Perfect Person

I’ve decided to become a perfect person. Maybe that should be A Perfect Person. Maybe it should be The Perfect Person. It’s hard to tell with such things. I think I’ll go with Perfect Person.

I came to this decision the other day.

Years ago, there was this cartoon thing that a lot of folks had hanging in their office. I don’t remember the exact wording but it was something to the effect of “One Aw Shit cancels out 1000 Ata Boys.”

With that in mind, I’ve experienced a lot of Aw Shits lately, both uttered at me and by me. I figure my stock of Ata Boys (Ata Girls?) is at an all time low and it’s time to restock like Macy’s preparing for Black Friday.

I find, however, that enumerating the characteristics of Perfect Person is not easy. Are the characteristics internally or externally defined – which is to say, does the generic You or the specific I mediate what is perfect?  (And is there a generic You?)

So, here I am stymied at the very beginning.

If I go with the generic You, I’m setting myself up for judgment by every You in the world. Or at least that intersection of the world I come into contact with. While it might be interesting (and painful) to learn what all the Yous in my life think I need to do to become perfect, I’m pretty sure one You will want this and another You will want that when the relevant this is diametrically opposed to the relevant that. I suppose I could develop multiple personalities to cope with that peccadillo, but it seems to me that acquiring, deliberately, a DSM IV diagnosis is not a Perfect Person strategy.  [I believe this paragraph reveals that there really isn’t a generic You, but a collection of brand name Yous.  At least to my way of thinking which may or may not be correct.]


If I go with the specific I, the very first drawback that springs to mind is I’m high diving into the bottomless pool of the Cult of Individuality. The second drawback is that I have to decide what constitutes a Perfect Person (and we know how bad I am at decisions).

Now the deep pool of the Cult of Individuality is nice to splash around in when overheated by life in the new millennium, but, really, one can only swim and tread water for so long – unless, of course, Perfect Person entails the ability to infinitely maintain an aquatic (so to speak) lifestyle. Let’s not go there. It makes my head hurt. [Hmmm, is perfection painful?]

Let’s go here instead. The Cult of Individuality has fueled the Post Modern experience which was a nice change from what went before, but, really, hasn’t it all gotten just a little dated? And silly? Besides, anyone (including me) who thinks the I is completely divorced from the You enough to define Perfect Person is delusional. [Ah, here we are back at the DSMIV again.] While I’ve yet to read an intellectually or emotionally satisfying definition of postmodernism it is, for the most part, agreed that analysis of experience is socially mediated through context. In other words, the I and the You spend an awful lot of time line dancing together.

As I’ve said here and in other places, I’m not good at decisions. Here I sit having made a decision without any idea as to how to implement it.

But since the Health Department, most of my peers, and myself are of the opinion that a clean and orderly home are a Good Thing, I think I’ll get off my derrière and restore some order and cleanliness. After which, perhaps, I’ll be able to begin teasing out a definition of Perfect Person.

Maiden Mother Crone (The Arrival)

Maiden Mother Crone

I have taken dozens of photos, scrapped hundreds of words, and pulled on my hair. I cannot capture the images and I cannot find the words to describe what I’m seeing, but my Maiden Mother Crone triptych is in my possession. And it is phenomenal.

I’m nearly speechless with awe.

I began blathering about this last year when my friend, the art historian aka The Bitch Across the Hall, snagged some student work. I threatened to steal hers, but as the conversation with the artist, Melissa McCloud, progressed, I found myself commissioning my own set. I fretted for some time trying to figure out how to pay for them only to receive the news that Dr. B.A.T.H. was giving them to me for my 50th birthday.

Melissa McCloud

My 50th birthday, all around, was an occasion that kept me in happy yet overwhelmed tears. The significance of the triptych to my turning 50 is so apparent to me that I’m puzzled when I have to explain it to people.

The average of menopause in this country is 50 and I’m right on track. Menopause is sometimes referred to as the crone stage of life. I’m still mothering my son, albeit in quite different ways, but the hallmarks of motherhood are passing. I’m entering, mostly gleeful, the crone stage.

Here it is Easter weekend. I have in no way marked Easter in the Christian tradition or Ostara in the pagan tradition. I have sat around wiggling my nose hoping to end up with a bunch of completed projects without putting in the time and effort.

It wasn’t working.

I forced myself to pick up the camera and try again. It was an insult to the artist and to my friend not to acknowledge this triptych. In moving about the house trying to capture their beauty, I’m slowly gathering steam.

The Working Drawing

The three women are carved balsa wood. Layers of balsa were glued together (laminated), cut and carved. At my request, they were heavily textured and stained the same color as my woodwork and most of my furniture. I wanted them to slide into this house like they’d always been here and to appear as if they’d organically grown with the barn on this hillside. And they have.

Carved front and back.

There’s no place in this house they wouldn’t be perfect. My struggle is to find the right place where I can see them often and touch them often. They beg for touch. (Besides which, I never get the opportunity to fondle a well-endowed set of breasts.)

Some years ago, I whined and pleaded my way into another piece of art featuring the torsos of three women (Artist: Sherri Weeks.) The multimedia piece has hung in my study for several years now and I never tire of looking at it. In anticipation of the Maiden Mother Crone arrival, I have been preparing the study for installation which has involved a thorough gutting, cleaning, wall repair, dithering about color, and the application of 8 million coats of paint. I have whined.

I have also stalled.

The Other Women

My plan was to install the triptych under the painting and on top the bookcases that serve as a credenza. The one trio of women would mirror the other.

For some weeks I worked feverishly on the study and other weeks not so much. The closer I got to finishing, the more my energy levels waned and then I got zapped by Carlos the Cruddy Cold (who may turn into Boris Bronchitis).

The camera is just inadequate.

Without the ceremony they deserve, I picked up the triptych on Friday. My inertia deepened when I couldn’t get them to photograph well, I couldn’t describe them to my satisfaction, and I couldn’t find the energy to finish the damn study.

Frankly, I’m tired of the chaos of the study project. I want nothing more than to sit in there gazing adoringly at my six women.

Winter is over, the triptych is here and I feel ambition welling akin to the swelling of the branches that will result in leaves and flowers on the plants in my as yet neglected garden.

The women whisper to me to get on with the next stage. The earth has turned, the sun has returned, and the time has come.

The women must be listened to.