8.23.2021 – ordinary life

ordinary life,
simplicity, respect for
triviality

Adapted from the passage:

“… it was the caring about little things — the faith in ordinary life;

the simplicity that made you break up a bit of bread into a paper bag, walk down to the beach, and throw it to the gulls.

It was this respect for triviality which he had never been allowed to possess; whether it was bread for the seagulls or love,

whatever it was he would go back and find it

Written by John le Carré in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: A George Smiley Novel. Penguin Books (Kindle Edition).

I should point out that the word triviality, from trivial from trivia does not have to mean small or meaningless even though the Online Merriam Webster states, “unimportant matters : trivial facts or details”.

I was taught that the word trivia is a Latin word, the plural of trivium.

The related Latin trivialis, meant “common or ordinary.”

But the literal meaning of the Latin trivium is “a place where three roads meet.”

Some sources then state that as three roads came together, there was lots of odd little bits of knowledge or trivia exchanged between people on the roads.

Thus crossroads came to be known as distinctly public, or common places where inconsequential or trivial things were said and done.

I was taught the ‘place where three roads meet’ were NOT real roads, but the three paths of study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic.

If you take in everything covered by grammar, rhetoric, and logic, you will have lots of odd little facts.

All this really for nothing really because all I want to say is that I like is what le Carré may have been going for with the line respect for triviality.

I love that.

A respect for triviality.

And …

Faith in ordinary life.

At this time in the world, these two concepts may be more important than the city shining on a hill.

More important and harder to get.

Whatever these are, where ever these are, faith, respect, ordinary, triviality, I going to go find them.

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