Extraordinary

extraordinary
"The Extraordinary emerges from a meeting of my mind with the rest of my world …"

I started two years ago this month writing what would grow to become a series of seven and still counting books predicated upon the simple-seeming proposition that each day carries some Extraordinary enough experience to warrant writing about. I admit my audacity as well as the inescapable contradiction in my founding injunction, which dared me to go forth and notice the Extraordinary every damned day. Everyday experiences distinguish themselves from Extraordinary ones by the inherent infrequency of their appearance, so Everyday Extraordinary seems to violate some principle or other, but what do I know of principle? I know almost exclusively by my own personal experience, with even others' reports filtered through my, apparently unique, cognition. I proposed my predicate more as a challenge for me to disprove than for me to fully validate, though disproving it might deeply disappoint my aspiration. I wanted to believe that such an obvious contradiction might, just might, prove true, and so, it seems, it has so far. I cannot say with any great certainty what tomorrow might bring, but almost every day over the past two years has brought with it something Extraordinary hookie-bobbing along on its rear bumper. I've noticed.

My experimental quest might prove nothing more than the existence of self-fulfilling expectations, for I admit that I primed myself to become especially watchful so as to notice.
I carry a long history of not holding such watchfulness, and I can report from this personal experience, that those days where my internal watchman dozed through his shift utterly evaporated in passing. Those days where the watchman remained alert sort of stayed behind, not in the immediate present, but in a somewhat recoverable form. I've grown a remarkably long tail over the prior almost two years, more present in the here and now, sure, but also more present in my recent past.

Reading through the finished work relives those moments where I recognized myself in the presence of the Extraordinary, so they provide a rich read for me. I cannot skim through them as if they chronicled only ordinary times. The Catholic Church perhaps wisely segregates each year into festal and ordinary times, with ordinary days far out-numbering the celebratory ones, yet each day seems to also acknowledge some saint or other. What should I make of a saint whose SaintDay falls within ordinary times?

For the purpose of maintaining a disciplined five day work week, I suppose it must make perfect sense to pre-ordain some days as simply ordinary, drag days or dreg days, ones where nothing profound would likely bushwhack the orderly machinery. As a writer, I might live a less constrained life, rarely waiting for the sacred weekend to search out Extraordinary experiences. I learned long before the advent of post-modern prosperity gospels that I tended to find what I held most prominently in my mind. Prepping for a hike, I might draft a short list of what I hoped to find, and often, I'd encounter precisely what I'd pined after finding, though often in different form than anticipated. So imagining that I might come across a deer might find me stumbling across an antler, or perhaps tracks, or "sign," evidence that a deer had been near. My daily searches for the Extraordinary work in this not-all-that-mysterious way, for one (or, at least, I) cannot manifest anything by simply envisioning it. I figure that if I'm closely scrutinizing the forest for mushrooms, I'm likely to see a lot more than if I begrudgingly trudge along the same path.

I noticed this morning that a large house situated across a wide draw from our place resembles nothing so much as a very serious face, one line of windows looking like a straight-line mouth, the one above it, narrowed scowling eyes. I never noticed that before. I watched the neighborhood magpie flock frolicking among the cottonwood tops, cheering all the way. The light breeze seemed to tickle every tree as it passed. It smelled like Spring outside and I caught myself recognizing that familiar but long-distanced aroma, the big first time this young season. I suppose I could tighten up my game and change the rules to call for me to somehow each day extract one Extraordinary something while securely locked in a small windowless room, but I think that change might cause me to miss a larger point. The Extraordinary emerges from a meeting of my mind with the rest of my world, an act of tenacious volition unrelated to where I find myself, but to who I am continually discovering myself to be. Extraordinary!

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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