While listening to a recent NPR broadcast, I heard the word unfinishedness. Did you know unfinishedness is an actual word? I thought the person simply made that up to make their point. The radio show is entitled "You Gonna Finish That?" and the discussion was art. Specifically, incomplete works of art.
"The quality or state of being unfinished." --Webster's online
As with any good news story, I found I could relate to its message. I've several pieces of unfinished art stationed around our place. I'm still contemplating what additional work a given piece needs or I've just not made time for it. And isn't that the way it is with life? Sometimes we have to sit with it for awhile. I've heard "to sit" used in reference to meditation. A person may say "I sit" rather than "I meditate" if they identify themselves as a novice who is still learning, transforming, growing, unfinished. They are not yet accomplished in the art of meditation.
"Incomplete or unaccomplished," --Dictionary.com
My daughter and father died too young. In my longing to have them here, my tendency is to assign them novice status. I feel ambivalent about whether they had more to accomplish. They likely had much more to do. Perhaps their spiritual soul decided for them, "you've done all you can." I'm just not sure.
We probably won't know when we are finished with life or when life is finished with us. And still, we get to make a choice every day to live consciously, to love, to move or to sit. There is plenty unfinishedness in me. My accomplishments, growth, and understanding are meager compared to others I know. I try not judge myself though because I believe any amount of or form our creative energy takes can't help but add to a more complete and beautiful world. Satisfying, isn't it? Knowing even the smallest contribution will make a difference.
I like being in a state of incompleteness. Unfinishedness. It feels hopeful. At the end of our days, when our bodies can do little else but sit, may we reflect on all our accomplishments, challenges, failures, and successes with equal admiration for having made the effort.
From the NPR broadcast, curator Andrea Bayer says, "Unfinished works can still be masterpieces."
How is it for you? Can you recognize the masterpiece of yourself despite your unfinishedness?
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