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Mar 12, 2024

"You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute." --Mitch Albom

Significance of the Seemingly Ordinary

In the 1995 film, Smoke, Auggie Wren takes a picture of the store across the street every morning at exactly eight o'clock. "He has four thousand consecutive daily photographs of his corner all labeled by date and mounted in albums. He calls this project his "life's work." One day Auggie shows the photos to Paul, a blocked writer who is mourning the death of his wife ... Flipping page after page of the albums, [Paul] observes with some amazement, "They're all the same" ... "The pictures are all of the same spot," Auggie points out, "but each one is different from every other one." The differences are in the details: in the way people's clothes change according to season and weather, in the way the light hits the street. Some days the corner is almost empty; other times it is filled with people, bikes, cars, and trucks. "It's just one little part of the world but things take place there too just like everywhere else," Auggie explains. And sure enough, when Paul looks carefully at the by now remarkably unique photographs, he notices a detail in one of them that makes all the difference in the world to him. Auggie reads the world - in his case, one corner of Brooklyn - for meaning. By its very nature, his project is rooted in the everyday. He knows how closely we may need to see the significance of seemingly ordinary and insignificant events. He understands that some of the most rewarding spiritual journeys are those we take on our own block."

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