The morning alarm has rung and it it is time for her daily ritual.
She whines at the sound of the alarm, scarfs down a bowl of cornflakes, chases after the 6.45 am bus, exchanges greetings with colleagues, reaches her desk and starts working. After clocking out, she waits out the traffic jam, devours a meal on reaching home, spends an hour with a book or a Netflix show, and finally hits the sack.
The routine restarts the next day. And the next day.
Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a series of extraordinarily ordinary days.
It was the end of Spring 2017, and I had just watched Jim Jarmusch’s deceptively simple movie, ‘Paterson‘. The movie depicts one week in the life of the protagonist named Paterson, who is a bus driver and a poet. As the movie progresses, we realise that his monotonous life, bereft of major incident, runs much like a bus schedule. The days start seeming identical and the routine so familiar. Tied to punch clock obligations, it makes us wonder how Paterson is inspired to write poetry.
But his artistry blossoms within the confinement of routines. We see Paterson observing intense conversations between passengers. He notes the various patterns and hues of his everyday life. He reads deeply, and he loves earnestly. Some of his most profound lines, the ‘Love Poem’, derives poetic inspiration from an ordinary household object – matches.
This cinematic ode to the limitlessness of the mundane, got me thinking.
The fear of being bogged down in humdrum had caught up with me. How does one seek art now?
With all the tools that Paterson had within reach, i.e. everyday life, there was only one thing left to do – to observe keenly.
Chose to wake up to the everyday hum and the inconsequential.
Slowly streaks of light and shadows during train journeys started inciting a lot of interest…
The reflections of familiar sights…
… and reflections of oneself intrigued the mind.
Explored new ways to express…
…And obsessed over lines, frames and light that crossed my path.
Some days are inevitably hard though. The heart at times prefers to be in insularity than to be attuned with one’s surroundings. And that’s okay, I think.
After all, the heart now knows how to outwit the mundane when it wants to; so many tricks up its sleeve to summon the poetry around.