Sometimes this life pushes me heavily towards a false state of perfection. I always believe it will help to try harder and it puts life against me instead of for me.
There is a story arc to everyone’s life that is stronger than they can possibly know on a conscious level. I ate early and now clothes are tumbling in the dryer. I was born to write; I was born to strive and lose. It is all mixed together like M & M’s, nuts and raisins.
I miss my old life on a daily basis. I miss my youth with its hardness and fragility. It’s tragic shadows of death that have not fallen yet. The daughter dying, the son pressing down his misunderstandings of why it hurts him so bad. The father hard at work with his own weaknesses stuffed into his briefcase. I do not know that he will die as well. I stay strong in my perfectionism.
I read and read and read. I try and try and try. I make lists. I stay in shape. I stay vigorous. And I cry.
Now it is different. I am seeing how useless it is to torment myself with the idea of perfection. I lose things. I have been searching for a gift card to The Longhorn Steak House. I must have accidentally tossed it away. Rats.
I have finished a book that took my breath away. “Four Letters of Love” by Niall Williams. Please get a copy and read it. I bought mine used. It is written so lyrically that I was obsessed with finishing it, skipping paragraphs in my ardor for his writing.
It speaks of angels in such a way that your own life is brushed by their wings. Surely as I grieve for my lost angels, they are rubbing shoulders with these words and smiling as I type. They want my happiness. They want me to let go and be loose and free.
This is my writing exercise. This is my group of words about my life past and future. Vicki is crowded with angels and none of them want her to be perfect. They speak now in their own language: “Beauty arises from the smoke of surrender. Wisdom cleans house, throwing out the useless gifts you never wanted in the first place. Be still and let yourself have no gift but gratitude.”