If you look for Perfection, you’ll never be Content
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo Tolstoy
The Daily Post is whispering in my ear again asking me this time to – Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped – and – show us – PERFECT – in CAPS… what’s all the shouting about? You’d think perfect was somehow important to have such a fuss made about it.
And yes, I know they always put the word of The Daily Prompt in CAPS.
Well, I’m not showing you perfect. Things did not turn out exactly as I’d hoped… when I doodled these drawings and tweaked them in image tweaking software.
I did these a while ago when my creative juices started flowing again. They’d been trapped in a creative juice ice age for a long time, then there was a sudden internal global warming meltdown and I found myself revisiting an old flame of mine – Drawing.
As I child it was rare to find me without a pencil or pen and a piece of paper doodling away, talking to myself, telling myself a story and bringing that story to life in my doodles. I had no ambitions for my drawing. I certainly had no intention of being an artist. NEVER!!!
My father was an artist. He occasionally doodled with me. It was not a pleasant father/daughter moment. It was rivals facing off, only I wasn’t competing with him because I knew that he was better than me. It was logical… he was not logical. Somehow the fact that I was drawing without any training was an insult to him. So I asked him to teach me, train me. But although he said yes, he never did… just in case the pupil became a master.
I ignored his antics and kept drawing. It was my escape into a world of my own creation. It was fun and relaxing… as long as I didn’t try to colour within the lines. To this day I am convinced those lines move!
My mother was not an artist, she couldn’t draw to save her life. Her words, not mine. I would never have critiqued her drawings had she ever done any, but she couldn’t risk that kind of vulnerability. However she was an excellent critic, practiced constantly to refine her art until her ability to criticise everyone and everything was perfect and beyond reproach or argument.
I once created a comic strip of which I was very proud. I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I loved it. It had words and characters and all the things I adored about comics. It was perfect to me. I even had a moment of wondering if I should become a comic artist. Then I made the mistake of sharing my pride and joy with my parents. That was the end of that ambition.
I guess I wasn’t that determined… an artist must learn to deal with people minutely ripping their creations to shreds, must soldier on believing in their ability without support and encouragement, and must be driven by an overwhelming impulse to lay themselves wide open and bare to the world. I decided to pass on that. I was not ready to be that fragile and vulnerable.
I ignored my mother and her criticism and kept drawing.
Then, one day, I stopped.
I don’t know why. Or at least, I can’t remember why. Probably just life moving me on.
An age passed… during which all my creative outlets vanished one by one. I vanished them. I gave up my hope of being creative in an artistic way and pursued other things. Practical things. Even my mind stopped thinking creatively and became rather dull.
I’m very glad that age is over and the new age which I have entered is one big festival of creativity for me. I don’t care if it isn’t perfect, perfect is overrated and, frankly, a source of misery. I don’t even care if it’s not good or good enough, it’s not about if anyone else thinks it’s good or if I think it’s good… It’s good FOR me. Yes, I’m capping that word! I’m shouting… but the shouting is a howl of contentment at finally being free to just be and do.
“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” ― Jack London