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January 27, 2013

The deep pleasure of making a mistake

Sometimes I can't believe how many times I go back and forth, over and over and over a post to make sure I've gotten every detail right.

15 rereads is common.

Each time through I find another error — of fact, spelling, grammar, linkage, punctuation, you name it.

But the thing that sends me into a swoon of combined delight and rage is when, after all that time and effort, upon publication I happen on another mistake that somehow made it through all those edits.

How, I wonder, did I not see that earlier?

But coupled with my frustration is a sense of delight at being wrong after I was sure I'd gotten things completely right.

Because if I can be that certain and still be wrong about what I thought was true and correct after all that expended energy and effort, how much more about the world am I missing and simply not apprehending as it really is?

How much real truth is there for the taking right in front of me, if only I could recognize it for what it is instead of distorting it through my lens of personal perception and miscomprehension filter?

Every mistake revealed is a gesture by the universe in my direction, a nod to me to take another look, to step back from certainty, to allow for error in everything, all the time.

Think of the busy machinery of life on a submicroscopic level, stepping past and ignoring repeated misfires and mistakes yet keeping our greater self somehow alive and kicking along the path our personality creates in conjunction with events sliding against our actions and words with every passing moment.

More slaps upside the head please, from both myself for my own constant practice of getting it wrong — or at least, not quite right — and from others who notice where I've missed something: that's a recipe for the kind of life I want to live.

January 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink


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Thanx so much for this, Joe! My partner and I are artist-jewelers and we talk about this all the time, but I tried in vain to explain the importance of mistakes to an assistant, who is with us no more because she just couldn't see it.

Re-posted too: the deep pleasure of making a mistake.

Posted by: pambamboo | Jan 29, 2013 11:05:48 PM

This can sometimes become a problem.

Posted by: Nathan | Jan 27, 2013 10:36:32 PM

Knowledge or certainty? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7br6ibK8ic&list=PLDF56C3319943FF09&index=6

Posted by: antares | Jan 27, 2013 4:14:06 PM

OK, now you've got me thinking. Doesn't feel bad at all. Thanks

Posted by: BJ | Jan 27, 2013 8:02:03 AM

Love that song!

Posted by: tamra | Jan 27, 2013 2:12:58 AM

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