Friday, March 9, 2012

Error


A major reason for having favorites, whether these elements are people, flavors of ice cream, music, books, restaurants, even items of clothing is the intimacy inherent in such favoritism.  The more you wear, see, listen to, read, etc. a favorite thing, the greater the possibility you’ll find something fresh, never before considered.

Not only do you learn from the repeated visitation, the more also you see imperfections, and more and more, these imperfections remind you of the need to weave an imperfection into a Navajo rug, the reason being that the rug is a duplication of a sand painting, which is meant to be perfect and temporary.  If you had perfect Navajo rugs, you’d have a skewed universe.  So already, you’re ahead, learning from revisiting favorites, learning about the nature of imperfection as well as attempts to approach, but not compromise, perfection.

Would a person who is perfect have any time for you?  Put another way, would a person who is perfect need the connecting link of another person?  There is something refreshing about seeing quirks in another.  You hope others see refreshment in your quirks.  If they do not see refreshment, you are doomed to a life of limited friendships and relationships.

 Someone you know has a highly focused vision of what toast should be, somewhere between warm bread and the scratchy surface of bread forgotten a moment too long in the toaster.  She has other quirks as well, each contributing to an articulate, energetic, curious worldview.  You find her interesting enough to the point where you have tried to construct scenarios in which these quirks are moved over into a negative vision.  The denominator is the unequivocal enjoyment she gets from having the toast arrive at her preferred brownness.  There are things individuals can fake or approximate, but not for long.  You wish to spend your time in the company of individuals who know where they stand in their preference for toast.

You have a quirky preference for a boiled egg.  By most accounts, you prefer your boiled eggs to remain in the water a minute or so longer than most people.  Because a favored grandparent prepared boiled eggs for you many years ago, you consider a boiled egg incomplete without a quarter slice of toasted bread crumbled in it.

These small things are, in their way, as important as sexual preferences, taste in music, and the all-important preference choice in the dialectic of a red jam as compared to a yellow jam or a blue jam.  You would be willing to trade someone you loved her preference for blue over red, just as it would not be a deal breaker were she to prefer some recondite Ben and Jerry flavor, say Cherries Garcia, over French vanilla.

Watching her closely of a morning over boiled eggs or of an evening over ice cream, you’d be sure to spot other imperfections which would make her the more remarkable and loveable because such imperfections are the chemistry of love, but these same imperfections are (and must be) the engines of distaste should love ever vanish, thus your enhanced belief that such small things must be sorted, observed, and acted upon as a way of causing the entire process of love, favoritism, and personal growth to evolve.

From your favorite authors, you may learn the degree to which their quirks translate to you as endearing imperfections.  You may also learn from these imperfections how to avoid causing those same mishaps in your own work.

One of your favorite Mark Twain works to read for such imperfections is his rant against Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science.  Close on its heels is his biography of Joan of Arc; even in these two dreadful, book length works, his essence shines through, his cadences and the rolling boil of his anger cascading across the pages, imparting to you a judgmental spectrum of exaggeration and/or loss of control you wish to capture as though lightning bugs in a bottle.

Your favorite things are benchmarks of who you are, complete with quirks or deliberate errors.  Among your own quirks are some errors that are not so deliberate; in fact, you take great pains to avoid committing them only to wonder in the process if they are coded into your genome.

Although errors can reach the point where they irritate you, you rarely set out in any activity with the notion of not making them.  You expect a certain amount, the way, Front line and other similar anti-flea medications to the contrary notwithstanding, a dog expects a certain amount of fleas, draws the line when that number is surpassed.  When errors surprise you, then you feel a certain amusement or tolerance to them; after all, you’re learning something.  You hope you’re learning how not to commit dumb errors, to commit only amusing ones, and to learn from both.

You hope you are never so blinded by the things you love that you fail to see those tiny, quirky, wonderful errors, those defining flaws of such energetic radiance and long-lasting beauty.

Meanwhile, your orange quarter-zip sweater must make a trip to the laundry room because you made an error in computation while delivering a spoonful of French vanilla ice cream to your mouth.


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