Casi Perfecto ~ Almost Perfect!
A friend, who recently moved to a small Mexican village near me, told me a story about Casi Perfecto! or Almost Perfect that captured my imagination. He had hired a local seamstress to make full length curtains to hang across a long bank of windows in his home. Days and then weeks went by and still she hadn’t finished them. At last, a month or two later, she arrived all smiles with a basket full of fabric. He noticed right away that the fabric in her basket was close to the kind he'd chosen with her at the shop, but not exactly the same.
When the panels were all hung, each was a slightly different fabric and all were different lengths. Not one panel was even or matched the other exactly. Standing back to admire her work, the seamstress clapped her hands to her bosom and enthusiastically declared, "Casi Perfecto!" Almost Perfect! My friend admitted that at first glance he was quite disappointed with the result. But in time he learned that the Casi Perfecto! of life in México is a lovely way to think and live.
I found this story delightful and a vivid illustration of how much easier it is to live and love in a culture that not only allows and accepts that things are not perfect or certain, but embraces that reality.
I, too, have taken Casi Perfecto! to heart since moving to México. I no longer worry about the fact that every word I write will not be profound and meaningful. That my stories won’t be enjoyed by everyone. That I won’t be productive every day or even every week (or month!) Méxican time is defintiely Casi Perfecto! It also means that the life I've chosen may not be accepted or condoned by those who mean the most to me.
Indeed, that life on earth may not proceed, progress and improve for the billions of us still believing and hoping so. But at the moment we are still here and we can still choose how to perceive and champion the life we’ve been graced with. Obviously, there are problems galore and nothing is perfect. That's why I so enjoy the every day wisdom of Author, Anne Lamott. She was quoted as saying, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane."
Can any of us live with the bargain we’ve made with ourselves, to be the best we can be without crumbling in despair if we fail to achieve what we imagine to be our best? I've been hampered by thoughts like these at times and then I’m reminded of another quote to quell that anxiety. This one, offered by Henry James, says “Excellence does not require perfection”. We can be Casi Perfecto! as we are.
Since I've taken Casi Perfecto! to heart, I've become more mindful of the beauty of the moment, the pleasure of the company, the best intention behind the action, the effort made, that the way I perceive things is the way they are for me and not necessarily so for any other.
Living my life as Casi Perfecto! I've discovered that my own journey has become easier and more pleasurable. It's Almost Perfect!