Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Perfectly Imperfect

Modern social media is full of it. People proudly showing off their abs, their glutes. Perfect family photos, never crying chidden, tidy houses, fabulous vacations, happy marriages. I do it too. I post pictures of the finished product, not the messy process that comes before.

The casual eye digests this and can't help but compare our imperfect lives to these seemingly idyllic ones. There are no unpaid bills, no threatening health concerns, no unreasonable boss in those images.

Perfectly Imperfect © Lissa Banks 2019

Right now my lawn is about a foot tall. The spring rains and my mower in the shop have left me with a mess that I am a little embarrassed by every time I walk up the drive.  But I've noticed that when I walk through that burgeoning meadow I can see that it's made up of graceful grasses whose seed heads brush my calves and cheerful buttercups and nodding violets. Little toads pop up now and then to give me a good start. Birds and squirrels plunder its bounty. Yes it's a mess, and it's also perfect.

I've spent hours looking at this single tulip. Its grace and gentle colors. It's perfect just the way it is. But a random deformity caused a petal and leaf to merge, another petal seems to have wanted to cleave in two, its center spine oddly thickened, a few age spots beginning to form. It's hardly an ideal specimen. What it is is unique and graceful and fully possessed of the essence which is tulip.

Maybe we could take a lesson from this beauty, that all beauty is not perfect, that all perfection is not necessarily what we think it is and that finding beauty and perfection in the messy part of our lives is just as worthy as the perfect post.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Kite Day

It had been a long hot day in July, though a perfect day to fly kites, which is what we'd done.

After the Kites © Lissa Banks 2019*
After a long drive, and a long search for a parking spot, and sunscreen in somebody's eyes, and experiencing a little of the kite enthusiasts' world, and many unsuccessful attempts to launch our own kite, and meeting a friendly little dog who seems to have changed our flying luck, and piling back into the car we landed at a clam shack in Warren, Rhode Island. Everyone was thirsty. And everyone had every reason to be cranky and tired, after all, the only bathroom options were the two portapotties that had been sitting in that long hot July sun all that perfect day. You do what you gotta do.

But for a brief moment there was not just sibling comity, but downright love and adoration. The kids mugged for the camera and for each other. They, with their hat hair and grimy faces and thirsty mouths rose above it all and were perfect for each other, and for me, their grandmother.

*For some reason this image isn't a very good translation. Guess you've just got to see it in person!