A reflection on imperfection




I gave Rachel a fluid art kit as a "congratulations for finishing your exams" present and she made four amazing creations with it.


Here I'm sharing her first two which were part of the learning process. She deemed then "imperfect" because the paint didn't quite get to the edge of the canvases. I love them because of this, with their quirky shapes and holes. This lead to a chat about perfectionism and acceptance.


Anyway she asked me if I would add some of my line art onto these because she thought it would bring out their beauty. I don't have the energy to do that physically, plus I don't want to mess with them because I love them as they are. But I took photos and added lines and highlights digitally. We both love the effect.


This whole process of collaborating and chatting and noticing beauty in imperfection speaks to me about life, disability, chronic illness and our society's obsession with success and achievement.


When we allow ourselves to be who we are, accepting our (perceived) flaws; then those flaws can become a source of beauty and creativity. They can be the very thing which blesses us and other people.


No one is perfect and the false notion of perfection and success is a dangerous aspiration to hold.


Life is a journey with imperfection, my aim is to make the most of the journey rather than constantly desire the unobtainable "perfect".


My hope is that Rachel will find and embrace this truth earlier in her life than I did in mine. She has many traits of a perfectionist; and that makes her amazingly self motivated; but she's also becoming more accepting of the fact that no one is perfect and that learning from mistakes matters more than being the best.


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