Purposed Imperfection – 2

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I didn’t plan to  write a 2-part series, it just happened that the events of this past week provided another example of purposed imperfection – with another principle revealed.

I found a kayak listed on Kijiji. I contacted the owner to find a bit more information, and he described a few flaws: it was a bit too wide for him and the seat was maybe a bit low — as his paddle hit the sides with each stroke. He also went on to describe how the resin was not perfect; there were some runs in it, along with some discolouration and scuffs. I asked if it tracked well (ran straight) and he assured me that it did. We agreed on a price and I picked it up. Only after I had arrived did I come to understand that this young man had BUILT the kayak — a cedar-strip, canoe-style kayak. I told him that I thought he had mad carpentry skills to be able to build it, and he blushed a bit but it seemed hard for him to agree.

I brought the kayak home and put it in the lake the next morning. It tracks beautifully, and it fits my 6′-1″ frame much better than his 5′-9″ – wide enough to be stable without having the paddle strike the sides. I did notice some of the imperfections that the creator had pointed out, but I have determined to leave them as they are, for they remind me that it is not made by machine in some factory overseas – it is hand-crafted by a local person. The creator had to take a chance and push himself to craft it, then to pass it on to others.

This lesson is timely for me.

Since April 2nd, and I have written and/or recorded 30 pieces of music – I confess that I feel a bit manically obsessed by music right now. I have recorded 4 albums of original music in the past, but I stopped for the past 10 years. In short, it became too painful to create — but the pain didn’t just stop my creation, it killed my interest in music all-together. I’d like to tell you that this current season of musical obsession has been all joy – but the pain is still hanging around. I had posted most of the recordings that I made to youtube – but have since taken them down. I am afraid. I hear the flaws, and I came to be embarrassed by the lack of quality.

Crossroads: press on an create, or quit and kill the craft? I don’t know this to be a fact, but I can suppose that anyone who has ever created anything of any significance must come to this crossroads. It’s possible that some are more sensitive to rejection than others – I don’t know, but I do know that it is difficult for me.

So – I decided. I am going to create a 5th; an original blues-rock album. I’d even like to make it in old-school vinyl, with a coupon inserted for MP3 downloads. I reached out to a friend in the industry to get some advice on self-production, and I am following it. I am even enjoying it. I know that I will wrestle with acceptance by others once the project is complete – but I am heading into this straight on so that I will not only have an album at the end, but I will also have the chance to face my fear. Like the enneagram thought (which I received just prior to writing this post) suggests, “We must be willing to be uncomfortable for a while if we wish to be released from whatever has bound us.”

Musical taste is highly-subjective — some like classical, some do not. This is why there are so many genres of music. So it goes with all things created – but if the artist presses on, while the outcome may not fit all, it just may appear beautiful to / fit one perfectly and track well.