Ordinary people... living extraordinary lives. That somehow popped into my head this morning in pre-dawn while I was juggling new story ideas with the one I should have finished already, and the thin trails of cloud were turning from pearlescent threads of whites and greys to bloody with murdered sleep. In so many ways, we are. Maybe touch sharper than the average pencil in the box, with a rather bizarre backgrounds... but solid and, well, boring. We're married. We have two children. We don't have any huge odd physical or mental issues (well, OK I am nuts, but in a very ordinary way). We're actually very staid, quite conservative in a lot of ways. Eat porridge for breakfast.
But we've ended up doing extraordinary things, and in extraordinary places. I have some small success in a field that actually 1:1 000 000 people do. I blundered into it and was too stupid to back away. I've lived in a series of weird places - a Victorian Maternity home, a house designed in a sinstral spiral with no straight walls and secret rooms and hidden door, built by an Irishman named Murphy. It wasn't unique. He built three of them, one every time he moved. A home on a mountaintop, a home on a remote island. All of them picked for very mundane, sensible (at the time) ordinary reasons. Well. Sort of ordinary. We liked them.
Extraordinary places, events and jobs... just seem to happen to us. We never set out to be adventurous. Perhaps God has a sense of humor, and we're a sort of walking practical joke. It's a good life, if you don't weaken. I look at so many people I know still in the same town they were born in doing the same job as 50 000 other people, and probably quite happy with it. And I do have to wonder what it is that sends us off down the strange.
We went to a funeral today. Inga Woolley - who was our first friend on on the island - died. Inga was more like an extraordinary person (two bricks and a tickey high and the boss)living an extraordinary life. She came out to Australia at 17 - alone, with an average grasp of English, just after the war. She was our first visitor, and we loved her Australian-German accent. "I tell you what to do mitt abalone." She came to Island as soldier-settler wife, and they carved out a farm from swampland, with attitude and hard work, and not much more. She, I think better than anyone else, understood just how it feels to be very long way from all you held as familiar, your support system and your 'ordinary'. We're richer for having known her, and her bright eyes and quick curious mind will stay on my memory. Probably live on in some of my characters.
Yep. Some of are ordinary and stay that way in ordinary lives.
And some of us make that ordinary extraordinary. Goodbye Inga. You will be missed. You were never ordinary.