whatsoever. People here are doing as much to seek beauty and love for humanity as any other group, and are helping each other along the way.

Perfection is not impossible because we are human. Even in our flaws, self-judgment, boredom and intolerance. Perfection is, in fact, inescapable because as humans, like rock, air, light and love, we are an integral part of the expression of the Divine. As part of the Infinite, we were never given another choice, because there was no other choice to be had.

Trying to collapse an entire belief system and spiritual rebirth into a one page first draft is a challenge. How did I do?

rm_1hotwahine 62F
21091 posts
8/6/2006 12:40 pm

Man, when I started to read that, I got swept up in how much I miss those chats. I mean, we've all said that, but it just really hit me for some reason.

About the post itself - loved it then and even more so now. But to be honest? I don't think you should change it. Ask SJ, tho, but I think changing it would open the door to editing and THAT cannot happen. It's "perfect" as is. See? Relevant, huh???

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_1hotwahine 62F
21091 posts
8/6/2006 12:44 pm

    Quoting travelingintexas:
    I am loving that statememnt by the way

    A conundrum of artistically inclined excessiveness and rationality. Love it!
Ditto. I stopped on that one for a LONG time.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

rm_sj365 55F
2414 posts
8/6/2006 1:38 pm

A favorite of mine this post...

maybe i just like it because so many of my favorite people are cracked


8/6/2006 8:01 pm

I have enjoyed several of your posts since I arrived in January. This is absolutely my favorite of yours. This speaks volumes to me and sums up my defining moment that forever changed my life from a scared, ashamed, and worthless little girl to a fearless, proud, and confident woman. Beautifully written and much appreciated.

just a squirrel trying to get a nut

ella1966 50F
1528 posts
8/6/2006 9:30 pm

Dear Trav

You are officially invited to an orgy in honour of the most Narcissistic Goddess on this site, kelli4u2dew...where Kelli will be:- serenaded with music from the harps and lyres of nymphs and cherubs (gernerously provided by Diana, of course); feast on a banquet of never-ending sumptuous food with her friends; have grapes fed to her by hand; drink ambrosia - the nectar of the Gods; bathed in asses's milk; serviced by lovers of her choosing to do her bidding; festooned with jewels; and finally walk on a carpet of rose petals to her throne where she will be draped in her royal ermine robes to acclaim her dutiful crown whereupon everyone will gaze at her in reverent adoration, after which the party will officially open until she declares she is spent... Time and Place to be announced...

rm_corezon 53F
3376 posts
8/19/2006 9:08 am

yeah those profound posts I write scare the bejeezus outta me more than they do anybody else

that conundrum of artistically challenged excessiveness and rationality frequently amusing me moreso than anyone else

(of course this post of yours was great but a couple of phrases did remind myself of my own private thoughts about the current weirdness of my own blogging experience lately)

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