Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Art of Imperfection

So yesterday one of my roommates gave me a book titled Wreck This Journal written by Keri Smith. The entire purpose as stated on the cover is to wreck the book. The second page has a warning that says "During the process of this book you will get dirty. You may find yourself covered in paint, or any other number of foreign substances. You will get wet. You may be asked to do things you question. You may grieve for the perfect state that you found the book in. You may begin to see creative destruction everywhere. You may begin to live more recklessly."

That entire statement scares me. I am a stage manager. By nature we like things organized, completed, tied up in little packages, fixed, in a word perfect or as close to perfect as we can. I am also an only child, now I know that some only children will absolutely disagree with me, but generally an only child also likes things as close to perfect as they can be. I'll admit it I am a bit of a perfectionist. Growing up my toys were never broken, my games and puzzles were never missing pieces, everything had it's place, everything was neat and tidy. So seeing an opening statement like the one above terrifies me. Books are not supposed to be destroyed.

So I took a deep breathe and turned the page only to stumped by the first set of instructions. They seem simple enough, but I soon found myself worrying that I would do them incorrectly. It's my book, can't I complete them anyway I want? Apparently my brain doesn't think so...#1 write your name in white -- first thought, how am I going to write in white and have it be seen? second thought, I could use white out, I don't have white out, I'll have to take it to work tomorrow. Third thought, am I over thinking this, no it says write my name in white. Okay #2 Write your name illegibly... I don't know how to do that. What if I write it and you can read it, then I've failed and it's only step 2 of the first page. Alright so I'll skip that for now and continue to think about how to write my name illegibly. #3 Write your name in tiny letters -- okay now that I can do, but do I write it normally with a capital E and a capital S or all caps or all lower case, dilemma, I went with all caps, but still found myself wondering if that would be alright. #4 Write your name backward -- this is where I stopped, write it backward -- do they mean actually write it backward as in nire or am I suppose to write it normally but start from the right side of the page and work my backward so that it will still spell my name but was written right to left instead of left to write.

At this point I've begun to doubt my success rate for following the directions in this book. I want to complete it I really do, but there is this over powering voice inside my brain telling me to make sure I do it correctly. I think my over achieving, perfection wanting brain is missing the point of the book. I will try again tomorrow, once I figure out the meaning of the writing your name backwards. I'm a bit scared to turn the page. If this page was this difficult the next page probably won't be much easier. It'll be good for me right, destroying the book. I'll let you know how it goes :)

1 comment:

Greg said...

Oh, this is going to be good! =) Hehehehehe...

I believe Yogi Berra put it best in this case - "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."