Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

I don't usually do holiday posts, but I found this poem at The Real Muck, and thought you all might enjoy it too.

Reflection on Imperfection

‘Tis the season for unreason

when green spills from wallets

of those believing in traditional pleasing.

‘Tis the season when people pine for a fine Christmas tree—

white pine, balsam fir, white spruce, Fraser fir, Douglas fir, scotch pine,


but it must be a wintergreen, evergreen, ever-perfect, perfectly-shaped

Barbie bush.

In the nippy air, hundreds of Barbies form green lines

with straight spines, very vertical trunks, ample branches

each with a single perfectly-pointed top

waiting for its traditional spot up the

angel’s ...tush.

Partly hidden ornaments adorn lush limbs,

shiny balls peer from green mazes

and candy canes lavish properly perky

branch tips.

But Barbie’s lavish bushy branches

leave little room for ornaments

lest adornments detract from her own

flawless beauty.


I wander far and wide, bucking the tide

wondering why I must settle for popular perception.

I search for Barbie’s ugly cousin,

a form, a shape that doesn’t fit the mold,

flat-chested for small house


It’s the wind-blown hair, the hole in the sock, the scrape on the knee, the spaghetti stain on the shirt, the pimple on the nose that tell a story

of living.

I like a crooked smile, spaces between teeth, scraggly hair, spindly legs

and skinny arms that reach out

open to discovery.

I want a tree that doesn’t hide,

that opens wide to embrace pride

held in accessories’ histories, their stories and the

love they imply.

I seek a spindly tree, the ugly factor with character,

one willing to show open spaces,

places for treasured ornaments grown dear over the years...

those that have lost their shine, are ragged from playful cats, have missing parts, the hippo of bedtime stories, an apple from a student, a violin recalling cacophonous practice, clothes-pin soldiers formed by tiny hands, hummingbirds like ones covering a morning field years ago in the Grand Canyon, a plastic dog a reminder of a lost pet, baby’s first Christmas 25-years ago, grandmother’s crocheted hobbyhorse and mouse, eloquent velvet-covered and pearl-studded balls made by a nearly blind friend long gone.

And then I see it—the orphan cousin in a heap

apart from the collection,

far from customers’ inspection.

I reflect on its simple beauty.

Missing branches leave

room for us.

I like my new bare and slightly crooked tree,

I like the way you hang your hand-painted sand dollar next to my beaded bird.

It is in the spaces where

we hang our love.

Perfection isn’t about shape and complexion.

Perfection lies in connections...

how we create them,

how we fill in and connect those spaces

that life gives us.


I don't know who wrote it if not the blog author, so I can't give a citation, but it struck a chord with me.

Back to sewing, I'm still working on my coat, and it's coming along. The sleeves finally went in nicely, and it's hemmed, so I'm about ready to finish cutting the lining and put that in, and then I believe that will be it! Sounds fast, but I don't seem to be moving very fast lately. I am enjoying doing it, though.

Hope you all are having a lovely holiday, and that you got all your Christmas sewing done on time.


Ann Made Studio said...

Merry Christmas Liana.

Mardel said...

!Merry Christmas

Elaray said...

This poem resonated with me, too. I always admire the color-coordinated trees in my friends' living rooms. But I can never have one, because I must include the Ernie on a Fire truck that represents my DD's first Chistmas; the soccer ball and sewing ornaments that we made in 2000, and the African-American angels that were a gift from my sister. No coordinated theme tree can accommodate these ornaments and their memories. Thanks for posting the poem.

Anonymous said...

My wife Bonnie Schupp will be happy to know (when I tell her momentarily) that her poetic posting on my blog The Real Muck has found some readers in the Web universe. You can find some of Bonnie's other work -- photographic -- at

Meanwhile, happy new year to all from David Ettlin at The Real Muck.