Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 331
February 1, 1999

The Extraordinary Ordinary

Stunning photographs of empty rain-drenched steps, unlit matches, and fishnets drying on a concrete sidewalk hang on the walls of the local art museum in a special exhibit of the photographer Brassaï:

I do not search out the exceptional, I avoid it. I think that everyday life and what happens is the real life. My greatest ambition is to make something new and striking out of the banal and ordinary, to show everyday life in such a way as to make it seem as though it is seen by the spectator for the first time.

The ordinary becoming the extraordinary, the common blossoming into the absolutely awesome, and worn, wet stairs shimmering with beauty is, for me, the core of my religious vision. I need no 'finger poking' into our world bringing miracles of stunning amazement and healing. The amazement and beauty that is already present when my senses are open and alert is enough:

Not only Moses hears the divine call before the burning bush in the Sinai, but each of us finds the same reality present. For as Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God.

Moses is commanded to take off his shoes to experience this amazing reality. Our shoes are the attitudes of familiarity and boredom which are discarded as we scrub our eyes and ears and other senses each day, each moment. Again and again, we find the common afire with God.


--Robert H. Tucker
1 February 1999

© Robert H. Tucker, 1999.
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