I write (or must, rather) because of the way it quiets the sylvan nature of my mental landscape.
Thoughts crop up in lattice-like structures, crossing over my awareness to construct a mending wall between I and my experience. I was trying to read Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael in the moments before writing this but couldn’t (because of that aforementioned clutter), and so I decided to submit and transmute that noise into a voice.
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The utility of my writing practice is precisely why the practice is so difficult for me to enact. As humans, our collective disease is one that seeks to undermine our root experience — or perhaps disguise the roots by weaving in layers upon layers of false ones to explore, but they lead nowhere and grow nothing. We deny the still, small voice in our heads and instead abdicate to the louder self-judgements and desire for social acceptance.
Writing (or any spiritual self-awareness practice such as yoga, meditation, gratitude, wonder, conscious breathing, intentional eating) brings me to a point of centering. But writing of just any kind is no longer enough to keep me in a lasting state of presence. This is why I don't write clickbait or sales letters. I have learned that I require engagement in all parts of my being to keep the entirety of my self awake and joyful — constantly pressing against the edges of my abilities to continually align myself with a key certainty of reality: the fact that it is infinite.
I have sometimes said that “practice is perfect,” and in case the meaning of the phrase is not self-evident, I’ll elucidate. It often alludes even me, the one speaking it, as is evidenced by my lack of practice over the past 8 years.
We grew up hearing the unintentionally false mantra that "practice makes perfect," but in an infinite reality, true perfect doesn’t exist outside of the constrained definitions of geometry. We are not geometric shapes. We are humans with rich inner and outer lives. We can celebrate a work of art as being “perfect” in the sense that we perceive no flaws or nothing lacking that would otherwise make it complete. We can make a perfect score on an exam. But the honest artist or student only acknowledges the compliment with grim acceptance, knowing that within the completed form lies many, many hidden errors along the way, or deeper questions, expressions, and abilities that remain beyond such an individual — even if only for the time being.
There is no point in thought or yoga or knowledge where one reaches an ultimate, perfect form in which practice becomes redundant and unnecessary. That sense of absolute perfection does not exist for conscious forms. It is counter to the fundamental truths of the greater universe. Faith in such a ridiculous definition of what it means to be perfect keeps us from trying at all — either because we believe we are inherently flawed and constitutionally incapable of such a feat or because we think it is so impossibly hard. In both cases, the resulting thought is the same: Why bother trying?
So we roll cigarettes between our fingers and inhale the acrid fumes, though we know the precise manner in which doing so will poison our bodies. We fail to move our muscles and joints, opting for (and tweeting about) our sedentary lifestyles as if they are an inevitable part of Western life. We neglect our nutrition in favor of the immediate gratification of processed flavors. We lash out in anger or stew in the miasma of self-judgments. We harbor resentments, though they serve no purpose. We flood our precious cellular structures with all manners of toxic materials, believing that the state of inebriation is preferable to the states of boredom or feeling our true feelings … scared of what will happen when we allow ourselves to acknowledge exactly where (and who) we are.
When we understand, however, that practice only makes perfect in the sense that the practice itself is perfect, we awaken a timeless freedom: accepting who and what and when and where and why and how we are here and now. We learn that perfection does exist: Not in the sense of a neurotic chase after the impossible or a particular shape or embodied totality, but in embracing the precise awareness of what we are currently capable of, that we are unlimited in our capacity to grow, and that to seek that growth puts us at the very cusp of our experience — ever looking outward in joyful awe because we have inched forward into the infinitely wondrous abyss we call reality.
With this in mind, my challenge to my personal self as this ever-changing, watery form known as Marcelo Asher Quarantotto — a shape that is inseparable from the air molecules between my skin and yours and thereby an inextricable part of all that was and is and will be in this world and beyond — is to permit myself the kindness of accepting this truth. To not impress the burden of the impossible onto my conscious thinking, thereby crushing my spirit under its weight and preventing me from trying at all, not accepting and practicing at the point in which I am so I can sharpen myself into something greater.
Let's embrace what we do know to be true and not get lost in the insanity of dark thoughts about what is not.
To be more specific, these words are a selfsame expression of what they point to: practice is perfect. I will never become anything outside of that which I practice. No need to worry and judge that my writing or my yoga or my music or my image-making or my interactions with the ones I love (which includes you, dear reader) are not unto themselves the fullest expression of what is humanly possible, but instead to be joyful in a sense of being here and now and doing.
My name is Marcelo Asher Quarantotto.I WRITE WITH WORDS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS, WEBSITES AND MUSIC.
I am a father of three beautiful daughters and husband to the most gracious, saintly creature I've ever met. (You'll find pictures of them here from time to time.) I am also a multidisciplinary storyteller.