Tag Archives: perfection

A Solid Soul & the Blood I Bleed

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I spent the evening of my 28th birthday in an airport. And then, after a multitude of delays, on a plane bound back to NYC after visting my family in South Florida for Thanksgiving. Way back in September when the flight arrangements were made, I will concede that I chuckled to myself about how I would be literally “up in the air” as I gained an official year in age; as I officially hit my late twenties; as I realized that I was now a scant two years away from the big 3-0 (yikes). The sentiment felt particularly relevant because, really, how many times in the past year – or years for that matter – has my life felt up in the air? I’d have to say that the answer would be too many to count.

It’s not uncommon for me to ponder every year as my birthday draws near this question: what have I accomplished? (Perhaps everyone does this? Or maybe they just wait until New Year’s. Ha). Anyway, for the past few years, I’ve felt somewhat stumped. It didn’t matter whether I was working or not (or how much), or how much money I made, or whether or not I was in a relationship or in love, etc. No matter what those answers were, I still somehow felt something was missing. I knew it and felt it in my bones. And because I’ve always tended to be an analytical, over-achieving, perfectionist person who really, really loves to understand and fix things, I’ve found myself digging away for years trying to figure out what that was and remedy it. It’s been a long, long process and I’m sure it’s not over yet (because you can never be done growing), but I am grateful and quietly proud and ecstatic that this year, my 27th year old life, I accomplished something.

So. I figure you can look at the evening of my birthday two ways: 1.) I (and my life) was up in the air or 2.) I was flying. Perhaps I was both at the same time. And just maybe that’s okay, because the thing I got back was Peace. Which sounds hokey and cheesy I know, but while I had always realized that I had a few “issues” to work through – hell, we all do – I hadn’t realized quite how deeply the things that happened to be in my past ran through me and how much they had affected me and the way I lived.

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The Dying Swan

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Isn’t Anna Pavlova lovely? (I tried some magic code to shorten the video so that it would start just when she began to dance, but apparently the code doesn’t like me because it refuses to work. Oh bother)

I was watching a short clip of an interview (long ((enough)) after her death, I believe) with someone who knew who Anna well. The duo ruminated on how she was such a wonderful and unique and captivating dancer, and they touched upon her limited technique and how considering the “dancer’s of today” she might never have made it so big.  It had to be mentioned, and though they went back to remark on her passion, her presence, and how there was something different and ineffable about her performance, I couldn’t help but think, how true.

The thought occurs to me most every time I look at dancers of the past. The bar of technique and athleticism and perfection has risen to such an incredible degree throughout the years. I find it dually wonderful and a little sad. Perfection. Passion. What if you have the passion but not the perfection? What if you have the perfection but not the passion? What if there are scores of Anna Pavlova’s (in any art form or field) held back by a lack of textbook all-around perfection? And, while I’m wielding a double edged sword (being a perfectionist and all), what if we’re missing something really great by only looking for “perfect”. Doesn’t that, after a while, get a little boring?

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