“Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children,” wrote Sylvia Plath, poet and mother. What on earth might she have meant? From Voltaire’s remark that “The perfect is the enemy of the good” to a recent critique – “The perfect is also the enemy of the good enough” – of his famous 18th century observation, what can we learn from literature, as well as from the lectionary, about the whole-hearted practice of imperfection as a key to spiritual sanity? Perfectionists especially welcome.
Aidan Matthews: Married with two daughters and three granddaughters, Aidan’s old enough to have served the Latin Mass, but naive enough not to mind the tumult in today’s Church. As a child of the second Vatican council, he and his ageing cohort have been through Christian forms of Captivity and Exodus – and sometimes both at the same time. Schooled for ten years by the Jesuits, and teaching with them for a time, Aidan finished up at Stanford, where he studied the scriptures under René Girard. He worked for forty years as a Religion producer in RTE, and his writings mix fiction (stories, plays, philosophy) and non-fiction (poetry).