PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay
Expanding my recent interest in oil painting, I spent an afternoon painting an image of the sunshine according to the image conceived in my head. It was much tougher than the previous painting (although it seems to be easier) as both acrylic and oil based paint is used to produce this painting. Finally, after hours of work on it, I decided to call it a day and prepare to head back to camp in a while. The image above is the supposed final product.
But the perfectionist in me can’t help but squirm upon seeing defects in the painting. I just couldn’t ignore that flaw! As such, I set off to correct those errors. But Murphy’s Law apply, and the more I tried to correct the flaw, the worse it got (partly also because acrylic based paint’s properties is much different from its oil paint counterpart). The ‘ugliness’ got so bad that at one point, I was so frustrated that I wanted to throw away the painting! Before I could bring myself to do so, a quote from the book ‘The Last Lecture’ by Randy Pausch came into my remembrance.
Design: Reuel Eugene Tay
In that mini chapter, Pausch’s wife Jai accidentally bump their van into Randy’s convertible, causing a greater dent on the convertible. Jai was very apologetic and sad. Pausch forgave her but forbid her to get the car fixed.
“Tomorrow morning,” she promised, “I’ll get estimates on the repairs.” I told her that wasn’t necessary. The dents would be OK. My parents had raised me to recognize that automobiles are there to get you from point A to point B. They are utilitarian devices, not expressions of social status. And so I told Jai we didn’t need to do cosmetic repairs. We’d just live with the dents and gashes.
Jai was a bit shocked. “We’re really going to drive around in dented cars?” she asked.
… my belief that you don’t repair things if they still do what they’re supposed to do. The cars still work. Let’s just drive ’em”.
… For Jai and me, our dented cars became a statement in our marriage. Not everything needs to be fixed.
An abstract from Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, p 86-87
Just thought that this statement can be applied in our daily lives in so many ways; in our relationship with family, friends and loved ones.
Being in close proximity with our close friends and spouses (or boy/girlfriend) greatly exposes us to both their strengths and weaknesses. While we can easily celebrate their strengths, it can sometimes be hard to swallow their weaknesses which may come in the form of attitude differences, perspective differences, conflict of interests, character flaws, etc. The closer we got to them, the more (unwanted attributes) we see, the easier we get irritated (and they irritated by us as well). And when we take it upon ourselves to remedy their flaws, somehow things go totally out of control and taken out of proportions. Talking about one issue can bring out so many other past unrelated issues altogether. The end result is a wrench thrown into a once beautiful relationship.
This may sound familiar to some. Well, I’m no saint and so I am no exception.
But like Randy Pausch’s statement, not everything needs to be fixed. As long as the issue regarding the other party does not shipwreck the relationship, that vehicle of relationship can still go somewhere even if that ‘blemish’ is not fixed. Dents (issues) can be turned around, serving as proof of the the longevity of that relationship too. Sometimes, to agree to disagree is the best policy. And why do we overlook the flaw? Because our love for the other party; that relationship is of much greater worth than correcting him (or her). Love is the common destination (common interest) that brings the two together.
Perfection lies in imperfection.”
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
– 1 Peter 4:8
Back to the oil painting, this time round I took a different approach, just paint away instead of vehemently remedying the flaw. And this was the end result.
PHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay
It turned out better than I expected surprisingly..! It’s not the best of paintings definitely but there’s beauty in its imperfections too. Not everything needs to be fixed. 🙂