The Lion, The Witch, and The Imperfect Blörg

Oscar LuckettDecember 4, 2017Creation and DestructionAwesome Moments
The Lion, The Witch, and The Imperfect Blörg

What I remember from that day is not the physical specificities, but the overall ambiance of a larger-than-life feel.

The Ikea emporium was like something made of toys where inside there were only more toys. We had planned our day ahead of time, determining beforehand exactly what we needed to get, so as to not stereotypically get lost among the aisles or start arguing about which furniture was right. The target was a white cabinet with two symmetrical doors. As the name fails me, I will presume it was something equivalent to “The Blörg.” A modest box with a modest function.

The process of finding the cabinet was luckily as straightforward as we had hoped. Once we got home, it was time to open the box and start piecing it together. Knowing that this sort of thing fascinated me, I requested to build it myself.

The capabilities needed to assemble a mid-sized cabinet seemed within the wheelhouse of a younger child, so I began the process on my own. The ever emotive yet minimalistic man on the instruction card became my companion along the way, guiding me through pictures that seemed to tell a story, and in a bizarre way felt like a colorless Lego kit for adults. I think that concept is what drew me in — the importance and responsibility of having to make something that would be used often, with a process that was enjoyable and light.

After completely putting together everything that came in the box, the finished result was almost exactly as promised. A synthetic wood chest, about my height at the time, with even corners and sides, all coated in white. It could be said that if this Blörg was a flavor of ice cream, it would be water.

The defining quirk of this seemingly bland cabinet was the door. According to my family, the right door was missing a top screw, resulting in an off-center axis. Reports from multiple witnesses in my household suggest that after searching around the entire house, the one screw that would hold the door in place was nowhere to be found.

The unaligned door did not cause any problems with the cabinet’s functionality, but it did show that the straight-lined Blörg, as well as my previous ideal of precision, came with a rough edge.

At this point, I would like to take the time to both file a minor complaint with Ikea and convey why I felt that a broken piece of Ikea furniture was important enough for me to write about. I have to stress that the uneven Blörg did not heavily impact my life in any meaningful way. To an outsider, it may seem foolish to have fixated on such an inconsequential object. However, it stood as a reminder. A reminder, every time I opened the door, that imperfection exists in things I have made and cannot be avoided. It stood in the corner of my room, defiantly facing me everyday, almost as to say “you will never get the satisfaction.”

At first I took the missing screw as a overwhelming defeat, an indication that perfection does not exist. And if perfection does not exist, why even try getting near it? But then, after some time, I registered that I could do well despite the knowledge that the door would never be straight. Surmounting unachievable perfection was an objective that I could strive for. The Blörg altered my previous conception of an unalterable ideal: taking an object I pieced together, which was, prior to the notice of an imperfection, the highest image of flawlessness, varying only slightly from that image, and then seeing it day after day with a miniscule fault, built in me a tolerance for imperfection while maintaining quality from afar.

I don’t remember keeping that piece of furniture for very long. I considerably doubt that it made any physical effect on anyone's life but my own. I still face imperfection today, from my academic career to my social life. In some aspects of life, perfection is simply not achievable by anyone, and that is something we will all have to live with. But Blörg be darned if I won’t attempt to overcome it.

Oscar Luckett is a rising eighth grader at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. He enjoys any kind of math, jazz, board games, and running.