Further Secrets of Adulthood:
If you're interested in this idea, it also relates to the haunting Japanese concept of wabi-sabi–the beauty of “the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”
I recalled this Secret of Adulthood when I was watching a ballet last year. At one point, a dancer wobbled slightly, and for me, this brief moment of imperfection heightened the beauty of the entire performance. It made it seem more real, more thrilling.
If you want, you can hear me talk about this Secret of Adulthood in two short videos: one video is a story is about an illustration in a children's book (a story I read about in Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom); one is the story of going to the ballet and also about listening to Glenn Gould.