Notes from my journal, spring 2007:

I’m sitting at my desk, eye level with the window that overlooks our ash trees and the gnarled and knobby juniper, home to the bird feeder. Hot day in the high desert, azure sky, early enough so the fresh cotton clouds stretch thin in the distance. By afternoon, with any luck, they will hang over us darkly, bringing rain. Bird songs dance in my open window–songs of sparrows (the little beauties my three-year-old daughter has named Redheads), chatter jays, robins, doves, and a woodpecker dressed for show.

This perfect day draws me to the window. I peer out at the patio and yard below. I pay attention. The flagstone is littered with ash leaves pounded from the trees by last night’s hailstorm. Birdshit a la Pollock dots the fence and the weedy flowerbed beneath the feeder. Ants have moved in next to the green plastic sandbox; they like the neighborhood; small black ants not those short-tempered red ants but still…

This perfect day so imperfect.

Michael calls from down the hall. He needs the rice pack reheated in the microwave. Heat for the muscle he pulled this morning. My daughter whimpers in sleep, her voice soft from the monitor.

I am an imperfectionist. More accurately, I am a recovering perfectionist.

My mantra: connection through imperfection.

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