Everyday Magic

 I’m trying to pinpoint where our collective human obsession with having some sort of “daily practice” comes from. Nowadays, having a bunch of “regular” “routines” has become a badge of honor and usually a sign of “wellness,” “productivity,” or both. But the obsession has to come from religion, right? Or else from the pull of the moon and sun (more or less the same thing, in my book). I also think that must be why I’m personally drawn to the idea, despite my irritation with things like “finding the perfect morning routine!” and “self-care as INTERNET CLICKBAIT.” Lighting a candle, opening a worn prayer book, talking to the same tree every day (yes I was a strange child)—I associate the daily with the sacred.

I have almost no daily practices (aside from “drink coffee” and “do my work”), but I’m always, always thinking of developing some. This in and of itself annoys me, but I can’t stop. My mind runs fast and skips around a lot, and I’m frequently distracted, so I’m both drawn to and repulsed by the idea of slowing down, of “focusing.” I don’t want to but I want to want to; I want to but I don’t like that I want to, etc. Thanks, internet.

Pretty much all of humanity is united by some sort of practice: the breaking of bread, say, or the flipping off of the light at night. Practices so simple we probably don’t even think of them as practices. They’re just part of life—which is, of course, one huge daily practice. I talked to someone last night who took a flight from Spain to Australia. Every forty-five minutes, he said, his seatmate got up, laid a rug in the aisle of the plane, and knelt down to pray.

Tori Telfer