Sunday, August 23, 2009


I wonder to myself, "What is perfection?"

Clearly there are definitions, and ideas of obtaining perfection. But there is also the eternal proverb, "Nothing is perfect."

Perfection (primarily) defined is: the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art. Well, isn't that kind of... boring? When one has supposedly reached the perfection of an art, with nothing new to be obtained, how does one stay motivated to persevere?

Lucilio Vanini once stated the paradox that "the greatest perfection is imperfection." The argument continues to address how being perfect leaves no room for improvement and so would lack "true perfection," which depends on progress.

I think perfection is a kind of science. It's like science. Perfection is true based on the facts. Take a red ball, for instance. If a child wants to play with just a red, round object that bounces, then that red ball is perfect; it is perfection for that child's idea of playtime. But if another kid wants the same red, round object to float, then the toy is imperfect because it lacks that desired characteristic. (But it's not necessarily a bad toy, is it?)

As with science, there are theories, thus there are theories of perfection (i.e. in relationships/friendships, of an art, etc.). But perfection, in its own being, is not a fact. It is a theory to everyone else when it is fact in the eye of the beholder. If a person holds something to be perfect, describing why it is, then it is.. in his or her eyes only.

To me, perfection can be a negative thing. If someone thinks they're perfect, then they're narcissistic. In a very general sense, if a person thinks one part of a whole is perfection, then what does that make the other parts? Flawed? If someone's art is called perfection, would that be calling others of the same field imperfect? I've never heard someone be called a "perfect" visual artist; that's.. too defining of the term "art," too limiting. That would insult me, honestly. Art is about growth, and as stated earlier, "ultimate perfection impedes progress."

Relationships (of friends, love, etc.) aren't truly perfect: they are supposed to be real, and human, and continuously help both parties to grow. True companionship is accepting the bad along with admiring the good. Perfection of a true art is beautiful progress that knows no bounds.

We humans will never be perfect, we can only idealize things as such. Why try to force ourselves to be so? Why worry about it? Instead, embrace the imperfections for what they are: sincere.. natural.. human... and perfect.