I am not prepared for Christmas. I haven’t bought enough presents. I haven’t bought the right presents. My house is a wreck, it’s messy and partially decorated and there is clutter in every room. My desk is piled up with things that need to be attended to, filed or thrown away. I haven’t cooked a decent meal for my family in a long time and today is my birthday.
I’m 58 today. I don’t like my birthday and am glad when it’s over. I’m not a fan of being the center of attention. I used to love it when I was little because my Mom always made a cake for me. She wasn’t a good cake maker and something always went wrong. One year my sister Bonnie rolled the cake into the dining room in a wheelbarrow because it feel apart. Another year my Mom backed the cake up to the wall because she ran out of frosting and the back wasn’t frosted. Every year there was a blunder with the cake. I don’t remember one time that the cake was right. I love those memories and I loved those cakes.
I treasure the imperfect. I love the mistakes and humanness of being. ‘Wabi-sabi’ is a Japanese term that I’ve heard translated as ‘perfection in imperfection.’ I’ve heard the Navajo people always weave an intentional mistake into every rug they weave to symbolize the imperfection in humans. The belief is that through the imperfection God moves in and out. We find our divinity in our imperfection.
My sister Mary is a mosaic queen. She mosaics everything, and I mean everything. Her husband John said he never wants to sit still for too long around her because she may mosaic him. She and I will mosaic together and make all sorts of things. I even made so much one year I got a table at a craft fair and sold the things I made.
Here is something my husband and two children and I made a few years ago together on my birthday. That was a wish of mine that we work on something together on my birthday. It is in a window in my office.
It’s not perfect. I’m not even sure if I like it as a mosaic piece.
And yet I love it.
It’s not a picture of something else. It’s a weaving of my family at a moment in time that reveals our relationships together. Unique, separate yet connected, colorful, complex and formed into a unifying whole. It’s us. It’s who we are and we are not like anyone else. We are not like any other family. There is no other mosaic out there like this that was formed with this intention, in this way and there is no other family like ours.
So, back to my point, my birthday and ‘getting ready’ for Christmas. I can’t get ready for Christmas in the way my mind tells me I should. I never have and probably never will. Somewhere inside me there is a bit of wisdom that wants me to allow space in the imperfection of all that is in my home and heart to make room for the divine to enter. Some wiser part of me wants to allow my light to shine through so that I can come closer to my family. I want to see the light that is shining through them and can’t do that when I am seeking perfection.
Today I choose to celebrate the beauty of my imperfections so that I may be a light for others and more clearly see the light in everyone else.
Today may something beautiful and real shine through you so that we all can loosen our grip on our need for perfection and allow space for the divine to be revealed.
Happy Birth Day. Happy New Day.
May something beautiful be born in all of us today.