It's been an immensely stressful week. Moving to a new home is big. We have picked up and placed into boxes nearly every object that we own. Each fork, each book and every bath towel. One dog, two cats and nine houseplants. Three humans, too. I am exhausted and frazzled and really happy.
Our new house is a blank slate. Everything is open for interpretation and that very blankness is killing me. It's giving me the illusional idea that I might be able to make everything perfect. Each photograph could hang in the perfect spot. Every piece of furniture could be perfectly placed in the perfect room. Every cabinet could be perfectly clean. Perfection is a cruel seductress. It is a mythology. It is the un-humanly work of gods. It doesn't play out in the humble story of life. Each home and each family, orderly as we try to make them, are microcosms of a chaotic universe. The disorder in my home reminds me that I have such precious little control over the world. It reminds me that I am imperfect. We are imperfect. We want to be perfect because if we are perfect we can never be wrong or broken. We could float above shame.
I struggle in that. I have struggled, I am struggling, I will struggle. And it's okay.
Earlier in the week I was reading a little piece by one of my favorite photographers, Michelle Gardella. It said "Start with love, work very hard, and then try to let go of the results." I keep repeating this advice in my mind as I unpack boxes and mop the corners of every room. It's the letting go, the detachment from the final result that will break the chains of perfectionism. Perfect isn't real. Real life is played out as a shouting match, spilled milk and dirty fingernails. There is dirt and brokenness and shame. They are as much a part of humanity as love and beauty and forgiveness. It is not perfect, but it is true. I'm hoping I can piece together a home that reminds me of that truth often.