The Wonder of the Imperfect

Can you envision a world renewed by imagination and integrity? This is the vision of the W.S. Merwin Conservancy in Maui, whose mission it is to inspire innovation in the arts and sciences by advancing the ideas of poet W.S. Merwin – his life, work, house and palm forest – as fearless and graceful examples of the power of imagination and renewal.

I am highlighting this specific Merwin poem because anytime someone embraces imperfection, my ears perk up.

Be real, be imperfect, be compassionate, and live with integrity and imagination.


Nothing that I do is finished
so I keep returning to it
lured by the notion that I long
to see the whole of it at last
completed and estranged from me

but no the unfinished is what
I return to as it leads me on
I am made whole by what has just
escaped me as it always does
I am made of incompleteness
the words are not there in words

oh gossamer gossamer breath
moment daylight life untouchable
by no name with no beginning

what do we think we recognize

– W.S. Merwin, from The Moon Before Morning (2014, Copper Canyon Press). Used by permission of the publishers.

Maui Beach photo

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