ORDINARY MAGIC

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecently, for the first time in years I have been constantly busy, scrambling to keep up with all the modules of my Visual Art degree as well as my blog and my artwork. I am not doing too badly and I am enjoying it but sometimes I am aware that I need to take more time to just stop.

This week I hung a mini exhibition of my paintings, I am working on a joint presentation on feminist criticism on the work of Sarah Lucas (neither of which I knew anything about two weeks ago), I have been splattered with ‘blood’ in a classmates re-make of the ‘chest buster’ scene from Alien and have shot and edited my own scene from the American Office. Some part of my brain is trying to devise a live art piece and a possible costume for it.

On the ‘relaxing’ side of things I am indulging myself in Michael Smiths new biography of my hero Ernest Shackleton. I am also working out, running and have joined a spinning class. And of course last week I murdered Little Bobby.

Yesterday afternoon, after tussling with the Harvard Referencing system, I contemplated the ‘long run’ I had planned for today and I sat down in the chair and looked out at the afternoon sky.

It was not a spectacular day. It was an ordinary day in February, neither here nor there. Neither Spring nor Winter, but sometimes in the ordinary that the magic resides. Maybe it is because such days do not push themselves upon us. They allow us to drift to other realms. Or maybe they loosen us from the bonds of enthusiasm for action…

‘It’s so sunny!we must go out!’

‘Its snowing!’we must build a snow man!’

On an ordinary day we don’t have to do a damn thing.

The clouds were ragged and dark grey against a western sky bright and tinged with gold even as the day faded. I could hear the cold wind from the north combing the roof and feel it in the draughts around the windows and doors. To the east the sea would become a solid block of cobalt in the dusk. For a little while the headland, patched green on deep rust red would look as if stitched onto the rich blue-grey stuff of the sea and perhaps the brake lights of some fisherman’s car would glimmer ruby-like in its folds at the tiny slipway on the other side of the bay. As the wind died, as it often does around sunset, the light from the Hook lighthouse in Wexford would begin to flash..

As the twilight grew I felt the tiredness in my bones and without thinking I was in the moment and in every moment of every ordinary day ever and nothing mattered that much and without looking I knew the fisherman had gone from the opposite headland, up the muddy, rutted path to home and I felt, without seeing, the light fading and the wind dying and then the rain came.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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17 responses to “ORDINARY MAGIC

  1. Loved that piece! I lived the evening in my mind as I read it; I was working in the garden, pleased with the day’s progress and noted many of the things you saw (but without the eloquence!). I’m also into a period read that you’d like, I think – ‘Into the Silence’ by Wade Davis – about Mallory and the conquest of Everest; I am so in awe of those guys!

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    • Thanks Chris…if I had a garden like yours I think I would have preferred to working in it than writing. Can’t wait to read the Mallory book, its the new one I think?I am a huge Shackleton fan I have to say(I heard when I lived in Scotland that one of the Shackleton descendants married one of Scotts…don’t know how true that is)It is quite amazing what they got up to back then and with so little equipment and knowledge! I am in awe of them too!

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  2. A very lyrical blog post, and a timely reminder to stop. I think that actually also holds true if you’re not busy and you’re fretting about that. You can just use the time to relax, regroup and plant seeds for growth.

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    • Thanks Derbhile…strangely, I often found it harder to ‘stop’ in a away when I was less busy. Busyness can be unproductive too and slowing down can be hugely beneficial. For artists and writers and artists I think a huge part of the job is fermenting ..at least that was always my excuse… Thanks for dropping by 🙂

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  3. That’s a beautiful description of an ‘ ordinary ‘ day. I know the feeling all too well but your words describe it perfectly. Instead of feeling bored on such days we should be content with just Being..but I envy your view and need to book up a trip home soon to the Copper Coast to absorb it all very soon. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Hi Dee…what a lovely comment, thanks. Yes its a beautiful place…mind you tonight its freezing and the wind is whipping around the house and the rain is lashing against the windows and I cant wait for warmer days. Then it will be the place to be. Thanks for taking the time to comment, nice to hear from you.

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  4. Hi there – it’s funny, isn’t it – it’s the ordinary days at home that people miss and remember when they have to live faraway or when they’re in prison. They seep into our subconsciousness, drop by drop, without us paying much attention. They’re impossible to describe to anyone who hasn’t lived in the same country, under the same sky, but they’re immediately and vividly recognised by those who have. They build our sense of home don’t they – the ordinary days.

    I do like the strength of the spirit in your paintings. You obviously love what you do.
    All best wishes
    Elaine

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    • Hi Elaine…thanks for taking the time to write that wonderful comment. It is true that it is the ordinary days are the building blocks of our existence and that sense of home too. I hadn’t thought of that but yes the light, the air, all those things in places, we absorb them without knowing. Thank you for those thoughts…and for visiting. Best to you too. Clare

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      • It only occurred to me as I was reading your post. When you think of any time in your past – school or whatever, it’s the smell and the feeling of the place that you remember and I’m sure that feeling must build up, like sedimentary rock, in tiny, tiny layers of moments.

        Thank you for placing the thought in my head! Elaine

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