Monday, July 30, 2012

In Celebration of the Flaw

Which of us is or wants to be perfect?  Our charm, our quintessence, appears exactly where the pattern deviates, where the leveling regularity is left behind.  What makes us who we are is our own peculiar collection of warts—those crooked little fingers we inherited from our grandmother, our gap-toothed smile, our inability to ride a bicycle, to carry a tune, to pronounce "r"s in French, to suffer fools gladly, to disappear into the crowd.  Our flaws distinguish us.

The Flaw

The best thing about a hand-made pattern
is the flaw.
Sooner or later in a hand-loomed rug,
among the squares and flattened triangles,
a little red nub might soar above a blue field,
or a purple cross might sneak in between
the neat ochre teeth of the border.
The flaw we live by, the wrong color floss,
now wreathes among the uniform strands
and, because it does not match,
makes a red bird fly,
turning blue field into sky.
It is almost, after long silence, a word
spoken aloud, a hand saying through the flaw,
I’m alive, discovered by your eye.

—Molly Peacock

image:  slight flaw in Kayseri prayer rug, kaiser kuo

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