Unexpected, delicious Ordinary things can still surprise us. One small change from ordinary expectations can push back the boundaries of reality, of possibility, of dreams.

In the Dick Tracy comic strips of the 1940's, the hero wore a culture-altering talisman portending the future: a wrist radio. Reinvented twenty years later in Star Trek's communicators, the Enterprise crew (Picard era, for those who care) called the ship or each other by saying the name of the intended receiver into their handset.

Siri, anyone?

Extraordinary becomes ordinary, fast.

Arbitrary deviations do not count. You can't simply bolt a jet engine onto the back of a Volkswagen and get a reliable flying car. (But you can get a very, very fast one, apparently.) Most arbitrary deviations are usually forgettable, or unpalatable, or otherwise aesthetically undesirable. In biology, they're unsuccessful mutations; in automobiles, their Edsels.

Here's the part I love most. When the limits to expectation move outward, the domain space of possibility inside is simultaneously larger than it was a moment ago--larger and ordinary. Everything that fits into a newly expanded domain of possibility rapidly loses its potency for provoking strong emotion. Here's a real world example. Imagine the amazement provoked by hearing a telephone ring in the 1880s. By comparison, what does your cell phone ring do for you now?

I know what you're wondering. What's the deal with the title to this week's blog. The answer comes in the form of a reciepe, of sorts. Here's what you do.

Take two slices of terrific bread, preferably something with texture and density and lots of flavor. Pumpernickel, rye, or a good sourdough are my first choices. Between them add the following:

freshly roasted turkey (not pre-packaged junk) leaf lettuce (iceberg does not count) thin slices of purple onion thin slices of nectarine Russian dressing

Et, voila! One fabulous turkey sandwich you've never made before, but one you're also not likely ever to forget. (Yum!)

What? Never had nectarine on a turkey sandwich before? The world expands, one small surprise at a time.


PS -- Yes, yes, here's where the good people of 1AU ask our dear readers to share what you've read with friends and colleagues. And here's the place where you think, "Oh, sure, one more imposition of my precious time." Well, we're asking. It's something we value above rubies, above gold: if you like an idea enough to give it a moment's thought, then consider giving it a measure of freedom. When you share an idea with another person, you release an idea to grow freely in the world. Like what you see? Set it free.

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