So Utterly Human

As the years pass, it is much harder to find childlike joy in the mundane. Life makes too much sense. The wonder in our eyes has gone and left us with this jaded feeling. But does it have to stay this way? Ross Gay awakens his joy with his collection titled, The Book of Delights, and encourages us to do the same. In this book of delights he focuses on the mundane moments that one might either completely ignore or would label as a nuisance rather than a delight. Something that stands out while reading this collection of “moments” is the specific instances he deems appropriate for this book. There might be a chapter revolving around the concept of a nickname while another tells of a stranger giving the author unsolicited encouragement. 

One of Ross Gay’s talents while writing these short “delights” is his ability to truly capture the awkwardness of being a human. In the chapter “Bird Feeding,” Gay takes us through a time when encountered a man, and then a woman, with a domesticated bird. This completely baffled Gay, as he was caught completely off guard when he saw these characters. The specific detail of this delight which caught my attention was the way he described his eyes playing tricks on him. He first describes seeing a man with a pigeon for a head. He then gets closer and closer, steadily unpeeling the layers of the situation he had stumbled upon. He perfectly encapsulates an aspect of the human condition which I tend to look past. We are all living this life for the first time, there is not a single one of us who can disagree. And the beautifully simple fact is that our childlike wonder is not gone, but hidden in these moments. Gay gawks at a scene that looks new to him, and he is wrong so many times before he is right.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

Skip to toolbar