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Permission to Be Ordinary

I was working on something recently that holds a great deal of personal significance for me, and something I therefore wanted to get ‘right’, to really do justice by.

In fact, so dear is it to my heart that I nearly stopped myself before I’d begun.

I was aware of a wave of doubts rising up within me: could I do the project justice, could I find the right form, could I write something interesting enough, or stand-out enough to be read, could I find a way to let the poetry emerge, could I make the right decisions about how to publish and distribute, could I rise to the (self imposed) requirement to shoulder the responsibility this writing project demanded.

But then I thought: well, what if it was just good enough?

What if I could just be allowed to be ordinary for a while?

And then the further thought, insistent:

What would happen if we turned the call to shine and blossom and be stand-out brilliant on its head?

What would happen if we allowed ourselves to write, think and create in an ordinary kind of way?

How many more different voices would we then hear?

How much material would live to see the light of day, not stopped before it was started?

How much more richness would we uncover in all its glorious everyday ordinariness?

Couldn’t we then stand back, relaxed in our human sized form, and watch the collective effort unfold, in all its wonder and glory?

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  1. Paula
    Twitter: Chemieemma

    “How much more richness would we uncover in all its glorious everyday ordinariness?”

    Sooo much. There is so much beauty in the everyday ordinary. So much chance for caring and loving. I think we often forget that we do not need to write for all those people inundated by good and excellent writing. Sometimes it is enough to write for the truth.

  2. Joanna Paterson
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Paula: talk about getting straight to the point! Yes… that is how it is for me too: ‘sometimes it is enough to write for the truth’

  3. Janice Cartier
    Twitter: jancartier

    Apples are splendid in their “ordinariness” aren’t they? It is a jaded palette that cannot discern crisp and tart and sweet and might clamour for more. I like tarte renversee too, one of life’s true pleasures, but they are only as good as the apples and butter and hands used to make them. So good apples..are priceless, yes? And palettes that appreciate them…well worth cultivating.
    There is extraordinary in the ordinary, yes? I think there is great pleasure there as well.
    xo Jan

  4. Jennifer Cheng says:

    true. Simplicity is Beautiful.

  5. Joanna Paterson
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    @Janice Cartier: well Janice you are making me hungry for the ordinary extraordinary :-)

    @Jennifer Cheng: ’tis true Jennifer. When I get lost that’s what I come back to.


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