I write a lot about looking for potential in things we might otherwise discard. But, what about beauty? That’s sometimes more difficult to see, because, too often, I mistake beauty with perfection.
A good example would be some of the “art” our boys create at school. It’s painfully obvious when they weren’t interested in the project. The piece looks rushed, sometimes incomplete, with little or none of their personality shining through. I dutifully hang the “art” on a bulletin board or our refrigerator, with no plans of saving it for my scrapbook.
But lately I’ve begun looking for just an element worth saving. I can easily cut out their signature to save as a sample of their handwriting at a certain age and tuck it in my scrapbook with their school picture. Our youngest son often incorporates a Minecraft or Mario figure into whatever he’s created, so I’ll sometimes crop that out to use in a larger collage someday. Bottom line: when I look for the beauty, instead of overall perfection, I have yet to toss an entire piece of artwork, because there’s always something.
Yesterday, I found myself cutting out an image from a piece of junk mail. The colorful houses reminded me of Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina, and looking at it just made me happy. So, snip, snip, add some glue, and now it’s a border on a page in my upcycled sketchbook.
There was a time I would have judged myself quite harshly for cropping my kids’ art (and probably rolled my eyes at taking the time to cut up a mailing from our mortgage company), but today I’m celebrating my desire to see the beauty and stop seeking perfection. No doubt, my life (and my sketchbook) will be better for it.