Ring the bell that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Ahh, perfectionism. Ann Lamott says it’s the voice of the oppressor. I believe her.
She explains: Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived. Clutter is a wonderfully fertile ground. Tidiness suggests something is as good as it’s going to get; it implies a held breath, suspended animation, while writing needs to breathe and move. Perfectionism is a muscle cramp of protection. It limits us, keeps us writing in tight, worried ways, keeps us from experiencing life in a naked and immediate way. Sloppy, imperfect messes have value!
So I’ve tried to stop fretting so much about messes. Everything (including my writing) does not have to be bright and shiny and new and perfect. There is a coziness and quaintness, a quietness in imperfection that I’ve learned to appreciate. There is also a great amount of freedom.