Written 20 November 2015.
The other day I had to deal with scraps at work.
Ther were poster paper that had shapes cut out of them, leaving the imprints of shapes and ragged ends. A clean sheet, but with a bite taken out of it, thus no longer appropriate to be used for a new poster. Yet, most of it was clean and unmarred, so it seemed too good to throw into the trash or even recycling. And so many of these marred poster papers!
That made me a little bit frustrated. Scraps, scraps! What to do with them? They’re not ruined completely, but they are imperfect. And here in this place, everyone wants perfect things. Paper with a bite taken out, like this, is neither destined for trash nor worthy of the drawer. What to do, what to do?
In the end, I trimmed off and shelved some, and binned others.
A good piece of poster paper with a bite taken out. Something pristine, marred. It makes one uncomfortable. It is neither ruined, nor perfect. It grates on the contemporary self that likes things neatly packaged, clean and tidy. When I look at these marred paper, I feel a sense of helplessness. I can’t do anything about those bites taken out. Does it make these papers worthless?
It made me wonder: who will save these marred things? This is an era where such imperfections aren’t tolerated. Scraps don’t fit. They’re neither bad enough to be written off, but not perfect either to be showcased for their original use. So where do they go? Where do I keep them? In a drawer, where they most likely will be forgotten, and maybe never used, because of the bite taken out.
Is anyone perfect? What will I do with the people who have bites taken out of their apparently polsihed and tidy selves? Will I bin them too? Try to find a pigeon hole that will fit them? Or put them aside and try to forget them, and leave them in that twilight place of being forgotten and unused? Scraps make me uncomfortable, because it’s a reminder that the world and its people aren’t easily categorised either.