The Ragged Edge

Ever want perfect symmetry in your world? All the right angles to be perfectly square? All the pictures on the wall to hang with a perfectly aligned bubble in the level?  Balanced—Proportional—Perfect? Hmmm . . . .


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Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines symmetry as:

the property of being symmetrical; especially correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line or meridian plane or about a center or axis

It’s different for each person but I guess we all have one or two things that might set our axis off-kilter. Author Oscar Wilde tells us, “I was working on the proof of my poems all morning and took out a comma. . . . In the afternoon—well, I put it back again.”

And then there’s that deep breath or sigh that comes with the realization of something in our vision of perfection that is indeed less than perfect!

In my travels lately, I’ve been looking at the edges of mountains:

Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space - Colorado
Ken-Caryl Ranch Open Space – Colorado


Smith Rock State Park - Oregon
Smith Rock State Park – Oregon

Wow! Those sharp projectiles of rock jutting into the sky as well as the sheer cliffs descending from the top were enough to take my breath away.

But the more I looked and wondered . . . the more I began to relax. Why, you ask? Because the contour of those mountains was less than perfectly symmetrical. A ledge or spire or deep crack on one side did not mirror the same formation on the other side. I was starting to feel a little serendipitous. Ooh! I could feel some creative energy bubbling up.

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Jagged edge of Flattop Mountains (note the irony) – Rocky Mountain National Park
Sievers Mountain - Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness
Sievers Mountain – Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness

Nature had been designed with a bit of flex in its formations. I began to feel a little flex in my expectations. Maybe I could allow myself to write my stories, poems, and blog with the extravagance of creative imperfection. An a-ha moment ensued. Is there not beauty in the ragged edge?

I started thinking about ragged edges—ragged edges on the page, ragged edges on the sleeve of my blouse, and ragged edges in life in general. All is not fastidiously smooth. In fact, there are some days when everything seems convoluted, sticky, and even jagged. But alas! Look to the mountains, I said to myself, there’s always a message in the wilderness.

Hallet Peak above Dream Lake - Rocky Mountain National Park

Hallett Peak above Dream Lake – Rocky Mountain National Park

Indeed! And there it was as I hiked with my husband through the varied and wonder-filled terrain. My eyes dropped from those towering peaks above my head to an alpine lake nestled in the protection of granite walls. Those spectacular and at times intimidating mountains cradled the most beautiful intricacies right at my feet:

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What I discovered about those ragged-edged asymmetrical peaks in my life was that sometimes my mountains of imperfection and trial cradle the most precious awakening below the precipice!


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Thanks for stopping by!