Something I've been grappling with for a long time is the idea that regular, small things matter as much, or more, as larger, more dramatic, more story-generating big things.
A fancy restaurant meal that we have once in a while might stick in our heads, but actually the breakfast we eat every day sort of matters more, even if it is not as memorable or special. In art, a lot of people are drawn to spectacle and drama - superhero films, large colourful artworks, musicals, fireworks, projections - but the book you read, music you listen to, drawing that you've put on your wall perhaps influence you more. Certainly, you spend more time in their company. Yet those things are less remarkable and less championed, and that may mean they are overlooked. If the day-to-day stuff we do, see and notice is overlooked then it maybe can't end up mattering.
The thing is, I really care about these small things, I don't really know why. I recently was trying to express this in an essay I wrote for someone's exhibition. Why do these photos of small, local, routine interactions between people matter so much to me? How is this valuable? Why does it move me, deeply, to think that it's the texture of our day-to-day existence that is so vital?
I don't really have a clear, one sentence answer, but the more I think about 'why' the more I think about the Wind in the Willows, you know the aggressively quaint kids book. This book is pretty romantic, but I really loved it as a kid. It has such well drawn characters: the charismatic rat, the gruff-but-loving badger, the effervescent toad, the meek mole. In one of the final chapters of the book, mole stumbles (literally, smacks into during a snowstorm) into his home. Over the course of the book he has made new friends, gone on adventures, been swept up in the drama, intensity and grandeur of interesting and exciting new things. So much so that he's forgotten where he started, and what his home was like. The story just breaks my heart, this totally lovable character is embarrassed, ashamed even, of his home - showing his new friends the humble, perhaps even drab, place that he lived. More then that, the character realises he's forgotten a part of himself, he's neglected the part of his personality that's embodied in the house. He's become a bit unstuck, heady and un-tethered.