Thursday, June 08, 2006

Al dente perfection

The other night we were making pasta, and I asked my daughter to look at the box to see how long to let the noodles boil. The box said, “‘Al dente’ perfection in 9–10 minutes.”

“We are such an impatient world!” she said. “It used to be ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ and now it’s ‘Perfection in 10 minutes.’”

We laughed, and I found this profound.

The perfect pasta. The perfect steak. The perfect strawberry. I’ve had many of these, but I never tire of searching for them—that exquisite moment when you know you’re experiencing perfection. The perfect spring day. The perfect ocean view. The perfect conversation. These things entrance us, probably because they don’t happen every day. But every day, perfect things happen.

Is perfection something we should have to wait for? Or is it around us all the time, every moment? Sometimes I’m conscious of just loving my house or my yard. They’re there every day, but I appreciate them in singular moments. And probably no one else would think they’re perfect, what with the vivid colors and untamed growth and all, yet they’re perfect to me.

So today, I’m thinking of perfection not as a goal but as something to open my eyes and see. After all, there’s no aspect of my spiritual nature I don’t have access to right now, including my own expression of Spirit’s perfection. Spirit exists, filling all space, spanning all time, perfect, all-powerful.

Perfection is omnipotent. Therefore it exudes from itself and compels expression and recognition. I am compelled to see it and experience it, even in limited mortal form. That experience of delight and wonder, of gratitude and blessing, is a foretaste of what infinite perfection will feel like once I understand it.

And, although it’s hard to see and admit sometimes, I know I’m a part of that perfection, too. I do perfect things. Sometimes I comfort someone just right, or I put a sentence together that sings, or I accomplish everything on the to-do list in a timely way. I express perfection. You do, too. We can’t help it, and we need to magnify it, instead of the all-too-human tendency to downplay it and focus on our shortcomings. Self-improvement is all very well and good, but it should be based on the admission that we’re perfect to begin with, because we’re made in the image of perfect Spirit. How do we express perfection, every day?

The pasta turned out just right. You turned out just right, too. Stick a fork in yourself—you’re done.

Perfection underlies reality. Without perfection, nothing is wholly real.

--Mary Baker Eddy

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At 6/08/2006 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous Carrie Joyce said...

I like this post :-)

and i like the way one can choose to look at perfection if they want to... because it's always there and it's peaceful.


At 11/11/2006 01:57:00 PM, Blogger L-ementary said...

Thanks, Laura.


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