Force the words together, even if they don’t fit. Be inelegant. Elegance is overrated; I want the grit of words that jar abrasively against the sounds of one another. Sandpaper on chalkboard. Metal on concrete.
Maybe you don’t share them, but I hope you do. Document after document of ill-fit language, a halfway decent phrase here, a moment of grace there. They string together eventually.
Write it anyway. Take the picture anyway. Draw it anyway. Even if it flops and fails. Sometimes it takes rhythm to get back what we have lost. Muscle memory is shaky, but returns quickly.
I lost interest in perfection long ago. I want to see the process, how the gears turn in your brain, the words that come when you stop overthinking, the image that you create (even if it’s different than the image you were intending to create).
Make mistakes. Say it wrong. Say it awkwardly, say it fifty million times with your lips and your hands and your words and your skin until it sits well with you. Stagnation is toxic. Expel the grime and the poorly-phrased and the awkwardly posed and the clumsily drawn until you reach the part that lies underneath. Be capable of being undone.
Do not sacrifice movement in the interest of grace, nor stillness in the interest of vulnerability.
(I am learning this over and over again.)
Write terribly. Fill it full of cliches and kitchy images and words. Make ridiculous faces when you’re trying to be sexy. Draw without an eraser. You would be amazed what people see when you are willing to fail extravagantly.
Do it for you, but also do it for me. Let me see the ways that you are not so well-put-together. I want us to see each other as humans who can laugh as we fail miserably together. If I am ever known for anything, let it never be perfection and grace, but for laughing at flaws and feeling too hard and being prone to extravagant outbursts that made me cringe later.
The mess is beautiful. The flawed and the failed are gorgeous. The misplaced and the overstated and the clumsy are my bread and butter.
Because the truth is, nothing is ever finished, and nothing reaches perfection. Everything is exactly as it is. And if all anyone is ever willing to see are images where we misrepresent perfection as possible, then we all become unattainable to one another.
Show me your human. Show me something not practiced and polished, refined and tweaked until the raw heart beneath is barely visible.
Hearts bleed, and I want the warmth of yours sliding between my fingers and pooling in the palm of my hands. Don’t shower. Don’t clean the house, don’t try to show me anything but who you are. Show me your human self; else, what are we doing but dancing like 8th graders, arms straight, a galaxy of space between us?
I already know you have the ability to succeed with grace. Show me you have the capacity to fail with extravagance.
Write terribly. It’s better than not writing at all.
To me, and every other person who gets frustrated and feels inadequate sometimes