Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pursuit of Perfection

Pursuit of Perfection

I am a veteran..

An extreme example
of a pursuit of perfection
comes to mind..remembering my duty
on a missile those frightful
days of the Cuban Missile Crisis..
A nuclear weapon was a new thing
populations were at risk
a dark existential threat loomed..
performance was expected
from those awaiting a
launch execution order..
Perfection was sought in
communication authentication
by endless testing
by psychological reliability
and by sidearms at the ready
for a suicidal bent by
a crew member suddenly 
deciding to begin a war..

My military career began in
Durango..where I sought 
perfection in my grades..and was 
appointed to the military academy..
This is an institution dedicated  to
the pursuit of perfection in
a most unrelenting manner..
Demerits were the measure
and ever-present reminder
which informed 
of the distance one's life
stood away from perfection..

I had two roommates: 
Walter and Tom
Walter the perfectionist
descended from a line of
high ranking soldiers..
Walter's military appearance
and his dedication were for 
all to behold..while Tom
seemed displaced as a
California surfer..
My report today is that
Walter rests in Arlington
and Tom yet lives..surfing
near his shoreside home
on the island of Oahu..

The military purpose
in the end..seems a recognition
that the fragmented self
(which we all experience in
our conventional lives)
must strive for the perfection
which seems
not present in what appears..
Thus a need
to build barriers from others
whose similar fragmentation 
projects outwardly 
in harmful ways..

what is important to discover
is that futility resides
at the end of all
paths toward perfection..
of the fragmented self
is denied by the pursuit itself..
 And can only be realized
by ending the pursuit 
and recognizing the
we already are and 
have always been..

(Perfection is sought 
in accomplishment
for recognition and praise
 for a new self-identity
leaving behind that which
cried out in pain..
It is a promise of a new you:
stepping on a ladder
and climbing out of a
unsatisfying whirlpool
 of fear and desire...)

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