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"Dreams come true in the same way that plumb gets achieved, through artful deception."

If I look a little harder, I might glimpse sublime ImPerfection. Peaches quite naturally seem to avoid perfection, the better-shaped ones always turn out to be not quite ripe, the slightly bruised, juicer, tastier. From a slight distance, every item on offer at the Farmers' Market seems perfection incarnate. Step up to the counter and I see a thousand little reasons to turn and walk away. Maybe television has so poisoned my eye to expect every object to have been staged, properly backlit and artfully arranged, that I struggle to recognize as good as anything ever gets, which ain't perfect. I could stomp around in a continual state of learned indignation, gathering complaints and festering them into grudges, as if I had been cheated out of some birthright. The GrandOther discovers a worm in the ear of corn she's shucking. Some of the ears appear, once shed of their silk, as if they could have used some serious orthodonture work. We'll slightly unfocused our eyes as we eat, trading taste for appearance. Up close, nobody can see whether those kernels line up straight, anyway.

A little too hot or just a smidgen too cold. A little early or a little late. My world stands in approximate space where nothing exactly fits together.
I remember speaking with a finish carpenter, asking after his definition of plumb. He replied that as far as he's concerned, plumb amounts to a complete fiction, for he'd never in forty years of professional practice, encountered it. No room's perfectly square. The cabinets he was at the time so painstakingly installing into our distinctly unplumb kitchen, carried their own approximation of plumb; a different one than he found exhibited in our walls and floors. His job, as he explained it to me, was to find a way to fool every observer's eye by producing a convincing appearance of plumb, knowing full well that producing an actual plumb final product would, as always, prove absolutely impossible. I figure that it's the same way for everything.

We're wise to first set our expectations, and wiser still to take special care from where we select them. We learn proper forms before failing to accurately recreate them. The plan wouldn't satisfy Hoyle for it diverges from the template provided to model how a proper plan should appear. I might reasonably wonder why these damned templates always prove unreplicable in practice. Perhaps they were purposefully created to promote an etherial ideal, not to serve as master copies, but as cautionary samples. Careful, they whisper, or you might try to recreate something that looks too good and could not possibly work at all. The perfect-looking peach tends to be not quite ripe. The imperfect one will always taste sweeter and leave sticky juice running down your arm.

The Muse and I have been planning to return to our home place for a decade now. We've been absent longer than we were originally there. Our planning has taken misshapen forms not obviously guiding us anywhere. Our execution of those plans has hardly proven flawless. We believe that we're closer and that our objective remains worth pursuing to closure, though certain surface imperfections come into sharper relief the closer we come. We see that we'll return to a place we've never actually been before, with some of the more prominent markers disappeared over time. Dreams come true in the same way that plumb gets achieved, through artful deception. As I long ago proposed in one of my songs, I've been deceiving myself through the worst of it, just hoping to make the best of this some day. Best ain't anything like perfect, for it always carries some sublime ImPerfection within.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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