The Wonders of Mundanity

by Jagger Raines

It has been over a year since everything changed in the wake of the ongoing global pandemic. In over twenty years of being on this planet, I never expected to live through such a time of uncertainty and immeasurable change. Add all of the events that occurred over the past year with an anxious college student and what do you get? A slightly less anxious college student who is a lot more introspective and willing to find levity in such uncertain times.

Although quarantine has taken me through multiple emotional highs and lows, I feel as though it has helped me come to a better understanding of who I am as a human being. Quarantine, in its most basic terms, has given me a new perspective on life. I am now able to recognize the mundane nature of many things that have always been present in my life. From something as simple as turning on a light switch to deciding on what to eat for lunch, I have gained a new appreciation for the simple things in everyday life. My hope is that I can convey my newfound perspective through the images and words that I wish to share with others.

Wolf in a Snowstorm

black and white scribbly image

I know the title sounds dramatic, but I would appreciate being given the benefit of the doubt with this one. This photo, as well as the other photo in this two-part series, were both taken on my phone. “Wolf in a Snowstorm” carries many of the mundane revelations that I have uncovered throughout the past year. In its most basic interpretation, it is a small pattern that I found in a lampshade in my living room. On its own, it is not something that most people would consider to be special or interesting in the slightest. Somehow, I saw something different from most people. I managed to see something artistically inspiring about the pattern because it reminded me of a wolf running through snow. I took the photo, edited it in black and white, and managed to find some form of meaning behind it.

Before quarantine, I would rarely go outside of my own home unless I had a specific reason to do so. I would only leave to attend a class, go out with friends, or visit family. After quarantine, I have longed for the chance to leave my home to do any of these things. For as introverted as I claim to be, even I have to admit that quarantine has shown how much interaction with others truly means to me. Even for the briefest of moments, the image of a wolf running in the snow gives me a small glimpse into how great it will be to get back outside and not take a single moment of social interaction for granted again.

4:35 PM

view of laptop keyboard through the lens of a pair of eye glasses

“4:35 PM” is not the most original title and I will be the first to admit that. However, I believe that it is a fitting title because it inspires me to reflect on something that has always been a part of my life…time management. Time management has been a concept that I have a complicated relationship with. I appreciate having deadlines because they give me a sense of direction for whatever project or assignment is given to me. Unfortunately, deadlines also serve as challenges to how I manage time.

This image makes me think about all of the projects and assignments that I worked on throughout quarantine. I think about the times where I would spend entire days and nights researching, writing, and revising papers. In some cases, I think about all of the times I set my alarm in the morning to ensure I did not miss a class meeting. Staring at the keyboard of my laptop has almost become second nature. It became as routine as checking the time on my phone. Over time, I have gained a better sense of how to manage time. I believe that there is a valuable lesson to be learned from the concept of time management. Any time dedicated to a goal or passion is time well spent.

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