Friday, December 22, 2017

art of losing: perception of perfection

Dec. 22
Perception of Perfection, 2012-2017

In the exhausting and wonderful rush of preparing for our high holiday celebration, I make
a brief stop into the lovely candle-lit half-bath and suddenly realize that the rather swank
three-hole faucet set on the rather sophisticated sink in this bathroom (rather more
serious than the sap-green Matisse loo in the old house) is crooked.
It has been crooked for five years, for more than five years;
since before our time.  How is it that on this night
of the shortest day, "as the wheel of the year
begins another turn," I who stand at my
freshest each morning at this sink
opening a can of cat food and
washing my hands, how is it
that I have never noticed
this failure of symmetry,
this offense to the rule
of even, straight and level,
to the imperative of
equilibrium, proportion,

Maybe I
see it tonight
is a little out of
whack: the
cookies barely
made, the tree
not fully lit,
the tablecloth
wrinkled and the gifts
not wrapped.
All week,
all month,
for more
than a month,
balls dropped,
documents lost,
traditions forgotten,
screens cracked and smashed.
The end of this poem
should show how clear it is that none of this matters,
that nothing is ever perfect anyway, that some things
are more important than others,
but I have to tell you that
the crooked faucet is a
problem. I am
not fine
      with it.

draft HM 2017

Wishing a bright Yuletide season to all, lovely candle-lit half-baths with neatly aligned faucets that bring us water whenever we need it and a stream of gratitude for the plenty of our lives.  The round-up today is with Buffy at her blog, where we are lighting up the darkness with the power of words.



  1. Oh my goodness, Heidi, we are SO much on the same page right now. When I get done doing my grades, I turn around and see that the whole house has fallen apart while I wasn't paying attention, and everything is crooked and scratched and messy and I just want to scream.

  2. I love that word swank.
    "as the wheel of the year turns"
    There are so many details in this poem that I love and how the overall arc takes me to that one niggling detail that captures the entire mood.
    Well done, friend.
    You are the light, Heidi. I know it and I see it. Be well during this time. Love to you and yours.

  3. That happens to me, too, Heidi! I can miss something for the longest time. I'm going to keep this poem. Wishing you all good things over break, and hoping to see you before long...

  4. I rather love your rather wonderful way with words and how your tale of your swank faucet brings you and your reader to a realization of what is and isn't important in our imperfect world. Now go get your faucet fixed!

  5. I've been in my new home five years this month & there are still things. . . These recent poems you're writing are so making me think, Heidi, every time. I realize it may be early to ponder, but a book of these will make a wonderful experience for anyone who loves poetry. Enjoy the holiday break and those tiny things that are important.

  6. I like the "sap-green Matisse loo," and the feeling that everything is tumbling down in your poem, but it doesn't matter. Your poem and the pic remind me of Hundertwasser's architecture in Vienna, here's a link:

    Enjoy your break and the holidays!

  7. I don't know what to say, Heidi. It's amazing how I can step over a pile of papers everyday for years yet be obsessed at getting all the sticky adhesive, left by a label, off a bottle. There's no explaining human nature, but I'm glad you're trying!

  8. How often we accept the imperfections, but then when realized, it bugs you without ceasing. This poem, however, has so many levels of meaning. Your project this month is inspiring.

  9. I love how you've turned this observation of a crooked faucet into a rumination on life that feels, maybe, just on the brink of chaos. "Everything is a little out of whack" here too. But, as you say, "some things are more important than others." Wishing you a joyous holiday, filled with all the important things.

  10. You. Crack. Me. Up.

    (And I am so totally with you on the sudden need to fix just ONE THING that is fixable since so much of the rest of the flow of chaos around me can't be least not with a wrench.)

  11. Reading this poem is such a dynamic experience. Every time I read it, I discover more. Love it!

  12. Oh yes, once noticed, some things can't be unseen. I am slowly trying to regain some control over my house now that the rush of the holidays are over. Thank you for transforming a bit of imperfection into something beautiful with your poem.

  13. Hahaha--I love this, Heidi! When so much around us is falling apart, the little things within our control become more important. I'm no perfectionist, and many things don't bother me that would drive others crazy. But whatever THAT little thing is that's bothering me, I feel momentarily that I am invincible and all is right with the world if I can just fix that one little thing. Happy New Year!

  14. Your poem affected life?! Yes, you can share your lovely poem and its great "after story" with the world... Submit now


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