Well--good responses, I know now that my term "imperfections" doesn't quite cut it in the big picture, I suppose in my small world "imperfections" was a big part of my life.
For example in the selection of 6 by 12 white oak timbers that would make up the barrel wheel of our water powered saw mill during its reconstruction, I did in fact try and select timber without imperfections, such as ingrown bark, cross grain, knots, rot, worm holes,--I call these imperfections that I personally would not consider suitable for this expensive reconstruction.
AS I walked the pine bushes looking for trees that would fall in the "OK" category for purchasing I would look again for imperfections that were not suitable such as crook, black knots, woodpecker holes,--realizing full well that trees have limbs like meat has bones.
Thanks again for the broader terminology I am sure those looking in will scratch their heads alittle trying to figure out just what exactly we are saying, but to summ it all up I believe that for sure we want wood to retain its natural characteristics to a certain degree, I am with you a 100%, and for sure that gnarled old tree certainly has really tough fibres in it, and when you cut it and work up the resulting wood maybe apply alittle stain it will look far better than that plain old straight grained board (that we pay lots for)-- now I can just hear the sound of someone muttering--"now that is character"---
A good night to everyone
Hope you enjoy this chatter and thanks for all your comments--