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Who decides what perfection is? It seems like the notion of perfect permeates a human-made world of people who cannot actually become the thing they’ve designated as ideal.

Perfection is an abstract. It’s a notion born from theoretical space and conveniently round numbers. One minute we’re doing just fine and the next we’re hunting down something completely elusive because it doesn’t even exist in reality.

You’ve got to drift into philosophy and mathematics to come to peace with a sense of flawlessness.

This piece of wood is Tennessee red cedar. It’s beautiful, strong, fragrant- and designated unusable. They gave it to me as an end-cut, meaning for all intent and purposes it was more in the way than anything else.

When branches form in trees they have structural wisdom baked in. The branch forms when the tree is young and narrow, and as layers build on the trunk they surround the branch as it also grows layers. An interwoven masterpiece of stability.

But it is by no means perfect.

And when the wood is cut into slabs, the base of the branch leaves knots or falls out and leaves empty nodes.

And what was once vital to the integrity of the tree is an end-cut at the local hardwood lumber yard.

Something about that rubs me the wrong way. Feels like a misunderstanding of reality. Elicits a stubborn desire to prove that context is everything; and a flaw in one space is art in another.

That’s the philosophical “perfection” I was talking about. Feeling for what is and might be. Where the rules bend. The realm of magic… Creating context such that even the flaws become something beautiful.

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