Yesterday, not long after my blog post went up, I got a text from one of my neighbors who’s currently a “snow bird.” “I want to read your hiking book.” She’s originally from San Diego and her grandson lives within sight of the main locale of the stories.

I texted her back, “It’s not happening,” with a little explanation, then I went about my morning. In the back of my mind was the book, of course.

The book is flawed. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that. Its flaws are, in their way, reflections of MY flaws.Β I fixed the two new typos I’d found and closed the file.

Then I did my chores, thinking the book was a done deal, a closed subject.

I looked at Bear’s blue eyes, which are very beautiful but they are also, probably, the reason I have her.

“Whoa,” I thought. “Whoever bred Bear thought they were a flaw. Thought they indicated deafness or blindness or?” Then I thought of Dusty T. Dog. He was so flawed the shelter didn’t think he was adoptable. He’s STILL flawed, but WOW. For nearly 12 years he’s been my loyal, loving companion no matter WHAT.

Then I thought of Mission Trails Regional Park itself — the location of most of the stories in my book. It’s not perfect. It was never where I WANTED to be. It was simply what I had, the only place I could hike with my dogs during a long and VERY flawed time in my life. And it ITSELF was barely snatched from development and freeways — by whom? A group of San Diego citizens INCLUDING me! I, with all my flaws, was one small agent in the protection of 5800 acres of chaparral for future generations to see, know, enjoy.

BEYOND that, the place itself has seen a lot of life (and destruction) before it became a park — dirt bikes, ATVS, and people four-wheeling up the steep slopes. Stolen cars dumped in the stream and over the embankments. When I first started hiking there, a Ford pickup from the 40s rusted away in the stream leading to Oak Canyon. During WW II it was a military training base, including exploding shells (some unexploded shells have been found in recent years). There had been developer dreams of cutting across the hillside with a four lane freeway on the bed of a road that had been used by the water department. Neither it nor I are a pristine perfect flawless wilderness. I began to wonder if maybe it was a BETTER book because it’s not perfect.

And more… My father’s flaws, his MS, inspired me to propose, design, and raise the money for the building of a wheelchair accessible guided walkway to one of the most interesting historical features in California, Old Mission Dam.


Walkway to Old Mission Dam, Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego

Late yesterday, I decided to write a note for the readers of my book explaining its flaws, that Createspace COULDN’T print the cover right no matter what and directing readers to the website where they could see the actual photo (including the featured image for this blog), apologizing for my weak proofreading skills and the relentless and (to me) invisible typos (just now found another one 😦 ) and explaining that it all reflects my flaws and the flaws of the world as it is.

“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” M. Teresa


As for “jolly” the word of the day, it’s one of those Christmas words. I never use it. Sorry WP.

18 thoughts on “Flawed

  1. Good for you, recognizing the value and I would say, the inevitability of flaws. Easier to accept some places than others, I will certainly agree. Your post reminded me of some Japanese aesthetics, where the “flaw” is a valued part of the construction. here’s a link to an wiki article if you’re interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

  2. ypAs someone just mentioned the Japanese build a flaw into their creations Nothing should be so pefect as perfect. I don’t like perfect people in any case. They annoy me. Mr. Swiss once pointed out to me that I have no ear lobes, something I never really noticed, because they the ears I was born with. It also seems only people with a criminal nature have no ear lobes, Hey, I am something special, and so are your hounds.

    • Yep. If my town had a viable economy (wasn’t flawed) I couldn’t afford to live here! πŸ˜€ I told my friend Lois about your beautiful cane when she was here. Her husband needs a cane but doesn’t want to use one. I told her how you just dealt with it by getting the most beautiful cane you could find. πŸ™‚

  3. Persian rugs are like that two. “Only Allah creates perfection,” so the flaw is part of the carpet’s perfection. I think you are paying too much attention to the flaws and not enough to the the writing. Paint a picture for the cover. Paint it the way you see it in your mind.

    • I did paint a picture for the cover and Createspace fucked it up, giving me BRIGHT blue everything and pink snow. So far the cover has had a painting, a drawing of a hiking boot, a photo of my dogs, and now the actual mountain — one of them. I like that one best so… I think I’m just angry that they can’t get it right and haven’t given me a satisfying response to my complaint but I can’t make them do that. Now I think it’s just like me — a mountain person — living in San Diego and teaching 7 classes. It wasn’t perfect, it was just the situation I was in. Anyway, this has been a lot more of an experience than I imagined when I started putting together the stories.

  4. I’s so sorry to read this, Martha. I sent you an email–probably went to your Junk folder. I really like Marilyn’s suggestion about the cover.

  5. Navajo tradition also involves leaving a flaw in their creations. In their blankets, for example, it’s a hole left for the Spider Woman to escape. I think it must be a healthy tradition for any peoples who are creative!

  6. I saved this post because at the time I skimmed it, I didn’t have time to leave a comment (was on my phone and WP on my phone makes me nuts). Finally found the post in the bottom of my inbox, so I’m commenting now – love this, love how real you are with yourself and your readers. Also LOVE the MT quote, somehow I hadn’t seen it before (or maybe I just didn’t appreciate it at the time). Any-who, keep on writing and putting it out there and being an honest, flawed, beautiful person. (and I want to read your book, too)

    • ❀ Thank you! Yeah, I'm good with it now. I didn't even realize I was a perfectionist at ALL! The book is going to be for sale cheap. I didn't think I would see it, but some of the people I gave it to want to give it to others. That's a wonderful thing, too.

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