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The anti-Leonardo

OED says a dilettante is “A lover of the fine arts; a person who cultivates the arts as an amateur; a person who takes an interest in a subject merely as a pastime and without serious study, a dabbler.”

This is me, except I am worse. It is not only the arts that inspire me to dabble, but pretty much everything in life. I drive stick well enough for emergency situations, but not well enough for everyday use. I cook edible food, but I am still often mystified by the process of cutting things up, particularly if they start out in the shape of a chicken. I surrender in the face of zippers, f-stops, balance sheet accounts, and spin shots.

All of which would be all right if I didn’t mind.

But I envy the altar guild women who can make a crumpled mess of fabric into a smooth plane of linen. I read perfect sentences and wish that I had written them. I dab together my collages, slap together stories, and pretend that it doesn’t bother me that no matter how hard I try, folding fitted sheets is an exercise in frustration. It’s only a sheet, I say. I have better things to worry about. Oh yeah? What? What is it that I am doing that justifies my carelessness with the sheets?

There is no bonus for finishing fast. I don’t expect that on my own personal day of reckoning I will be commended for my slapdash, seat-of-the-pants flying. The convicting question will be why I didn’t take the time to do anything well.

Being me, I reacted to this train of thought by carefully folding Brent’s underwear and shorts, lining up the edges of the towels, and straightening the pile of t-shirts in my dresser. I gathered the escaped scraps of paper off the floor and brought them to the trash. I took out another batch of recycling.

Maybe someday I’ll get to the important stuff. Not holding my breath. Besides, I’d just give up when I turned blue.



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