In a culture that encourages and applauds the search for perfection in all its exterior manifestations, Surprised by Imperfection is a collection of essays and memoirs that reminds readers of the exquisite beauty in the dappled and imperfect aspects of the vast world, seeks out the sanctity of the ordinary in all its seasons, and invites us back to childhood's grand sense of wonder.
In each story, Shari Brand Ray considers the sacredness of the small moments in life. With humor and inordinate love for the everyday, Ray connects readers to the glories of the natural world through a return to close observation. In the spring she finds meaning in watching two dogs run in the warm sunshine along the banks of the spring-swollen Mississippi River, and in autumn she experiences the terrifying beauty of leaving her seven-year-old daughter in a Belgian girls' school where neither she nor her daughter yet speak the language. In winter Ray writes of personal wounding, the moments following a life-threatening head-on collision on a snowy night in Memphis as she waits for the ambulance and contemplates her own unknown future.
The lyrical essays in Surprised by Imperfection unfold in humor, wisdom, and love, and reawaken the unexpected glory that comprises our collective imperfection.