This has been a recovery week, another surgery to fuse a finger joint has relegated me to the hunt and peck typist cadre, while limiting physical activity. My time has been well spent reflecting on the current state of affairs and other considerations. Sharon and I have been working to improve the landscaping in our back yard, and I have come to the inescapable conclusion that perfection exists in very few places. Landscaping isn’t one of them. The pursuit of perfection may be a fool’s errand, however; it does exist. Today I write to offer an example or two of “Perfection”.
Within the past few days, the world lost a good man. Allan C. Heseman, a retired Highway Patrol Sergeant went to his reward, courtesy of the emperor of all maladies, cancer. He was young, at 63, and had a zest for life lived in the pursuit of perfection. It was Allen who coined the title of this blog. Allan’s quest for perfection manifested itself in many ways. He was an aviator, where perfection lies just out of any pilot’s reach but is relentlessly pursued, a woodworker where there are so many aspects to perfection that most never see them, and a technical developer, as in computer applications. He was also the consummate family man, and today few can wear that title honestly. Allan possessed a great sense of humor and could light up a room with a broad smile and appreciation for harmony. Allan knew just how elusive perfection is, but was never deterred in his pursuit.
The surgeon that has slowly turned my hands into bionic hands is a perfectionist. The skill and training that manifests itself when he picks up the blade is evident soon enough when the bandages are removed. But even a skilled surgeon knows that perfection can be obliterated by a moment’s carelessness. He is careful to write “cut” on the finger before surgery and a big “I” , for injection, on a finger on the opposite hand that needs a little cortisone to calm the arthritis down. The surgeon mends and shapes human flesh and bone while Allan’s medium was wood, computers and the sky. The similarities are significant.
Allan Heseman trimmed our Truman Lake home. Allan’s craftsmanship was very evident as he patiently taught me that with the application of math and science, wood can be molded and shaped to do anything you want it to. I installed a wood ceiling in the great room, overlooking the lake. Allan taught me about the appropriate process to finish this ceiling, before it was hung. Each board was perfectly sanded, conditioned appropriately, stained, and then sealed before hanging. This required the construction of an elaborate drying rack to handle the volume of wood. Base joints were carefully cut to precise fitting and difficult outside ceiling corners were trimmed to perfection. I can only hope and do believe that my surgeon is as meticulous as Allan Heseman.
Where is this going? In this absolutely tumultuous world we live in, perfection can still be found. The craftsmanship in a Ranger bass boat, the beauty in a Loomis rod and the appeal of a Belgium Browning shotgun. A perfectly maintained mid 60’s muscle car or the refinement in today’s BMW’s are all close. A Smith & Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece, with a trigger reworked by the late Roy Bergman, a shooter that has attained a “perfect” score on the FBI combat course is, well, perfection. A tailwheel airplane pilot who can plant a Citabria on the centerline and hold it there in a crosswind is tempting perfection. We all know about perfection, but we do not all pursue it.
Perfection is slowly being replaced by “good enough” and that is a tragedy. I challenge my readers to look for the perfect or near perfect things in your lives and begin each day thinking about them for a few minutes. It establishes a mindset for the day. Our landscaping involves a lot of wood, in privacy fences and decking. It looks good, probably good enough, but it is not Allan Heseman or Dr. Wyrsch perfect. This shortcoming is not from a lack of effort…rather a lack of experience. God is already enjoying a conversation with Allan, who closed the gap between perfect and good enough. The Lord, who is perfect and a man who relentlessly pursued perfection. It ought to be a two cup visit.
Have a good week!