Sunday, April 08, 2012

Stealing Joy 1: Mary Oliver

Reading her is like reading a contemporary Thoreau. Or even a Whitman. A lot of her nature descriptions don’t hold particular relevance to a city-dweller like me. But the sheer joy she finds in the birds and the trees and the water bodies, the connections she establishes between the natural order of things and modern contemporary life, the importance she places on just sheer attentiveness to the world around, makes her a precious piece of extraordinariness in an otherwise ordinary Sunday evening.



Stealing Joy
I have conversations with friends about life. About what it all means. About being 42 years old and wanting to do and experience so much more. About the mundaneness of it all. About working at jobs that excite us just 40% of the time. About postponing interesting things. About not having the discipline to sit down and put that story in our head down on paper. About not finishing War and Peace because we haven’t had enough free time. About not getting fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro or even Kota Kinabalu. About not living life today.
And then, on the other hand, life is also about figuring that you are handed out bits of serendipity every day. Like discovering Julian Barnes. Getting on a local train after ten years, on a cheap weekend trip to Matheran, a place you haven’t been to after living almost two decades in Mumbai. Watching The Namesake. Or Moneyball. And coming across Mary Oliver in unexpected places. Stealing joy from the mundane, each time you are handed one of these bits of extraordinariness.