Mandalas and Perfection

Mandala 01

I’d never drawn a mandala before yesterday. I’ve always liked them, and I figured I could give it a shot.

It’s not perfect. I can see all the places where I messed up, all the little irregularities, and two particularly large ones. The thing is that it doesn’t matter if it’s perfectly symmetrical. The point of art is not uniformity and regularity.

I have destroyed so many things I’ve made because they weren’t perfect. I was ashamed of a slip of the pen or brush or whatever. I’ve always felt like those slips were something I had to hide. There was no thrill of discovering new (to me) ways of creating or reveling in my skill progression, only shame, the ugly fear of someone finding fault with me.

I thought about all those things as I drew, accidentally using the mandala for its intended meditative purpose, and I made a decision. I will not allow the fear of criticism to run my life. I can’t say I won’t care, or that it won’t ever hurt again, but I am not going to let that discomfort prevent me from doing what I enjoy and being proud of it.

This is why I started writing here, to say things I feel like saying, to practice not caring about judgement from others. Baby steps, because I think I’m the only person who reads my blog, except possibly some poor schlub in a government basement whose job is to check the internet for terrorists and was assigned WordPress blogs A-D.

So, I made a thing of which, despite its imperfections, I am proud. I think it’s beautiful, and I don’t care if no one else in the world likes it. And that, for me, is significant progress.

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