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Post details: The Beauty of Imperfection

The Beauty of Imperfection

Germans are very punctual folks. And they love soccer too. Yet few years ago, when given a choice to equip soccer balls with tiny electronic devices that would help referees make correct calls, they rejected it. Somehow, we want our choices to retain their human dimension, however error prone it might be. Fans, especially the beer chugging variety, also want the decisions to remain debatable. So a little wrong call here and there is not only acceptable - it is actually highly desired.

Perfection is a beautiful thing, but it has one blemish: when there is nothing to improve, it can mean only one thing - the end. Perfection is sterile, bionic, cold and devoid of life. It feels like a computer generated laughter. Just think of all the faces on glamour magazines at the supermarket check out lines. Would you like to live with them on a daily basis? I wouldn't.

One of my CDs is a live concert which begins with a rock rendering of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. In the passage building up to the grand Finale, someone in the audience succumbed to the magic of music and forever marked the soundtrack with an ecstatic, primordial shriek. When I heard it at first I thought: "what a debasement of this beautiful piece". But I grew so accustomed to it that I miss it when I listen to a different performance. That mini geyser of joy accentuates the music, it gives it warmth and authenticity.

So wherever there is a blemish - there is a sign of life. All those scratches and scars, all the dents and coffee stains - those are the signs of having been through things, of having lived. Otherwise our existences would be like a carefully waxed car that is only taken for a cautious Sunday drive and for the rest of the time it is kept in the garage conserved in its permanently perfect state.

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