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Thursday, May 15th, 2008

The Weight of Perfection

My boyfriend has not been afflicted, as I have, with the disease of perfectionism. He is indeed an amazing human being, with superman-sized powers in many of life's important areas; he believes in excellence, but not in perfection. I've been steeping in his wisdom as I peel apart excellence from perfectionism, as they've been melded together in my mind for most of my life.

The dance performance ( is only a week away, and boy, we sure could use another week, which is always the case with performances. Regardless, I wake up each morning with a surge of adrenaline, out of a dream that would make both Jung and Freud proud – a dream that carries all the turmoil, doubts and vulnerabilities of each and every way I relate to dance. I am in a soup-pot, boiling off dance karma, as my boyfriend likes to say.

I think about next week, and am saddened and pained by the knowledge that it will not be perfect. I have invited openly and enthusiastically my community to this personal creation, and it is difficult to know I will not have perfection – or the pretense of perfection, or the hope of perfection – to hide behind.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be inoculated against this disease; I've been chasing after it as long as I can remember and haven't had a moment's peace or ease while doing so. I'll gladly trade up perfectionism for excellence, trade in perfectionism for rejoicing in what IS, peel off perfectionism for the simple nakedness of who I am.

Apparently the best way I could figure to wriggle my way out from underneath the oppressive weight of perfection is by burning, burning, burning.

This from a card, from my mother, wishing my luck with my dancer performance, which sets right again my relationship with dance:

Don't you
hear it?
she asked
& I shook
my head no
& then
she started to dance
& suddenly there was
music everywhere
& it went on for a very long time

& when I finally found words
all I could say was
thank you.

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Posted by LiYana at 9:35 pm

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