Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Holy Grail and other things that don't exist

One of the things that it's taken until my thirties (shockingly) to realize is that everyone is flawed. And by everyone, I mean everyone. The entire planet is filled with damaged goods. That's made it a lot easier for me to form relationships with people. When you don't start with them on a pedestal, it isn't too far to come down when you realize they're not perfect.

It makes it easier to deal with family, too. Since you can't choose your family, self-preservation dictates that you love them despite their flaws, and you move past it, hopefully.

One of the luxuries of friendship, however, is that you get to choose your peers. You get to sift through the scratch and dent bin and pick the people who's scrapes and scars don't bother you. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can find a hidden gem whose wounds you actually love. Hopefully, you have the foresight to marry them rather than tossing them back into the pile, looking for something a little shinier.

And periodically, you might look over your treasure of scratch and dent finds and realize that a vase you thought was a Louis XIII original turns out to be just a scratched up piece of ceramic made in China. It's a disappointment, sure. But, sometimes you can love it anyway. And sometimes you realize that you don't "get it" anymore. Or need it. Or respect it.

Sometimes you look at someone and wonder "What did I ever have in common with this person?" And then you realize that they haven't changed at all. You have. And while you don't care that they don't see the similarities between the Bay of Tonkin Resolution and Weapons of Mass Destruction, you do care that they don't even know what the resolution was. And you could forgive that if they at least cared about something bigger than themselves.

And then there are the other finds that you got because they were a buy one get one free deal. And you never really looked at it or thought that it was much of anything, until you accidentally scratch it, and realize it's gold right through. That doesn't happen very often, but it's nice when it does.


At 1:13 AM, Blogger Retroboy said...

I love my scratched and dented collection. I don't have many, but the ones I have, I cherish.

As for the rest, I say polish them up and sell them on eBay!!

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Rogue said...

Fabulous piece of work!


At 9:58 AM, Blogger Eddie said...

I have come to a similiar realisation and even extend it to myself. There comes a point in time when you realise that the journey to become better, revealing all its dents and scratchs, is more important than getting there. Along they way you uncover layers of gold in yourself and those that are around you. More often than not, unexpected.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger sxKitten said...

I think sometimes it's our scratches and dents that make us worth knowing.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Rich Rosenthal II said...

Something bigger than myself hmm ... My Master Plan (to take over the world).

Its hard to watch people who were juvenile fools wiht yas when yas were youner continue on as a fool as they get older. You want to cling to the memories and comforts of old friendship yet they stay stuck in their late adolecense throughout life.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Diva said...

Thank you for this Trillian - what a great piece. And you are so right, everyone is, indeed flawed. And you covered so many great points in this one post.

"Ring the bells that still can ring,
forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
thats how the light gets in."

Leonard Cohen

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Carmi said...

Beautifully said, Trillian. I think the damage of which you speak is often what makes people so appealing to begin with.

When the wedding bands are sitting under the gleaming glass at the jewelry store, they're all so alike, so derivative, so downright boring. But after a few years of wear, they sport dents and scratches that bear witness to their experiences thus far. None of it was just happened. The unpredictable uniqueness of it all is too compelling to ignore. I can't imagine a life more sterile.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Trillian said...

Thank you all for your kind words. Indeed, our damage is what makes us the people we are, and perfect or not, finding people who value us for us is one of the greatest gifts you can receive.

At 3:55 PM, Blogger Steve said...

The question is "What do we do when we face our flaws and imperfections"?

Lao Tsu: "Knowing your weakness is the source of your greatest strength".

Grandma: "It takes a grain of sand to form a pearl".


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