It's Never Perfect



Two years ago, I bought a new house.

A few weeks ago, after many challenging twists and turns, we finally moved in!

I have a brand new house. With new appliances. A new roof. New walls, new fixtures, new concrete. New, new, new. We got to pick the colors, the size of the front porch, the size of the garage, even the type of gas logs in our fireplace. And so, many people would say it’s *perfect*.


I’ve lived here three weeks and there’s one truth I have realized: It’s never perfect. The road noise through the windows can be deafening. The dogs’ nails on the laminate floor echo throughout the house. What felt like a warm 68 degrees in our old house feels like a refrigerator in the new one. The drain of our shower leaked and caused a puddle on our new carpet in the closet. The new carpet hides dog pee so well it’s nearly impossible to clean it all up. The crew that installed the washing machine forgot to remove the shipping bolts, causing my washer to jump wildly the first time we used it. The toilets clog easily. I could go on.

In other words, it’s not perfect. Now, I could feel disappointed in the imperfection. My brand new house - and the process to build it - is not the perfect experience I had hoped for. Instead, I want to focus on an honest truth: it’s never perfect. My singing: never perfect. My conducting: never perfect. Yes, even at my very best, there is always more to do to improve. If music is truly perfect, it’s because it was recorded numerous times in a studio with producers and engineers tweaking each note. In the current days of auto-tune, we actually get far too much “perfect”.

My ears crave the authenticity of human sound in every little imperfection. The unique music produced in each performance of a song, regardless of how many times I’ve heard the piece, is what draws my attention and keeps me intrigued. I’m able to move beyond the sound of an individual voice, an instrument, a single song - into genuine appreciation for the art. Celebrating each small success - a moving crescendo, navigating a particularly tough passage, achieving a beautifully unifying sound, bringing passion and emotion to little black dots on a page. What deep gratitude is found in imperfection.

And so goes my new home. There is so much to be grateful for. Protection from the elements, running water to cook and clean, warm beds to sleep in … and even a new patio set on the front porch to launch my own chapter of the Porch Sitters Union.


And that, in my humble opinion, is true perfection.


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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

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