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The Beauty of Imperfection. Saturday June 1, 2013

On a recent visit to the glorious Victoria & Albert Museum in London, I got lost in wonder amidst an unrivaled collection of ceramics, I stood still, enthralled and connected to an imperfect exhibit called "A Waster." For a peek go to:

Wasters are the discarded remains of ceramic objects that became damaged or deformed during firing. In this case, 34 earthenware dishes have collapsed and fused together.

Could we have days when we feel a bit like that waster? Speaking personally, I think yes, it's highly probable we will. How so? Well, looking at those unusable plates, one feels a pang of sadness that they were never able to fulfill the promise of being a beautiful, perfect and whole dining service.

In like mind, we may have days when our health, depression or anxiety renders us incapacitated, unable to fulfil the seemingly endless list of demands, plans, or personal goals. We may feel hopeless and without worth.

Is there a positive bridge to be built here? Let's imagine you are a potter, an artist, with a waster on your hands. Rather than discarding it you find that it has an enchantment of its own with it's own character and story.

So too with us. We may be an imperfect vessel but we can still carry beauty and have gifts to bear. It's the little things that we can do in life that leave their happy mark. A warm smile, a small act of kindness, a genuine compliment or note of encouragement. The possibilities of adding our own personal stamp of beauty on the world around us are infinite. The effect? Incalculable. Priceless.

So should you ever be called a waster or a crack(ed)-pot...maybe take it as a compliment.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 7:32am

I want to tell you a story.

A water bearer in India had two large pots; each hung on each end of a
pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it,
and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of
water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house,
the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only
one and a half pots of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect
pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was
made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and
miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it was made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to
the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I
want to apologise to you". "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed
of?" "I have been able, for the last two years, to deliver only half my
load because of this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way
back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of
this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion
he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the
beautiful flowers along the path". Indeed, as they went up the hill, the
old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers
on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the
trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so
again apologised to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on
your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That is because I
have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted
flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day when we walk back from
the stream, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick
these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being
just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house"

To a dear friend, from an old cracked pot.

June Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 7:42am

Nice one Suzy. :-)

Faye Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 9:28am

I love this post! Thankyou :)

Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 12:09pm

Awwwwww, this is a beautiful story! Thanks so much for posting.

Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 12:11pm

This is a wonderfully wise post. Thank you!

Dan MacNeil Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 1:16pm

There is a a bit more on the beauty of imperfect things here:

quite deep actually.

Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 2:42pm

Thanks so much for this.
As I have struggled to adapt to being physically disabled I have thought a lot about this. As the roles and tasks and things I used to do for others dropped away - I have had to accept that just my being present is a blessing... or this is what I am working towards!! It's easier to write than to do! I might feel I am contributing nothing but actually my family and friends still find my presence of value.
So the "waster" comments strikes a real cord.

Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 3:15pm

I love this post too and the beautiful parable above. I think they've resonated with me almost more than any other :) Sue

Anonymous Sat, Jun 1st 2013 @ 9:49pm

Truly inspiring Suzy! In a world where perfection is constantly emphasised your blog today was a breath of fresh air. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous Fri, Jun 7th 2013 @ 10:05am

Beautiful thoughts Suz :-) It's those imperfections that make us unique and therefore very special - Lots of love to you

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