Sunday, April 10, 2005

The myth of our perfection

At times it seems to me that a lot of our closest friends are living very turbulent lives.So many of the people I love are really in very fragile or messy circumstances (of course they may think I am in messy circumstances – maybe I am, despite my feeling almost obscenely normal).
We get ill, we forget, we have bad habits, dark sides of our personality. We have weak spots, we have screwed up relationships, ghost in our past.
My point is: We’re all weird in some ways, we live messy lives, we all have aspects of our life that are on, or beyond, the edge of what’s generally, officially acceptable.
But we also live in this collective myth of human perfection. As professionals, in public, and certainly in the media, we carefully remove all signs of imperfection and weakness. Enough of this, and you end up believing perfection is normal and mess is the exception.
Some of my friends once had their home featured in Arcitectural Digest. I could barely recognize the place: dressed up with furniture brought in for the occasion, rooms with absolutely no mess, except for a few pittoresque touches of humanness.
A reportage of maybe 15 photos, each representing a 1/125 second slice of reality. I happen to know that there haven’t been many 1/125 seconds since then in which the place has looked like what was presented in the magazine.
The facade blocks the view. Maybe we can make our life look orderly for long enough to make a good impression – but we know that the cupboards are bursting with hidden mess – the real stuff.

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