Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Ordinary Extraordinary

Ordinary, extraordinary. They sound like opposites. In reality, they can be identical, depending on perspective.

In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg says, "That's the great value of art--making the ordinary extraordinary. We awaken ourselves to the life we are living."

My artist friend, Jane, has deeply affected my work. She paints. I write. But as we talk, the similarities in what we do and the choices of how we do it consistently surprise me. In one of those vividly remembered conversations, I commented that I didn't have anything profound to write about. She opened an art book to a famous painting and pointed to a little dark haired girl sitting in a red velvet chair holding a lacy white handkerchief. Profound? Only in its ordinary simplicity. She told me that all of life is profound. The artist's job is to point out the beauty of everyday, ordinary moments. The ordinary extraordinary.
I couldn't find the painting she showed me. This is a photo by Richard Brown, from A Time to Blossom, by Tovah Martin. It conveys the same idea. Two young girls, enjoying, appreciating a bouquet of flowers. Simple. Ordinary. Profound.

Have an ordinary, extraordinary day!

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