Perfectly Imperfect

Recently while working on a project and perusing Pinterest for ideas, I came across Rae Dunn’s mugs. I was so intrigued by these mugs. Why were they such a great find and so unique? Then, I found out about the devoted following, and as always, I am intrigued by the person who created the “thing.” Discoveries always lead me to read books, to research, and to get to know the person. Well, Rae is amazing.  And the more I read about her and her life, the more I want to know and follow her.

A story, a mistake, or an epiphany can come from so many things that are out of our control and change the course of our lives and truly make them so much better than we could have ever imagined.

There was a time in my life when I matched everything, lined everything up, and invested so much energy in perfection. I will not say it was a waste because I am beginning to believe that everything we experience in life brings us to where we are now and has purpose and meaning. We should not look back and be unkind to our former selves like that because it implies regret and unforgiveness of who we were at the time. We were doing the best we could do with the resources and abilities that we had.

When someone stole Rae’s camera in Spain in 1993, she drew all of her experiences in a sketchbook, and it changed her. When I look at her sketches, they inspire me to look at the world around me and not just snap photos with my phone at every opportunity but try to see with my eyes and draw with implements. These skills led her to her craft, and I believe this imperfection is why people are so incredibly drawn to her work.

There is a desire in each of us to be who we are, with uneven eyes, lopsided arms, crooked teeth, scars from bearing children, and falling on our bikes, crinkles at our eyes from smiling. We all want to accept ourselves and each other and have it be ok. I bought her book from when she went to France, and there is a photo in there of a cracked cup. I remember a scene from a series where a cup was cracked, and it was precious to the character, and in Japanese culture, this is called Kintsugi. They fill cracks in with gold, and these imperfections are something to celebrate, not disguise.

Our culture is embracing some of these values in things that we want to purchase. We need to incorporate them into our everyday lifestyle while allowing our mindset to accept that this is not substandard but human.

Imperfections can still allow for hard work, excellence, compassion, gratitude, creativity, and love.


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