a year of definite perfectionism

Oregon, last summer.My boyfriend's dad, Ron, designs state parks - camping areas, hiking trails, and (he adds, sighing heavily) RV parking pads and ATV areas.

While driving around the coast, we stopped at a tiny island-turned-state park he had designed.

The state had just acquired the island, which had previously belonged to a single mother and her 5 children. Their poverty had kept the island remarkably pristine. Er, thanks! And ...sorry.

When it came time to name this new park, the only surviving child asked that it be named after her mother, who was apparently a truly remarkable woman. Ron did everything he could, but politics took over and the park was named for a retiring water commissioner who didn't even know the property existed. Ron felt terrible.
Ron: Well, I did manage to get the most remarkable feature of the property, the marshland, named for her. It's completely unique.
A dubiously successful job.

I'm realizing it's pretty self-absorbed to think of artistic enterprises as the only thing with subjective results. This blog should PROBABLY be about perfectionism (convincing myself of success) and trying to impress other people (convincing others of success).

By which I mean, this blog is actually about ... perfectionism and trying to impress other people.

Dammit! I knew it! Arrogance and ego created a blog!!!! Who would have thought such a thing!?

Here is the marshland. The woman, the single mother who raised all those kids in the middle of nowhere ... I can't remember her name. I really tried to learn it.


Urraca said...

Girl, you nailed it. Most of our efforts are a mix of actually doing, but also trying to impress a bit. At heart, we all want to be "career women," no?

Lacy said...

I'm glad you weighed in on it. I was so mad at myself for being so concerned with what others thought, but ... there is a balance, I guess. Ultimately I make art for other people, not just myself.


Beausephus said...

It's hard to fight the good fight for so long, and even move the rock a bit uphill, but part of our lizard brain seems always to slither in and force us to think, "why can't I make rent this month?" or "why do I have to explain to my parents what it is I do?" I've found that success, perhaps even the smallest definition of such, is in the immediate. Success is self-satisfaction and a cookie at the end of the day...before you head off to the second job where you have to explain to your customers that, no, you are indeed a successful artist/actor/person, but rent needs to be paid...and dammit, why doesn't the shift supervisor see it and give you off for rehearsal like you asked?

Lacy said...

Nice, Beau. I think that correlates to what Molly said about each individual day's agenda. Appreciating small pleasures vs. judging your entire life's impact.