Commonplace, unremarkable, nothing special. These synonyms don’t elevate or enhance ordinary’s humdrum image. But what if we talked about the magnificence in the ordinary. That could perk things up, pronto. So, let’s talk about magnificence, which bespeaks elegance and virtuosity.
When we ignore or give short shrift to ordinary things simply because they are common and unflashy, we do so at our own expense. When we are jaded to simple, humble things, it is our loss. Sometimes the most magnificent things are right under our noses but our upturned noses miss them entirely.
Finding pleasure, and even magnificence in the ordinary is innate, so how is that lost? Age hardens. Affluence desensitizes. Maybe a more charitable assessment- advancing years, mature; and prosperity, sophisticates. But whatever the mechanism, we can be blinded to the beauty and utility of the simple things in our lives. We should wonder where the wonder went.
Enter quietly: Old oil can from the workshop of a long-deceased grandfather. Sure, you can buy a disposable oil can at the hardware store, but it wouldn’t be magnificent like this one. Look at the beautiful shape. The patina. The never leaking threaded cap. The graceful spout. The aperture just right for dispensing a single drop. And this oil can, in all its ordinariness, is also magnificent.
Open your dulled eyes and see clearly. Remember the splendor of blowing the seedheads off a dandelion or watching masses of purple coquinas bury themselves in the wet sand, or feeling the contours of the oil can, still warm from your grandfather’s hand. Remember, and the ordinary will become anything but.
The oil can has taken center stage, but there are many other players who could have stepped in. The heavy pinking shears, the rusted railroad spike that serves as a paperweight, the ebony letter opener, worn smooth with years of use.
Wake up! Celebrate the commonplace and find the magnificence in your life.
Ordinary is making a curtain call. Stand up and applaud.