I refuse to settle for anything less than a rigorous pursuit of the possible in myself.
I am reflecting on the mundane, on the ordinary parts of life from which we tend to shy.
The stretches of road have been long, and by now I have made myself quite a cozy little nest in the back seat—blankets and pillows, a mesh basket of books at my feet, crumpled up granola bar wrappers. It is a good place from which to watch the acres of farmland storm by. It is a good place in which to spend hours of reflection.
I am reflecting on the mundane and on the nature of the extraordinary.
Travel days are long and uneventful by conventional standards. We load up the car, fill up the gas, and hit the road. We fill the hours of stationary movement with self-curated playlists, audio books, naps, coffee/bathroom/gas breaks, conversations that drift and wander through the permeable boundaries of sacredness and silliness.
Outside swaths and swatches of tasseled corn, cotton, potatoes, and wheat are sown together with clusters of sunflowers and wildflowers. Here and there a cluster of trees, a heard of cattle, a silo. Everywhere is the mundane and everywhere is the extraordinary. These plants are commonplace in this region, the sunsets casting purple clouds and golden beams of light standard. Corn stalks plunge their roots into the soil to grow down and raise their ears and braided tops to the sun. They take in sunlight and water. Every day they grow through constant repetition. Habit is dedication to progress and becoming.
I am reflecting on the mundane and the role of habit.
Only by the tedious and meticulous recurrence of biological processes does a stalk of corn produce an ear. Over and over and over the plant gathers, stores, processes. Through careful examination of the condition of the plant and its fruit we can determine the quality of those actions. What combination of soil, water, and sunlight will best help the plant grow? What adjustments need to be made? There will come a time when the plant, the crop, will need to be moved, and then it will be tried, tested, and adjusted again. And the recurrence recurs.
When I examine my life, I can determine the quality of my habits, the quality of my processes by how I live my life. With constant critique, examination, adjustment, and repetition I can create and grow myself as a healthy plant with nutritious and succulent fruit. The examination and revision of habit should itself be a habit, a way in which we ensure and nurture a life of growth and authenticity. We should monitor our mundane with critical and introspective eyes. The building of an extraordinary life is done in daily, intentional moments. The exceptional extraordinary moments in life may test us and push us, but life is lived, personality is developed, and character is crafted in what we do in the ordinary and day-to-day.
I am reflecting on the mundane and our responses to it.
Why not create for ourselves habits and processes that grow and nurture us through the mundane moments? Resiliency is crafted. The well-lived life is crafted. It is intentional and in a constant yet ever evolving pattern of honing and refining. When we find ourselves glassy-eyed and listless, rolling on through life without much force acting upon us, we should pause and observe. Pause and listen. Pause and absorb. Pause and practice. Practice the art and craft of ourselves. Practice the habit of growth. Practice strengthening ourselves. Practice. Repeat.
I am reflecting on the mundane.
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© Alessandra Ragusin 2016-2020