All Your Perfect Imperfections

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Tree photo from Muir Woods – John Legend photo courtesy of http://www.2flashgames.com

John Legend, the apparently legendary singer who had escaped my radar until recently, has a new hit song that offers a  brilliant message in its lyrics. I find myself playing it over and over again in my mind… The title of the song is “All of Me”, and I enjoy it because it is a gorgeous ballad, a love song, but one that tells it like it really is. But I also like it because it seems to apply so well to us creative types….and we are a weird and rowdy bunch, are we not? We have a love-hate relationship with our gifts of creativity.  Our gifts are the good news but sometimes the bad news too, since they constantly scream at us for attention and nurturing. They demand so much of us. And we love what we do but we are sometimes riddled with doubt. We wonder. We question. We get exhausted with our own damn selves. You all know who you are, and so read on……this song is for you:

Partial Lyrics from the John legend Song titled “ALL OF ME”

What would I do without your smart mouth?

Drawin’ me in and you kickin’ me out

You got my head spinnin’

No kiddin’

I can’t pin you down.

 

What’s going on in that beautiful mind?

I’m on your magical mystery ride

And I’m so dizzy

Don’t know what hit me

But I’ll be alright.

 

My head’s underwater but I’m breathin’ fine

You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

Cuz all of me loves all of you

Love your curves and all your edges

All your perfect imperfections…

 

That’s not all of the song.

The song goes on and on. The part about all your perfect imperfections is my favorite – because we all are that. We all have these wild-ass quirks and glaring flashing neon irregularities that can be both charming and infuriating, depending upon the day and the situation. You just have to keep them all in balance so you don’t cut off your ear or jump off a bridge. Those kinds of artists are in fact, LEGENDARY. You see documentaries about them which isn’t at all a bad thing, actually. But most of us do manage to keep our imperfections and issues in a workable balance while occasionally, yes indeedy, well of course, hell yes, using them for leverage, individuality and recognition . They are almost like tools – they can be milked.

Oh and how many of you writers and artists feel as if your head is underwater on various occasions but you somehow manage to breathe just fine – that happens to me when I paint. I am cut off from the real world in some kind of liquid otherworldly place where there is no space or time or air and yet I am somehow breathing pure oxygen. Getting high on it.

Getting back to the love song aspect, lucky be you if you find a person that loves all of yours – your perfect imperfections. Your eccentricities.  They won’t always love yours, every single minute all the time, but even if they just love yours more of the time than they do not love them, you are a winner. Of course they need to remember that they have their own set of wacky things too, some far more wacky than the ones you have, so it needs to be reciprocal. But Holy Cow don’t start debating which of you has more…..there’s no winning that game.

But then as I often say, you probably knew all that.

And PS – this is my 120th blog post and many thanks to all of you for following and occasionally stopping by!

 

The Creative Epiphany – Moms

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Just a few words today about Moms. No matter what your Mom is like now or was like before she died, she experienced that moment of heart-stopping news, “You are going to have a baby.” She knew instinctively that her life would be forever changed by the arrival of you and she was more than willing to make the sacrifice of her freedom in order to be your constant guide and guardian for the rest of her lifetime. Some believe that we choose our parents; a thought provoking concept. Theoretically, just for the sake of fun and conversation,  let’s say that you did choose….and you chose your Mom. We must ask “why?” What was it about her?

It must have been because your Mom is perfect! You have always been thrilled with your brilliant choice! You would change nothing about her…..What? She’s not….?

She’s not the perfect specimen of a Mom?

If you are not always pleased with your choice, you will learn by what you did not get in a parent every bit as much as by what you were given. Our own parenting is often guided by what was absent for us as we were being raised. An awareness of what was missing in your childhood is a very effective way to understand what all kids need to feel loved and protected, and if you can manage to use that vacant kind of information to make positive changes for your own children instead of repeating family history, you will have learned one of life’s big lessons. Your Mom was your teacher one way or another, even when she was lost and had no clue what she was doing, she was teaching. What she so apparently lacked is what you can learn to provide. She was the ever-present example, whether it was always worth following or not. She was a product of her flawed nature and nurture as are you.

Mother’s Day celebrates the wonderful Moms we would all prefer to remember or pretend we had – the happy, giving, joyful, strong, wise and loving person we pictured for our lives. We celebrate the concept of Motherhood; the daunting task, intense pleasure and constant wonder of raising a human being. We honor all the fine examples – the best of the best – as well as the noble attempts and even the dismal failures, because the job of mothering is creativity personified. Some are gifted at it and some are not. Today of all days, I hope that your choice was divinely inspired and you got a good Mom. But even if you did not choose your Mother wisely, you will benefit from knowing in your heart that she loves you and wishes she had been a better Mom.

The Creative Epiphany – Be Careful What You Wish For

recentfolder 013  Time Weavings, mixed media by Jo Ann Brown-Scott

They – whoever they are – say that our lives are shaped more by the prayers that are not answered than the ones that are. When I say “prayer” I use that term loosely – because I think of the word “prayer” as a visualization, a power of positive thinking, a goal strongly sought after, a long-term dream you have chased. But indeed it is a focused request to yourself, or to your higher power, and/or the universe or your soul for something you greatly desire. Well that is kind of a scary thought. Makes you start going back over all of your unanswered prayers, trying to remember what happened or did not happen after you realized that one particular prayer and probably others were never answered. I would guess that in some cases what came instead was a far better thing, and perhaps in other cases it was just a void. Nothing much seemed to take place. But at the time you had no perspective. You were so far under the mountain that you could not see the view.

But let’s just say that, lucky you, your dream sort of comes true. Maybe it isn’t the total 100% super duperest extra special perfect version of your spectacular technicolor  dream, but it is this —- close —- to the dream you always had. What are you inclined to do with that? Did you believe you deserved the absolute perfect answer to your prayers? Are you that entitled and that lazy in your requests to the universe? You must have the best, the very best, or nothing at all? You don’t return a gorgeous and rare rose because it has one split petal. Or maybe you do. Are you going to snub your nose at this gift and curse the imperfection? Or are you going to feel blessed that it came, even in a less than ideal form, inviting you to expend a bit of elbow grease and effort to mold it into the almost impossible version you wanted? Maybe it’s a test – because life does send us tests – to see how badly you really wanted what said you wanted.

By the time you are in the second half of your life, that life that has blessed you with many gifts and unexpected delights, you really ought to be able to look back and see the larger picture. It should be  obvious that if all of your wild-eyed, crazy-ass, howling at the moon prayers had been answered the results would not have been as blissful as you imagined. You thought you wanted this and then that. You wanted what you wanted and you wanted it now. The clock was ticking – you got impatient. When Where and How were your dreams going to come true? You asked for a person or a thing or a time or a place or a cure or a circumstance or a winning ticket. And you didn’t get it. What happened instead? If you made wise decisions based upon what you knew you could realistically have, rather than what you perceived as all the ways the universe had slighted you, I would be willing to bet the results were spectacular and satisfying. The weavings of time may seem enigmatic, but in time you see the threads are carefully woven for the quality of the entire tapestry.