Stop feeding the WOW-smacked dragon!

Yesterday’s morning walk provided this one image with the only hint of soft sunlight we saw all day. It is not very exciting and in fact, it is very ordinary – just a bit of soft sunlight coming through the cedar trees on a path in the woods. The image has not been heavily edited and rendered and is truly the ordinary of the ordinary everyday anywhere one might find a path in the woods.

an ordinary morning path Mayne Island by Terrill Welch 2013_01_24 010

So why might I share it with you then?

Well, I have been reading here and there how people are feeling bad, sad and insignificant when they visit their “friends” on social media. They are mumbling about how their lives just don’t measure up as being as successful, exciting or happy as these other streams of wall, tweet, circle, blog postings. And since I have been recovering from a miserable cold I have had lots of time to muse about these heartfelt and I believe honest observations.

I am wondering if part of this is that we consciously or unconsciously are feeding what I call the WOW-smacked dragon. This feeding, like any addictive experience, is the desensitization of our ability to be impressed or “WOW-smacked” so that it takes greater and greater awesomeness for us to notice and get that brief hit of satiation from our own everyday life and in also from our viewing of the lives of others. Therefore, people are in search of and only posting the sensational – true or super-sized by their own storytelling.

I believe three things happen when our lives are spent feeding the WOW-smacked dragon. One, the addiction takes more and more to satisfy for briefer and briefer periods of time. Two, it is a social addiction that feeds and escalates the demands of the dragon while we feel worse and worse about our ordinary lives and our ordinary everyday acts of living. Three, as we become more addicted the WOW factor, the dragon becomes more needy and we lose our ability to appreciate our everyday. An everyday that is filled with the ordinary wonderfulness of our ups and downs and sadness and happiness that has nothing to do with awe and wonder but with simple enjoyment of observation where we then can internally appreciate, with no need to further stuff our sensory systems, a quiet contentment.

So today I want to celebrate the ordinary, the mundane and the soft uneventful sludge that we all walk through from time to time. May we be content with the the extraordinary in our ordinary.

How are you releasing the WOW-smacked dragon and celebrating the ordinary in your life?

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to http://terrillwelchartist.com

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18 thoughts on “Stop feeding the WOW-smacked dragon!

  1. I think the ordinary moments are the most precious. The sacred everyday moments are “wow” themselves, but in a different way than the big WOW moments of many things happening. It seems that many don’t have the ability to see the little moments of shoveling snow or maybe stoking the wood stove as really precious. They’re attuned to something bigger, wanting the addictive kick of something spicy or juicy.

    I used to think my life here in the woods was very boring and hardly worth sharing. Only by writing about the sacred ordinary did it reveal itself as special. Photographing and sharing indoor objects outside–such a little thing. But the ordinariness of it feeds a quiet heart.

    Very thought provoking post–may we all celebrate the small “wows” of a walk down a woodsy path or a dinner with blogging friends.

      • A blogging friend, a 30 year old and her husband are coming for supper soon. I met her in person on the way downstate last June. She’s so sweet and level-headed and old beyond her years. Am enjoying the ordinariness of chopping kale. Just finished 9 cups and the fingers are stained green and the back tired but this simplicity of ordinariness warms the heart beyond any huge WOW. *Blessings to you, Terrill.*

      • How pleasant Kathy both the visit and the kale chopping. I hung a table cloth out on the line to dry a few minutes ago and like you take great pleasure in the simplicity and ordinariness of these activities. Thank you for the blessing too 🙂

  2. How are you releasing the WOW-smacked dragon and celebrating the ordinary in your life?

    I am gifting my son with my desk. As such, today is a day of emptying my desk and cleaning the drawers. I’ve turned this what-might-seem-a-mundane/ordinary-task, into a moving meditation.

    It’s the same with dry-mopping the floors, or washing the dishes by hand. BEing present in the moment turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

    • Sure does Laurie and I can imagine your son will so enjoy running his hands along the edge of the desk in a moment of thought and remembering all the times you may have done the same. Lovely to have you drop in and share your moments of ordinariness with us today Laurie 🙂

  3. Terrill, on this cold and rainy day I am appreciating the snug warmth of my little house and working up my Southern courage to leave the comfort of four walls to give the Chicken Ladies their evening snack. I’ve been reading articles too about what you’ve called the Wow-dragon. Everything and everybody has something to say or show or crow about, or that’s the impression we receive. Heaven knows, I’m one of them, only I feel like Kathy does her Big Woods, what can be said about a little country back road in rural Georgia? It’s unique specialness is only apparent to me, from others of the same community I can only gather somewhat indifferent looks of amusement. They have lived here all their lives, I only came back a decade ago. For me it is still fresh, lovely and cleanly apart from crashing noise of urban living. I am of an age to appreciate the slower pace, community centered social life and the bellowing of the cattle next door. Then there is the fact that having knocked on Heavens door by having a serious heart attack, every single blessed day has plenty of Wow-factor to keep me smiling. Thanks for addressing this phenom, I wondered if it was just me.

    • Nope not just you Sandi. It is a modern plague that zaps our inner peace and sense of well-being. I do think it is a carry over from advertizing that we have internalized and now carry on about in the same manner when sharing living our daily lives. But whatever it is, I am sure it is not good for us. I like reading about the Chicken Ladies and being reminded about how special each day is. I too am never short on positive news to report but this doesn’t mean I overlook the ordinary or forget to give thanks that I am still breathing when the sun comes up – or the moon for that matter. At first I didn’t understand at all why people were feeling so miserable after reading about all the exciting and interesting things their friends were doing. It took me a good long hard think to discern that the ordinary was being under-valued in the frenzy for hyped-up and psychic-up awesomeness. The sad part is that in this cycle people find it hard to then to acknowledge and celebrate the success of another because they are feeling too darn miserable about the ordinary wonderful and delightful moments in their own life. People also then have a hard time sharing about the sad, annoying or heartbreaking experiences they are having because everyone else is happy, happy, happy. Not good I say because the full breadth of life is so much more.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your commentary. It is easy to feel less than when confronted with the ” seemingly successful lives of others”. But that is when believing in yourself and seeing life as it really is becomes our means of staying focused on the ordinary.finding joy in it.

  5. Hi Terrill
    This really struck a chord with me the ordinary and unremarkable are remarkable as is.
    I saw a sun dog today, thought of taking the photo and then thought better of it, not everything needs to be documented… sometimes stuff just is…

    • I know this desire to simply be present and not recording as well Annerose. It was the whistling wings of the ducks skimming over the sea that last had me drop the camera down to resting and just enjoy their passing us by 🙂 Glad you had a chance to drop in.

  6. Yet another burst of positive energy in the meditative environs of your wooded island paradise. I will be celebrating the “ordinary” in my life tonight when I escort my wife and youngest daughter Jillian into Manhattan to take in the Broadway show “Wicked.” Lucille had received a gift at Christmas from her fellow teachers and I will be staying in the city to watch a film while they enjoy the acclaimed musical. Ordinary yes, but surely a fun time.

    What a beautiful, meaningful post, Terrill.

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