Zadok the Priest

They’ve been running a trailer on the radio for a programme called ‘Soul Music’ in which several people talk about their personal connections and love for a particular piece of music. This week it’s been Handel’s Zadok the Priest. How I love it. Anyway, in one of the trailers (there are two, the other, rather bemusingly, is to do with cricket) two of the speakers talk about how the orchestra playing the piece at the Queen’s coronation in 1953 ‘loses itself’ that it is not together. This is not a criticism apparently, for both of them seem to like this aberration. It got me thinking about mistakes, both unintentional and intended ones. The Japanese have a word for it in ceramics, A has told me the word but I always forget it. And I remember the little Muslim boy in that workshop I ran all those years ago in Manchester saying how when carpets are made the makers always ‘make an error’ for ‘perfection belongs to Allah alone’. And there is me with my quilt – that enormous bulky thing – jagging the cloth and ruching it when there isn’t meant to ruching. Can I forgive myself and let the mistakes stand? And I watch the blackening start to come again on my third finger on my right hand. Can I just let it be? Is perfection God’s alone? Can I learn to let the just OK pass muster? I sew and unpick continually. My fingers getting hot and tired. But I am learning. Am I not?