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Friday, May 07, 2010

ordinary? or extraordinary?

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Ordinary, or extraordinary?

We have become a people who look for extraordinary things every day. Remarkable accomplishments. Salacious news of extraordinary beauty and suffering for Angelina and Jennifer, or John Edwards, or Tiger. Or earthquake disasters that we only pay attention to if the casualties reach more than 1,000 in the first day. Extraordinary rescues after an extraordinarily successful company has had an extraordinarily disastrous accident. Have you noticed how many extraordinary accomplishments are by some gallant entity repairing the fallout from another entity's extraordinary [corporate] success?

Did the invention of the airplane make life better? How about the automobile? Lightbulb?

Of course on some level, they did. And so did accomplishments in things like civil rights - extremely important, like medical breakthroughs to ease suffering and improve health. I pray people will keep being inspired to make heaven on earth.

It's just that there is a rampant drive for improvement and change that becomes the end itself, and can have inhumane consequences. What is progress? [I know this is not a new question.]

People in our lives [me included] are blown away by my husband Don's farmy endeavors. Raising chickens for fresh eggs, cultivating a big garden, making jams and preserving fruit, tapping maple trees for sap. Isn't this what people have done, quite ordinarily, for thousands of years? Not to take anything from him, but does it not strike you as odd that we find it extraordinary?

And why do we feel unsatisfied if we don't feel something extraordinary every day? Remember that first kiss? How many first kisses do we need? Why do we have to type exclamation points? Have our words lost meaning? Just. Simple. Words?

Chesley Sullenberger flew airplanes for 40 years, and we didn't know who he was. He just did his job, very well, and became an airplane safety expert. Then he was called upon by the universe to do an extraordinary thing. He crash-landed a plane on the Hudson River, and everyone survived, thank you very much. Isn't it wonderful that someone who did their job day after day, faithfully, was ready for a moment's call to a feat of unfathomable grace and impact?

By far, the majority of the people in the world maintain an ordinary existence. They will never ride in an airplane. Never type on a laptop. Never turn on a water faucet inside their home. They will survive only by the strength in their arms, legs and determination to fight through the land and to the well another day. And by the mercy of the universe to survive remarkable, global, corporate success. And yet, by and large, many of them are happy.

I am in pursuit of the ordinary. I'm reclaiming it. And it's not easy. In this day, in this place, I'm finding it extraordinarily difficult.


-photo by rauf in India; he said, "Go ahead, Ruth, use any photo you want," or something like that.

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60 comments:

Gwei Mui said...

I wish you all the best and success in this laudible state of being. I know that I am personally far too "well off" the thought of not being able to call my duaghter imediately wherever I am alarms me, but I would be no worse off, having access to the internet is a luxury, but many of us see it as a necessity. Would my life fall a part if I didn't have all these extras, of course not. I am very fortunate to have running water, light, heat and roof over my head let alone all the other technological extras.

ellen abbott said...

You think so? I think most of us live ordinary lives. And I think most of us can and will step up when extraordinary actions are called for. And isn't that human nature, to try and make things better? Isn't that why Don farms and raises chickens and puts up food, to make life better? Perhaps the question is not whether life needs to be extraordinary all the time but that some people do not see the extraordinary in the ordinary. that the sun comes out, that the flowers bloom, that rain falls, that the birds sing, that we go on no matter our circumstances, we get up and go to the fields, the well, the office, the laboratory...all ordinary things. ah, but isn't the opening of a flower extraordinary? Perhaps the more modern our lives the less we see the beauty of it all, bogged down in invention. How extraordinary it is to be simple, live a simple life.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, it's just what we get used to, I think. I feel myself drawn into the 24-hour "what's new" cycle - Facebook, 24-hour news, email. I'm in the habit of some sort of stimulation, and if no one has emailed me in the last 2 hours, I wonder what's wrong? Am I uninteresting? It's like I've lost track of the ordinary day's cycle.

Ruth said...

Ellen, yes I do think most of us live ordinary lives, at least in Western terms. And oh yes, living to make life better is reasonable and good. Looking for joy in the small and ordinary is my life. What I'm trying to say in the post is that as a culture we have that Manifest Destiny thing driving us toward something called Accomplishment. With the resources we have at hand now, there is more pressure to produce and be GREAT. Nothing wrong in that essentially. But I also see parents pressure kids to be MORE and BETTER and SUCCESSFUL in terms that have little to do with BEING just good people, good citizens.

Shari Sunday said...

I believe Einstein said something like "either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle". I go with the everything theory. Taking things for granted doesn't make them less miraculous. It only means that we are often blind to our blessings. That is also why I love the play, "Our Town". I can imagine that it would indeed be painful to go back and relive our lives without being able to change anything. I can't even watch "Gone With the Wind" without hoping that this time Bonnie won't die and Scarlett and Rhett will find a way to get back together. Of course, we can't rewrite history but we can try to appreciate today. You have a gift for that Ruth.

Susan said...

I think the ordinary has become extraordinary in our culture, because many people are no longer connected to ordinary lives. They (and I'm including myself somewhat) live their lives by their computer connections,their cell phones, what TV shows they watch, the plastic-covered or frozen food they consume, etc. They feel no real kinship to the earth and sometimes even other people outside their families. I'm not sure I would want to return to the pre-technology days, but I'm trying to blend those things harmoniously into my ordinary life.

I am guilty of the overuse of exclamation points. I think when we're talking to others via social websites or email messages, we use them to help the other person see our facial animation in response to something they've said. Obviously, if I were writing a book or short story, I would use them a little more judiciously. I'm also guilty of the incorrect usage of ellipses. I'm pretty sure that some people have forgotten, or never knew, how to use that tool properly. I just use it to suggest to the reader when I'm pausing, as if I am really speaking to them. Okay, now I have really digressed from the subject matter.

Inventions, or improvements upon them, sometimes go hand-in-hand with making something else worse; e.g., environmental effects. Although, after seeing what a mess we've been making of the environment in the name of progress, there does seem to be a trend of trying to reverse the effects by inventing new things to counteract it. I guess you can call that progress.

Ruth said...

Shari, yes, the speed at which we live, almost without being able to help it or slow it down, means we don't really get to the essence of each thing, or person, in our life. And then I wish I could relive it, like you. Like I wish I had my mom here to just ask some questions. How do months and years pass, and I don't remember them?

I also think I have too much stuff. And I don't take very good care of it.

Ruth said...

Susie, somehow I'm finding this post so loopy that I can't even get my head around what's in it. So I'd say you didn't digress. It's just the nature of the topics here, I guess. One thing leads to another, and I, and you, keep trying to synthesize all this stuff. My point is, and I know you get it, is that people didn't used to have so much stuff to synthesize. There's nothing wrong with technology, as you say. But technology has connected us with more information -- too much -- and made our lives easier with more free time . . . . to do what? To do extraordinary things? Or to watch TV?

I find it all discombobulating.

I am askew. This is about me. I am guessing others have their heads on pretty squarely and can handle the chaos. i just keep finding myself wanting stimulation and being disappointed if I don't get it. I'm trying to find satisfaction in a nice, slow, steady daily cycle.

With friends like you. And family.

Shari Sunday said...

Months and days passing without our remembering? That is why we blog!!! I think you are hard on yourself sometimes. Could growing up as a preacher's daughter have anything to do with that? oops, I confess to chronically overusing exclamation points. Annoying I know.

Ruth said...

Shari, it's true, isn't it, that blogging helps us focus, and document. I feel that the last four years since starting sync have intensified learning and intention. I'm so grateful.

And yes, there is guilt from all that goes before. And I am overly analytical and introspective. So.

I am sorely tempted to express exuberance with exclamation points too, and I really get Susie's point about trying to show in these little boxes what can't be seen in facial expressions and body language (ROFL, LMAO, etc.). I resist it, mostly because I am surrounded by English professors in my job. :)

Shari Sunday said...

I do blush at my use of punctuation with an expert. I love writing and I am good at spelling, but it has been a long time since I had an English grammar class. I do have an English grammar reference book but I confess that I don't even know where it is. I enjoy our conversations very much.

deb said...

I am so with you, all over the place or not.
It is difficult to find the balance, but we are called to. And even if we feel the struggle, acknowledge the push and pull of it, then at least we are aware and trying.
One day I crawl around in my garden in awe of the dew. One day I drive around like some crazed suburban mom .
I hope the essence of what we are supposed to do here on earth for how ever long we have the honour is coming across in the right ways to my children. They clearly are bombarded with mixed messages in every waking second .

and that was a ramble of a comment... the ordinary rhythm of doing countless loads of laundry is going to be made a little more extraordinary by new appliances. We are sad to say good-bye to our 15 year old ones, but surely they deserve a rest having served our family of seven with steadfast efficiency.

kanmuri said...

Our quest for extraordinary is the cause of our unhappiness. Although I must confess that I do enjoy modern technology I'm still trying to go back to the source. I'm trying to eat natural food. It sounds extraordinary to people when I say I make my own bread, my own pizza, my own BBQ sauce but like you said, this is what people did for hundreds of year. It's quite ordinary, and I enjoy it a lot.

Marcie said...

So much to think about here. Have always believed myself someone who seeks out the extra-ordinary in the everyday ordinary..but then - perhaps - the true art is in that everyday ordinary. And - I'm not sure if they are one and the same..or something different.
But that all being said - here..here!! The world might be a different place if we simply took the time to appreciate and celebrate life. In its simplicity..in its wonder..and in its just plain ordinary.
Beautifully said!!!

Arti said...

Ordinary or extraordinary of course is relative. Our turning on a tap and water flows out could be extraordinary for some. But I definitely agree with you that no matter the context, most of our daily living is ordinary. And we'd have found gold if we see the extraordinary in it. I've been mulling over this as I read Paul Schrader's book on the transcendental in film (My May 5 Post)

It all started when I read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which prompted me to search for Ozu's films, which then led me to Schrader's book. And now your post... thanks for the synchronicity!

Ruth said...

Shari, I don't worry much about anyone else, but I also had an English teacher for a mother, so things got drilled into me young. So it's something I care about when I do it, but I don't get bent out of shape if someone else does it differently. Some of my nearest and dearest friends ignore any rules whatsoever. :)

Ruth said...

Yay, Deb, thank you! Ramble on, my dear.

Ohh, new laundry machines. I wonder what wonders they will perform. Fifteen years is a long time, and I'm sure they served you well. You deserve new ones that will be even more efficient.

Ruth said...

Kanmuri, not a thing wrong with new technology. I love it too, but not as much as an old boss of mine who had every latest calculator and popcorn making machine! But he wore suits from the Salvation Army because he refused to spend much money on clothes. I had a heart for the less fortunate. He just had a thing for gadgets.

Sounds like you're staying in touch with yourself and the balance you need.

Miruh said...

Ruth, a great reminder that we need to get in touch with what is true and really matters in life. We are so used to external stimulation at such an artificial level that we are numb to the extraordinary of everyday existence. True happiness can only be ours when we are in awe of being alive, no matter how convenient our lives have become.

Thanks for these words of wisdom!

babs said...

I have to admit, that in my lifetime there has been great change in what we strive for in life. Sadly a lot of what was truly good has been lost along the way.

J.G. said...

This is thought-provoking in so many directions, Ruth! I think Don's farmy efforts are so fascinating because so many people simply buy everything (I'm guilty of this too) instead of growing their own food, making their own furniture, etc. As a society, "progress" has made most of us very urban and out of touch with the land and the rhythms (and skills!) of farming and gathering.

Here's my digression: I was thinking today while hearing the financial news that if the money system collapses, I'm going to be in real trouble. I live in an apartment and buy everything. No garden, no chickens, no fruit trees. If I can't buy what I need to live (and I'm just talking the basics here), what are my alternatives?

It's not too difficult to imagine a social meltdown like you read in novels about, say, the Civil War or the Russian Revolution, where the old way of life passes and the formerly wealthy wind chopping up their gilded furniture for firewood. Not a comforting thought! Maybe this year I can do better on all that. I would love to have a garden, for starters.

Oliag said...

Oh yes this is going off into so many different directions...I strive to always find the extraordinary in the everyday...

...I recently watched an interview of Alice Waters who was demonstrating making a simple vinaigrette with only a mortar and pestle...she spoke of the simple tasks of peeling a clove of garlic and mixing it with salt and vinegar and oil...of smelling and touching and tasting it...and you know that it was extraordinary...

Terresa said...

There is infinite beauty in the ordinary.

When I lived in Uruguay, I realized this, as some people had out houses, others had 1 single light bulb they unscrewed and moved from room to room as they needed. Some went out back to kill a chicken for dinner. And most biked or walked or bused every where they needed to go.

This was life, was ordinary to them. But extraordinary to me in it's simplicity.

There is volumes in the ordinary. Thank you for this reminder.

Ann said...

I grew up where mum didn't have a washing machine, nor a fridge, or an oven. In fact most electrical appliances.

I am grateful I have flown round the world, I have internet and can send instant emails, or read blogs. This is the era I like best.

The future? where food comes in a pill? no thanks.

Ruth said...

Miruh, thank you for nailing it. I've been looking for external stimuli, and I want to just flow with the daily river, wherever it goes. Not that I can't make things happen. Anyway, thank you for getting it, and for what you do.

Ruth said...

Babs, you and Mo truly inspire me by the ways you delight in pure daily existence. Please carry on, for my sake. I feel a timelessness when I visit you.

Ruth said...

J.G., thank you for your good comment.

Yes, you must be right, that people have forgotten how to do things from scratch, so when someone does them that way, we are enamored. Don is such that if something can be done, he'd like to learn how to do it, at least once. And he also loves to give things away that he makes or grows.

About the meltdown possibility, Don and I bought a book in 1978 and watched the TV series the following year that James Burke wrote called Connections - linking history with the major technologies that were invented, and what led to them. He starts the first episode in a field of wheat (if I remember right), presenting the idea What if all our structures suddenly collapsed and we had to start from scratch . . . ? His dry British wit and humor make this a very interesting read or series to watch. I highly recommend it.

I can tell you this: if a meltdown happens, I know who I'm going to stay very close to. Lucky me, I happen to be married to him.

Best wishes on a garden. Start small.

Ruth said...

Oliag, bless you. That's it. That's it. Slowing. Absorbing the essence of something through the senses. What you wrote opened a thought in my head (thank you): the extraordinary is [just] Joy. And that can be found - and is best found - in the ordinary.

Alice Waters is one of my heroes.

Ruth said...

You know, Terresa, maybe what someone else does, if it's unlike what we do or think, seems extraordinary. I don't think we've done ourselves any favors to "free" ourselves of the daily chores that keep us connected with how things work.

Ruth said...

That's it, Ann, being grateful! Paying attention. Being circumspect. It's quite something that you grew up without those things, and appreciating the conveniences you have now is natural.

Nutrition in a pill, or books on a screen - I don't want either, thanks very much.

CottageGirl said...

Isn't each moment in life extraordinary? The breath itself, the iris contracting, the blood coursing through the veins, the bird on the wing, the revolving of the earth ...

And yet those moments become lost in a sea of both the mundane and the outrageous.

Were we better off before technology exploded and were weren't aware of ALL that was going on in the world?

I'm with you, Ruth.

Can we pick and choose which extraordinary yet ordinary technology we want to be in our lives? I'll keep my cell phone, my washer and fridge ... and electric lights, car and ... computer!

You and Don have chosen a remarkable way to live ... you have the best of both worlds!!

Deborah said...

Ruth, I read this and re-read it last night and wanted time to think about what you've said before commenting.
I can't speak for the reactions of others to the things Don does, but my own admiring reaction is not so much because he cleverly makes jam and does all those home-y, farm-y things, but because he has deliberately chosen to turn his back on the easy, the ready-made, the accepted way of being that is the norm in our times. That, to me, is what's exceptional, that he has chosen to seek fulfillment in ways that are increasingly lost to our society. He is different, and his different-ness also involves a considerable effort to maintain, even if that effort is usually pleasurable to him.
If you think of the term extra-ordinary as simply meaning 'out of the ordinary', then what he does is certainly that. We tend to ascribe a more ample meaning to the word, but it's really very simple.
Like you, I am sometimes - often? - driven by stimulation, and once you get a taste of it, it makes you want more. I didn't discover until a few years ago that the pleasure I got from wandering the aisles of a department store, never spending very much, but pleased to find things that I 'needed' or were 'just right' for the house, was in fact providing a stimulation that I craved. It has made me somewhat less inclined to give into those desires, and I feel more in control of something that always made me feel slightly ill.
Awareness is the key, really. I think so, anyway. It's sometimes a frenzy out there in our Western world, but you don't have to be caught up in it.
This was a really interesting post to read, so clearly heartfelt, Ruth. You will influence others by your example, one of which includes the attention you pay to small things. (I do enjoy your photos on the 'Small' blog)
You are so very obviously your own person, a thinking, thoughtful being who challenges herself and others to live more meaningfully.

Susan said...

Ruth,
I absolutely love the way you think. I think I see it from the opposite angle; the ordinary IS extraordinary. Look closely at things, photograph them as you do, and you see detail and little miracles that make it clear that there is no such thing as ordinary.
But I do agree that there's such a push for bigger, better, faster, newer that we forget to ask if better IS better.
I vote for slower, more attentive, more appreciative.
Smell the roses really means something.

cathyswatercolors said...

Hi Ruth, so true,so true!!!! Is ordinary good enough?? Breaking News and all of that alarming information fills our lives. I love it that Don and you live on a farm and are reclaiming the ordinary.
Walks are my connection with the earth,oh and gardening. The earth were ordinary miracles occur every second.

Peace my friend

rauf said...

i look for a life less ordinary Ruth. Unfortunately i have to come back to the society. i can shed only a few things from my mind, from my life, but not all. i have to be accepted in the society. This is my tragedy.

i don't want to be an extremist like the chap who died of starvation in the wilderness. That is plain stupidity. And giving up all worldly desires like some philosophies demand also makes no sense. There is no life without desires. Will to survive itself is a desire, a primary desire. Living an extraordinary life is the most common desire.


People want to believe in miracles, myths or something extraordinary. After reserruction
Jesus did not quietly go to heaven. He hung around for 40 days. ??. Why ? He wanted to impress his followers. I would have gone straight to the people who crucified me.
why would i do that ?
i want my miracle to be noticed. i want to impress.

There is no historical record of Jesus or Moses, Ramayan or Mahabharat. But look at power of belief in myths. Something is seriously wrong with us humans Ruth. Very good and very bad has come out of belief in myths and desire for an extraordinary life. Best in music art literature, sports, compassion kindness emerges out of such a desire. And so does something very bad like Hitler.

Ruth said...

Oops, Kanmari, I meant to write he, my old boss, had a heart for the less fortunate and refused to spend much money on clothes.

Helena said...

Truth and happiness lies in simple things. Most people just have to go to extremes before they realize that they already have everything. It's inside of us and in the little things we do and think every day. The noise around us is just a sort of a test of how you react to it.

Ginnie said...

And if we feel these things now, Ruth, what will it be like for Nicholas 25 years from now when supposedly life will be more sci-fi? In another world where I don't know the language that surrounds me, I cry because I can't do something as ordinary as speaking it. I wonder if the urge to go back to the good ol' days comes more as we age? Do we have to live long enough before we understand how important it is to just be...ordinary? Lots of things to ponder here, I see.... :)

Ruth said...

Dear CottageGirl, yes! Each moment is a wonder. The iris contracting alone (as I contemplate a photo shoot with a graduating senior today and am trying to work out the wonders of a camera that I don't know too well, which is like the human eye).

You are very insightful, you know. ". . . these moments become lost in a sea of both the mundane and the outrageous." Well I might as well just repeat everything you wrote, because it's all so good.

Maybe what is difficult is always having to choose among the constant stream of information, technologies, and other extraordinary things. Being mindful of what I need to keep my life in some kind of balance and sanity.

Sidney said...

I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

Ruth said...

Sweet Deborah, first, thank you for taking time and effort to engage with this.

Yes, Don is different and stands out - among the people he works with, among our friends, among our family. He quit a career in business after many years to become an elementary teacher. And he moved to a farm so he could find out how to live in this age-old life cycle. The thing is, this drive comes from within him. He is one of the very fortunate people who knows who he is, what he wants, and isn't afraid to be and do that.

What you wrote about the word extraordinary (which I've been thinking about a lot too) is true. At some point people started using all the great words for everyday minute-by-minute happy things. My mom used to quote some great preacher: "Pray, what adjective have you reserved for the Almighty?!"

You nailed it, Deborah, what I was feeling. That I am aware of how I need external stimulation, and I'd like to rely on that less. It takes constant mindfulness.

Thank you for all your good thoughts and kind words. I value your input so very much.

Ruth said...

Susan, you are so cool. For one thing, you are out there being snazzy in that suit and making things happen. When someone is a journalist, like you, you have to look closely at the details, and that slows you down in the right kind of way. I watched the Lansing State Journal photographer at commencement yesterday. He had to pay attention in ways no one else did. I wondered what he decided to take pictures of, out of the two hours and hundreds of graduates.

Ruth said...

Cathy, that is an excellent title for a book: Ordinary miracles. I remember hearing in church that when Jesus turned the water into wine, the miracle lay in the fact that he did it in an instant. Water turns into wine all the time, but quite a bit more slowly. Is that less of a miracle?

Ruth said...

dear rauf, you've told us about the people, like the man in your photo posted here, who believe they will be reincarnated into a better life, so they keep suffering through this one. I don't remember how it's supposed to work, but it's a tragedy to be oppressed by someone promising a false dream. But the dream helps him survive and not go insane, I guess.

I agree that some people do great things out of a desire to do great things. But some do them simply out of a desire to express what is in them. I think the best things that have happened have been from someone's passion that couldn't be reined in by obstacles. Passion and hard work can create extraordinary things. And of course some of the most important inventions happened by accident, on the road to discover something else altogether.

rauf, you have touched your family, your friends all over India, and friends around the world in extraordinary ways, even though you never left India's borders. How you see the world is anything but ordinary, even though it is more in sync with the natural order of things, which should be normal.

Thank you again for sharing one of your precious photographs.

Ruth said...

You made me stop and think, Helena, "The noise around us is just a sort of a test of how you react to it."

Not everyone's life or accomplishments can be extraordinary, in the terms society uses. Some have to clean toilets and empty the trash. Some have to clean out septic tanks. We have a TV show here called "Dirty Jobs" - and I like how Mike shows that yucky things get done by people, thankfully, so I don't have to do them.

Ruth said...

Boots, we completely expect change now, every day. I find that disconcerting. I think humans need stability. The challenge is finding it among the rapidly changing things.

I am so proud of you for riding your bike to learn dutch 4 days a week for 40+ weeks. Brava, my dear sweet sister, for taking this on at the spritely age of 64. :)

Ruth said...

Sidney, I like that. It reminds me of Don, whose knees in his jeans were always worn out when the kids were little.

Ruth said...

Oh! dear Arti! - how did I miss commenting to you? I read your comment with great interest, and then I got out of sync when I came back. Forgive me.

There can't be many book titles better than The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Less is more. I love restraint, in books and movies. Lost in Translation is one of my favorites. It's the person observing that brings meaning to it. And that person has to slow down enough to take it in. I much prefer this to being clobbered.

I'm happy you're there, noticing the synchronicity in these things.

Jennifer said...

Great post. I seek wonderfulness in the ordinary every day - I think it's something about living in the moment. If we're always looking beyond for something bigger and better, then we miss it. I've always thought the drive for all things "amazing" and "new" is related to the capitalist ideal. It's like it's our duty to strive for bigger, better, shiny and new and who cares about the old and comfortable?

California Girl said...

Happy Mother's Day to an ordinary lady who writes an extraordinary blog.

Peter said...

Questions you may ask yourself may be like where I would like to live, in which century I would have liked to live… or would I like to live in a future century? Maybe all this is not so important as to learn to appreciate love and other essential things… but also the small pleasures like having a glass of wine or a coffee on a nice street terrace, lay down on a lawn in the middle of the night and look at the stars, listen to the right piece of music at the perfect moment and place … Such a list can be very personal, long - and it’s up to us to try to make it as long as possible! Now, I know also that it’s much easier to make such a list if you live in a surrounding like mine or yours… and far from everybody has that privilege.

Ruth said...

Thank you, and welcome, Jennifer, I'm happy to see you, and your LOVELY blog. It is apparent there, too, how your sensibilities lie. Smaller and less amazing means I get amazed by the lesser. And that's just wonderful.

Ruth said...

California Girl, thank you for them words, my friend.

Ruth said...

Peter, sometimes I forget to think of it, that even though you live surrounded by beauty, grace, history, culture, art - some of the most astonishing in the history of the world - you also are awed by it. You document it for us, and I lose track that you, like me, are like a child, observant and grateful.

gemma said...

I look for and find the sacred in the ordinary.

Ruth said...

Gemma, I know you do. And you even create immense beauty out of the pain in your heart. Ahh, I'm so grateful.

Montag said...

It's a gift to be ordinary.. and simple and free... as the song goes, and its music has more truth than any learned person can nowadays devise.

dutchbaby said...

I am blessed to be part of a book club that enjoys celebrating the ordinary. One of us famously said a few years back, "Ladies, it doesn't get better than this!" (I'm sorry, Ruth, but I firmly believe that declaration fully deserves an exclamation point.) I can't tell you how often we've toasted each other with this sentiment and how it warms my heart each time we do.

Thank you for this extraordinarily ordinary post, Ruth. It doesn't get better than this!

Ruth said...

Montag, yes, we have to slow this fast train down.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, thank you for the exclamation point! There is a recognition in the indoors of the self that we are touching the extraordinary via something seemingly ordinary. When that happens, there is BIG JOY!