09 November 2012

Ordinary is Extra

Sunset over the parisian (ordinary) suburb Montreuil

You probably have heard about this polemic about series, movies or commercials selling fantasies of perfect lives and making people unsatisfied with their own ordinary life. I thought about this lately because Maja mentioned a similar polemic around blogs in Norway. Basically, advertisements, works of fiction, media, or blogs, would be selling a fantasy life made of extraordinary moments while our lives are so ordinary in comparison.

But we don't have to be jealous of this staged perfection. Because even if our lives are not extraordinary, we tend to forget that ordinary is extra. Like a sunset over the parisian Banlieue. It's not your perfect sunset over Montmartre or whatever, but it is a beautiful gift from nature. And to me, it's worth every perfect sunset picture because I actually get to witness it, in the present, in my real life.

Ordinary is extra, but only if we take the time to notice, contemplate and enjoy it. Which we don't if our minds are busy fantasizing over an extraordinary alternate world. I think  western society doesn't train us to acknowledge and enjoy the ordinary moments of our lives. It is very happy with us buying things to try and reach this fantasy perfection instead of enjoying what we have and being bad consumers.

What trained me to enjoy the extra ordinary moments of my life was traditional Japanese culture and art, actually. Haiku describing the smell of freshly cut grass, the art of hand-made simple tea cups, the importance behind the ordinary fact of taking a bath. It trained me to see beyond the dullness of ordinary things and enjoy what's extra about them.

I have also taken on an exercise on my diary notebook: whenever I write a message on it, I start it with the recollection of a little moment of joy I have lived today. It actually makes me acknowledge and remember the small joys life brings me everyday, through its ordinary moments.

I guess this is part of what this blog is about, too. Noticing, enjoying and sharing some of the ordinary joys of life. To write it down, to remember. To remind ordinary joys in other people's lives too, to share thoughts and create debate.

Blogging is ordinary after all, there probably are millions of them over the web, but being able to share things with readers from all over the world and actually share experiences with each other is extra, isn't it?


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  3. this is beautifully put. i was going to write a post too about how wonderfully zen i was after abandoning the idea of trends and adopting better shopping habits. i just love how content i am towards everything in general, so that when i'm going window shopping, it's more out of curiosity's sake rather than for the fulfillment of some sort of need. what i just said is nowhere near the eloquence of your post! but yes reading blogs such as yours is an absolute delight and a great way to unwind from the stresses of daily life and to share with others who understand our deep need for curation that others in IRL who simply don't :P

    * deleted previous comments for excessive typos. my apologies.

  4. Thank you! I see exactly what you mean about sharing the curation process with people who share an interest in the subject.
    I learned (and still am learning) a lot from other blogs and it helped me during my process, so i'd be happy if my blog helps people too. I enjoy your blog a lot too by the way.

  5. Lovely post Kali, this is what I hope my blog is like (in between my blatant materialism, that is). I sometimes feel a bit weird about posting day-to-day life stuff on my blog, as diary-blogging is something I would like to avoid, but sometimes it is nice to share the little joys in life :)

    Also: Big thanks for the link love!