I am besotted and haunted by The Mundane. As I drink my wonderfully mediocre cup of morning coffee, I look at images of paintings online. I am inevitably drawn to those that depict things and people in their “Everydayness”: a forlorn servant carrying a tray; a forgotten overly ripe piece of fruit. I am pulled by that which evokes the loneliness and ennui of everyday life.
I am often alone (though not always lonely) and I find solace–and even joy–in noticing what others might overlook. I take delight in clocking the minutiae that make things and people unique. Give me enough time (and an open heart) and I will locate the grace in almost anyone.
It is my duty–and, perhaps, survival necessity–to embrace and celebrate the mundanity of life. When I do so I find peace. When I do so boredom disintegrates. When I succeed in singing its praises a transformation happens: The Mundane becomes Sublime. No, that is not correct. It is not the external that transforms–I am the thing that transforms.
The obvious natural beauty of the world does not need me to sing is praises. It sings its own. And it has has countless devotees: a universal choir. But the old stapler on my desk—who will celebrate it if not me? I see where the dust gathers and how it clears up at the highest point where my hand strikes. I have an intimate relationship with this object. I touch it. I touch it more than I touch humans. Disproportionately sized noses, unkempt hair, beat up cars hanging on by a thread, ugly parking lots: they need me. And I need them.