Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ulysses, Blueberries & 'Ordinary'

I bought Ulysses yesterday from Borders. I was actually on the lookout for Ishiguro’s Remains Of The Day, the one he got Booker Prize for. But I think it sold out.
Two years ago I read Ulysses, or atleast the first half of it. I had rented it from the library. It was overdue so I had to return it before I finished it. I don’t claim to understand almost half of what the book was about. But I read it for the reading itself, not necessarily for the meaning. I realised that when I was reading it, my writing also got quite vague and thoughtful and more floaty. Joyce’s writing (and especially in this book), I learnt, recorded every excruciating and pleasant detail. He considered the everyday life, the everyday happenings to be of significance. 
Well, in fact, he didn’t believe in ‘significant’. Every second was the same. No moment in life was more significant than the other. 
I believe thats the last thing that the world perceives life as nowadays. Everyone is on the lookout for that special time, moment, person, that hero, that ‘special’ out the ‘ordinary’. In almost a way that defiles the everyday and the ‘ordinary’.
There is a saying that I love:
Earth’s crammed with heaven
and every common bush afire with God
But he only sees, takes off his shoes
the rest sit around and pluck blueberries.
Most people miss the ‘common bush’ when they are too busy looking for the ‘sensational’ blue berries. 
Personally I believe that people need to start seeing the ‘ordinary’ as holy and precious. The little half an hour spent on your couch doing nothing is as beautiful as that ‘noble’ hour you spent ‘helping’ someone out on the street. The day you won the World Cup and held the trophy high under the bright lights as precious as the crap morning you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and felt terrible till 10am.
A man sweeping the street in Delhi as precious as the man who gets a thousand people to ‘follow’ his twitter.


goofy 'bout Him said...

talking from a christian perspective, i think it is to a large extent the preacher's responsibility to get into people's heads dat it is d everyday n everything dat counts, not just d big one off events. den talking from a generic perspective, i think i can safely say dat it is d media (american media in particular) dat has bombarded ppl wit d notion dat d spectacular is all dat counts. wat do u say?

{oh ben!} said...

Yes! It is very prejudiced that we always end up (atleast I do) criticizing the American media, but I totally agree. They make images of heroes and significant moments. Well, they need to make ideals so that they can point to a lack in people's lives and that will help sell business products and services to the 'common' man.