Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Machinery and Habits of Love

We all want perfection.  It's true.  Don't doubt it for a moment.

Maybe not in all things, in fact, certainly not in all things... but in something, we want perfection.  We want that perfect car, so we look at the styles and bodies and we pick the one that strikes our eye just so and we find that rusted out hulk.  We tinker, we build, we paint, we improve, and then we revel.  We want that perfect movie, so we watch trailer after trailer and we go to opening nights.  We want that perfect body, so to the gym, to the road, and to the weights in the corner of the apartment we go while supplementing with drinks, shakes, diets and DVDs.  We want that perfect love, and we strive and we change and we compromise and we fight, knowing it will all be worth it in the end.

But in to every sky a cloud, on every beach a sharp shell, and every sun a burn.  There are always flaws.

The best heros in any novel make the worst decisions, and then overcome them.  A hero that never fucks up is a boring read.

Batman became an alcoholic after Robin died.

Spawn cut a deal with the devil to come back for the woman he loved.

Justice never truly figured out if he was insane, or from another dimension.

The Navajo have a tradition when they make a beautiful piece of art.  When they produce a bead-work, they put one bead in that is off color.  When they paint a picture, they leave a brushstroke undone.  There is an oddity to any silver work, whether it be patterning or luster... there is a flaw.  Why?  Why ruin a beautiful work with any sort of -intentional- failure?

Well, it's hard to explain.  But the long and the short of it is that they believe that everything has a spirit, and that small flaw is left as a 'vent' to any badness or evilness or negative energy to escape through.  If they made a perfect work, it would be a static, stagnant thing.  By leaving that small aperture, they ensure the work shall continue to be beautiful, because anything within it that festers, any negative energy it picks up, can be vented and exhaled back in to the world.  It's a lot more complex than that, though... and that's what makes it so difficult to explain.  The idea at a core is that when you make a piece of art, any piece of art, you are sharing your soul with a static piece of the world.  And if you make it a closed system, a stagnant thing without a vent, then that part of you will be trapped within and will grow toxic.

The same, I think, is true with people.  People have problems.  They make bad decisions.  I have some very good friends who are going through some very serious shit right now, and my heart bleeds for them.  I will never think that there aren't reasons for the situations they are in, but here's the thing, and it correlates to the point I just made:

The work of art is only appreciable by the person viewing it.  If someone is staring at this amazing piece of art, and they can only see the flaw, that is not the work of art's problem... that is the fault of the viewer.  People are completely the same.  If you love someone for the beauty they have injected in to your life, it should be no problem to look past the bad decisions, past the hardships, and revel in the beauty and the intent with which they better you.  But equally as important is to leave your own flaws present, to not change yourself on an intrinsic level to the point where you become a closed system.  Leave your own flaws in place, your own problems, or you will potentially cause stagnation for your mate.

More importantly, people need to realize that the flaws an individual has are just as important as the positive qualities.  There is no perfect person out there.  There's just not.  There's simply someone who has insanities and passions and problems that mesh with yours with a minimum of cutting to either side.  Cutting being the operative word... there will always be grinding.  We are talking about two gears who are misshapen and come together to drive an engine powered by love.  Rust will flake and fall to dust, metal will grind and sift in shards to the ground, and eventually those gears will mesh perfectly but it will not be a painless or instant process.

A machine is a work of art.  A plethora of parts that work together to a focused goal, fueled by liquid, by lubricants, and by explosions.  Love is the same kind of machine.  There are liquids, there are lubricants, and there are explosions.

The difference is that physical machines have interlocking nuts and bolts, have tightly fit parts, and have engineers to help them stay together if something doesn't quite fit right.

Love only has you, and your mate, and those around you who understand the both of you and can reach out to tap a piece in place, turn a bolt tighter, or add a bit of fuel when your engine is coughing or sputtering.  It needs to be fed, this engine, it needs to be maintained, and cleaned, and periodically taken out for a long-hard run on the highway to blow the carbon out of the carburetor.

And it takes both people to do it.  Sometimes one must do more than the other.  Other times the load will switch, but both need to keep carrying it, or the system breaks down.

Love, true love, is worth whatever fight it takes to continue it.

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