Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Part 2: What is perfection?

What is perfection? What is a perfectionist?

I used to think perfection was when you performed a task perfectly from start to finish and were left with absolutely no doubts about what you accomplished. I thought that perfectionists were people who were able to do just that. Everything they did, they did to perfection. There was no doubt in their mind that they performed the task exactly as they had planned, right from the start. I did not think that I was a perfectionist.

“It is our very search for perfection outside ourselves that causes our suffering.” ~The Buddha

But eventually it occurred to me that maybe a perfectionist was a person who strives so hard for perfection that they think they never quite attain it no matter how close they might come. They second guess almost every little thing they do because they think they could have done better. Sometimes they may not even finish what they set out to do because they are afraid they won’t do it perfectly, so what’s the point in trying they figure. I began to wonder if I was a perfectionist.

“Have no fear of perfection - you’ll never reach it.” ~Salvador Dali

I wondered if that was another reason I had not pursued recording a solo album before. Was I afraid it wouldn’t be good enough?  As a musician, and more so as a composer, recording an album is a very personal experience for me, whether it’s with Perpetual Motion or as a solo artist. I am putting myself and my songs out there for people to listen to and, hopefully, enjoy. But what if they don’t? That’s the hard part for most performers and artists, I think. For the most part we’re doing what we do because we love our art, be it music, dance, painting, acting, etc. But we want to be recognized and appreciated as well. It’s just part of the job, really. If I was composing and playing guitar solely for my artistic satisfaction, I probably wouldn’t record at all. So I must want people to like what I do. That’s the scary part.

“Perfection itself is imperfection.” ~Vladimir Horowitz

Nature is perfect only in its imperfection. That’s what makes life so perfect, that everything is imperfect. That got me to thinking that perfection to one person is not the same as to another, so nothing can be perfect if everyone is different. That's when I came up with the perfect title for my CD: Perfect Imperfection.

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