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The Minor Pleasures of Life   

by Siobhán O'Sullivan

Have you walked into the toilets at school or work, and smelt the odour of cigarette smoke and revelled in it because, at that time, it proved there was life outside timetables? Have you ever seen from a window a jackdaw land on a roof, when no-one else sees it and realised your role in what has taken place?

Have you ever laboured over a fire, building and training the coal into position, adding firelighters at a dangerous pace, burning paper and matches, moving the grate and cursing it until, suddenly, the fire complies and begins to eat up the cinders? Then, have you sat at night in silence and watched the embers "fall, gall themselves and gash gold vermilion"?

Have you read a book, any book, one you found on a shelf in a bookshop, that was not recommended and turned out to be great? A book that you'll keep forever? Or bought a present for someone, not expensive or extremely original, but something you thought they'd like and have you seen them like it?

Have you ever played with a team and felt your flesh throb with exhilaration, strive to win and then lose, and have mad caic on the bus home? Have you ever found a new way to tie up your hair, just before going out for the evening? Have you ever bought a hat or seen twins smile?

Have you ever thought that life is dull and pointless, without cause or effect, without variety or originality, and how ridiculous it all seems, how alone it all feels, then realised that you were wrong?

Have you ever looked around and caught a glimpse of life and enjoyed what you see?

I have.

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