An Ordinary Day

What does an ordinary day look like?

Maybe they aren’t ordinary. Maybe we just can’t see the extraordinary days for what they are until we see more of the context. Imagine a jigsaw puzzle – does it make sense to ask which pieces are the important ones? Even the piece sort of in the leftish-middle of just the unbroken sky is essential to the completion of the puzzle. The image depicted might contain a subject of greater interest, maybe it’s a squid and one piece has its great and terrible eye, but you still need the whole thing. You can’t just live on the extraordinary days, and you don’t know which they’ll be unless you live them all.

If you look back on your life and pick out the incredibly relevant events, how many of them happened on a date you expected to be significant? How many sea changes lined up with New Year’s Day or something like that?

They’re all ordinary days. And they’re all extraordinary.

When you flip over an hourglass, only two grains of sand are different from the rest – the first and the last. The first of your days has already passed, and by the time the last one comes it’ll be too late to do anything different.

Look well, therefore, to this day. This most ordinary of days, filled with extraordinary things. It’s a death trap; if you don’t claw your way out of it and escape into the next, you perish in this one. Try to drag some treasures out of the belly of this beast with you, only to fall into the jaws of the next one. But as each new great squid with its ravenous maw opens to swallow you whole, you can spot the extraordinary things along the way. The fellow travelers consumed by the all-consuming; the trinkets and songs left behind, the trinkets and songs you will leave behind.

None of these things can matter outside of their context, and their only context is you. Every puzzle piece needs the rest, but more importantly, they all need someone doing the puzzle, or they’re just cardboard in a box, without meaning. There is no such thing as a forest, only trees. You make a forest by walking through it, and you can do that even on the most ordinary of days.

Like today.

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