An Ordinary Day

photo-62We chose an ordinary plant for our mini-holiday tree. This morning we strolled over  to our local Starbuck’s in the Tucson sunshine. I wanted scones and coffee for a holiday breakfast on an ordinary day. None of the usual suspects were hanging out. It was nice enough to sit outdoors, chatting ourselves about how nice it was.

I like ordinary days. They’re the best. Nothing makes me happier than knowing my kids are together for the holiday, just hanging out in Jersey City. It’s occurred to me that some people don’t have ordinary days.

Take deranged mass shooters. For some reason their lives have gone awry. They’re alone in a bad way, not in a quiet introverted way. For whatever reason they crave more attention than they’ve received in life and they’re pissed off because they didn’t get it.

To the extent that the media believes “if it bleeds it leads,” a mass shooter finally receives the attention he desires — even if he’s dead. Consider the suicide bomber who believes he’s going to heaven or at least a better place than where he lives in real life. That’s a problem for all of us, especially if we believe we’re all in this together.

As Andrew Solomon wrote in this Sunday’s NYT that “people are unknowable.” That may be true, but my theory is simpler than that.  Mass shooters don’t have “ordinary days,” which may include connection to others, feeling worthwhile, hope that the next moment may get better. Seems we human beans need at least one.

photo-63Sunday I drove out to Douglas Spring Trail in the Rincon Mountains. Strolling along, happy to be in nature,  I started humming. A few sparkly young girls, one wearing pink sequined sneakers, ran down the path toward me.

“Happy Holidays,” the girls called out, giggling as they soared by.

I wish everyone an ordinary day, when the sun still shines, when you can walk safely in your neighborhood, when you love and are loved.

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10 Responses to An Ordinary Day

  1. Sydney Flynn says:

    Thanks for the very nice essay. Perfect for today.

    ________________________________

  2. sheilawill says:

    Happy days to you and Vince! Always a pleasure to run into you at our local coffee place.

  3. We are so fortunate to have ordinary days here in Tucson where dawn and dusk can be brilliant gifts. Where nature is right outside the window, not a road trip out of the city. As to the attention–we all need it. Not having it early on can mean a failure to thrive. Infants after WWI & WWII died because they were not held. Having it but not quite enough can make us actors, writers, artists. Not getting enough doesn’t make us killers. Something else is at play.

    • sheilawill says:

      Thanks for your comment, Amy.I don’t think neglect alone makes anyone a killer. Whatever goes in someone’s mind that’s unknowable, as Solomon says, is more at play. It’s some kind of complex mix that makes someone sick enough to hurt others in such a senseless inhumane way as in Newtown, Ct. last week.

  4. Naomi Stauber says:

    Winter in Bar Harbor is a mix of ordinary days without many folks on the streets, magical days with snow (not much this year so far), walking wherever you wish with Ease and Grace and being able to take care of the necessities in life while smiling back at all who greet so warmly and lovingly. Folks are here because they want to be here. Makes all the difference in the world. Perhaps those seeking notariety do not know where or if they belong. Must be awful. We need to move so much further together, we need to know WE are family. We don’t need purple people landing on our planet to help us understand we are One. I believe we are moving in that direction, snail’s pace or not, we are moving. Two years in Arizona and Tucson, I almost know where you go. I will enjoy the cool/cold for you as you bask in the sun of the West. Naomi Stauber

  5. marianne bernsen says:

    well said, Sheila.. IT really is the “ordinary” things that gives us life’s guide lines.

  6. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Miriam. I hope you’re having a lovely “ordinary” day.

  7. Sharon Osborne says:

    Well said, Sheila. It occurs to me that there is really no such thing as an ordinary day, if we pay close attention to the world around us, its glories and infinite variations, the play of light from hour to hour, the way we react to each stimulus we receive from moment to moment. Each day is a gift and a miracle, and it is so sad, and often tragic, that some are unable to receive these gifts in any way and may turn to violence to feel alive or important. Not one of us knows when or how our life will end, and it is so important to try to remain alive, in every cell, nerve, emotion, act of kindness, or whatever, as much as we can. Namaste….

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