….on…. beauty of imperfection

Autumn is the season of imperfection. Yet it is also, strangely enough many people’s favorite season. I say “strangely enough” because most people are resistant to change, yet in Autumn, there are more changes crammed into a short time span than any other season. We may see summer temps, foliage color changes, rain, and even freezing snow. It is one of the most difficult times to forecast the weather because of these rapid changes. Even scents change; the autumn flowers carry a dryer less sweet scent and there is the scent of fruit and harvest. In the cooling air sounds themselves seem to have more clarity….
Perhaps it is these rapid changes that cause us to really sit up and take note of natures beauty. So maybe Autumn is truly an “awakening season” for many (even though many see Spring as a season of awakening).


If we look closer at what makes Autumn so beautiful we will see it is full of imperfections. In fact nature seems to celebrate these imperfections. A yellow leaf is never truly a solid yellow and a red leaf is never a solid shade of red. There are subtleties and flaws in all these changes that occur. Leaves are mottled or spotted and eventually fall from the trees as they lose their ability to cling to life. They clutter and clog our drains and gutters. Branches become brittle and break off from their life source. Fruit that is being harvested is rarely perfect; it is not uniformly colored and is filled with the scars or bruises caused by hard weather, insects, birds etc. The changing weather requires us to be more aware and dress accordingly. Yet this is often declared the most beautiful season of the year. Why are we more accepting of imperfections in the natural world outdoors than we are of the imperfections in each other? What would happen if we would accept the imperfections we perceive in others and accept those imperfections as part of what makes that person beautiful? Has the quest for perfection and comfort made us completely intolerant to the beauty of imperfection? Have we finally become at odds with nature and our own mortality?

The image above is titled “FALLEN ANGEL” and is simply a photograph of autumn leaves on a hiking trail. I loved how the large leaf seemed to be in the shape of an angel.

…on …laundry…


The early morning had an autumnal chill in the air and was overcast like so many clouded minds waking to the new day.

I was at the laundromat; not one of my favorite things. I go early, making every attempt to avoid the greedy rush of individuals jockeying for machines.

This morning eight other people had the same idea.

I had a book by Peter Handke that I was reading – ON A DARK NIGHT I LEFT MY SILENT HOUSE. It’s a short novel with prose that reads like poetry. It travels the razors edge of reality and dreams, so-much-so that, at times, I wasn’t sure if I was reading a really great story or if I was dreaming of reading. As I slipped farther and farther into the world of the story the sounds of the laundromat seemed more distant, muffled, even murky.

My quiet reading repose was interrupted by the RAT-A-TAT-TAT of machine gun fire – the sound of death – blasting from the mobile device of a seventy-year-old gray-haired grandmother playing an obviously violent video game and sitting near, too near me, lost in her own oblivion.
Annoyed by the cruel aural assault I just closed my eyes and let the sounds of the laundromat merge into a cacophonous free-jazz experiment; Albert King was playing on the overhead sound system swinging with updates about Hurricane Matthew, on the television, merging with the friendly chatter of others who seem to enjoy laundry – and company. Suddenly, a searing break of five washing machines whirring and buzzing, in their wild interlude, on the spin cycle in complete synchrony eventually to subside and merge with the rest of the sounds in this social sound-fest ending with the click click click click click of the same five machines stopping, signaling the cycle was over.

After drinking in all the sounds it was time to dry out, fluff and fold. The feeling of warm, fresh softness carried out to the car. Another week has ended. Now ready to start a new week, clean and clear. Ready to carry-on after this unpleasant sensorial massage. Ultimately satisfied. Paradox of mundanity.