|cover Average Magazine: junk drawer photo by Kate Procrass|
Things that are seemingly average and easily overlooked are in reality very special and quietly magical. --Kate Procrass
Last Sunday I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating buttered toast and reading the San Francisco Chronicle. I opened up the Style section and was greeted by a double page spread featuring photos of people who had been asked innocuous questions: What's your morning routine? Something you enjoy that most people find boring? Have you bought anything online recently? Something ordinary which inspires you? What do you like to spread on your toast?
I continued nibbling my toast and felt a small kinship with those other toast-eaters. What do they like to spread on their toast? "Cow butter mostly, with peanut and almond butters as frequent understudies." "Butter and jam, peanut butter & honey or Nutella." "If I have toast it's butter. Real butter. On rye or wheat."
Below the double page spread of random questions and answers was an article about Kate Procrass and her magazine called Average which focuses on the simple, mundane and everyday. The cover of the magazine features a photo of a junk drawer, and inside, among other things, is a photo of bottle caps embedded in the pavement in front of a street-side snack kiosk in Cairo, Egypt; an article on the humble sheet cake; an interview about the history of a favorite pair of clip-on earrings; a series of photos taken of the interiors of people's refrigerators (I found these photos at once fascinating, and at the same time utterly horrifying.)
I loved the article in the SF Chronicle and especially the following quote by Kate Procrass -- "I don't think there's a problem with being average, or seemingly average. I don't know why people think that's a bad thing. There are lots of superlatives used to describe things, but I'd like to describe things for what they are, and recognize that that's still special."
And so this bears the question: What do you like to spread on your toast?