Disappointment No. 9
it went exactly as planned
the only one disappointed
I wanted things to be better
the story of my life
the right size is never right enough
a good fit isn’t adequate
are mere stop gaps
from going beyond expectations
feels like settling for less
it isn’t satisfying to measure up
it has to be unforgettable
sure your good enough is fine by me
but my good enough
isn’t worth bothering with
even when I am the only disappointed
I’ve sometimes joked that I don’t want to be adored I want to be worshipped. That comes from a culture that still sees stalking as real love & that those who complain of being stalked are spoil sports who can’t accept loving attention.
We also live in a culture in which in which publicly acknowledging one is good at something is egotism – this leads creatives to be hyper-critical of their own work. We can end up being incapable of being satisfied with what we produce – not that we don’t want to be better but the striving for perfectionism turned into stagnation or worse an excuse not to do anything. If you don’t do it it’s always perfect 🙂
I’ve read of, & know, painters who have gone back to galleries to ‘fix’ a painting from twenty years ago, poets who revise old pieces before they go into a collection of selected pieces; or who preface new editions of old works with apologies for what they now see as shortcomings. One writer of my acquaintance started to revise a novel from some 30 years ago to make it gender neutral & gave up & now considers the book worthless.
I went through some of this when I unearthed poetry, short stories & even a couple of novels from the late 60’s, early 70’s. The novels, in particular, weren’t structurally sound but what the hell I was writing, that was enough. I resisted revising them beyond fixing typos & will blog them, as is, eventually. I am tempting to try rewrites to see how I would write those same stories today – & I don’t mean adding explicit sex lol.
I’ve brought pieces I felt needed work into workshop only be told ‘this is perfect as it is’ – once even being told I should bring in rough drafts not polish pieces – when I was bringing in rough drafts. I’ve performed pieces I felt weren’t fully realized only to have people single them out as the best of a good bunch. Just because I’m good doesn’t mean I don’t want to get better 🙂