Friday, 12 November 2010

A flawed fairy...

I guess inevitably in any collection as cheesy as a collection of snow globes there has to be at least one fairy. In reality I have several, but this one is my favourite.

She’s a reject from the snow globe stock I once sold from my kiosk on the pier. If you don’t know about my kiosk – I once had a kiosk on Bangor pier from where, as a hobby, I sold craft and gift stuff. It was great fun. You can read about it and see some pictures here if you’d like to.

You can’t see it very easily in this photograph but at the base of the glass sphere there’s a hairline crack from which the water is very slowly escaping and evaporating. It’s taken three years to lose enough water to cause that air pocket you can see above my fairy’s head. Eventually the globe will be empty of water and my fairy will sit upon a dry, grassy, tuffet.

This poor fairy is flawed. Maybe that’s why I like her best of all my fairy globes.

Over the years I've come to love imperfection. I've learned to like the slightly worn patch on the arm of the sofa where Holly used to rub her hand when she was little, the scratched to splinters table leg where Tia used to sharpen her claws, the chunk out of carpet at the bottom of the stairs where Misty pounced on her imaginary mouse, the hole in the beech work-surface where Gaynor plunged the knife. Imperfection has a certain beauty. It makes things real, gives them an edge, has a pleasing solidity and everydayness about it.

In Japan, the very best Karesansui Zen gardens have intentional imperfection implanted. Despite the careful placing of the rocks, the raking of the gravel, and the trimming of the perfectly formed trees, a few fallen leaves are always left or placed on the gravel, a fallen rock is left on its side and not placed upright, dead branches are left exposed and not removed.

Beauty is made more beautiful by imperfection. My favourite glass, in a set of six red wine glasses, is the one with the air bubble in the stem. I hate the uniformity I find in supermarkets; the sameness in size and colour of the fruit and veg, the standard length of the shrink wrapped sprats – in nature fruit and fish are rarely uniform, that's part of their beauty. I really don’t mind that one of the buttons on my favourite shirt doesn't quite match, in fact I love it - it’s that difference that makes that shirt my favourite.

I don’t want things to be perfect. I don’t want things to be replicas of each other. I don’t want people to look the same way, act the same way, think the same way. I want difference. I want imperfections.

They say that it isn't a perfect world. It’s usually used as an apology, when things go wrong, with a shake of the head. One day my fairy globe will be empty of water and the imperfection of the hairline crack may cause the glass to shatter, a small world destroyed by a small imperfection.

Oh well, even when the globe is gone, her world shattered, she'll remain - and isn't that what really matters?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry I deleted the previous comment - it was in fact this one but I wanted to edit it and didn't know how......

    I hope you don't mind me commenting here (I'm pretty new to this blogging thing), but I felt moved by your post. Your writing is very evocative.

    Sometimes I find myself wandering about friends' and acquaintances' shiny, shiny show houses in a state of envy - dreaming of what if. Yet in those same houses I rarely feel relaxed. The signal being given is very much 'look don't touch'.
    A real home has its worn and broken bits, its souvenirs chosen for the recollection, not for what they coordinate with. All true family homes should have their quirks and eccentricities.
    I suppose it tells the story of the occupants.

    "Perfect" is cold and clinical, it reminds me of soulless clones.

    Amy K

  3. I guess I wanted my comment to be perfect. Ha, ha!

  4. Thanks Amy and welcome.

    You have no idea how pleased I am when people read me and comment and you have taken so much trouble to get it right. Comments like yours keep me going.
    I'll try not to let you down so that you keep reading.

    Thanks again.

  5. Catherine Halls-Jukes commented on Facebook:

    Catherine wrote
    "here here !!!!"

  6. Andy Bickerdike commented on Facebook
    imperfection rules... I'm dubious about the bangor pier.... I should have popped in during my diving trips

  7. Tricia Kitt commented on Facebook:
    oh. Andi; just read the whole thing & it is my life....
    love Tx

  8. I love that fairy - not cheesy at all but I'm sad that she is drowning in reverse.

    Bit worried about Gaynor, the knife and the worktop though.