‘Murray’ as a first name means ‘lord and master’ and is the surname of an ancient Scottish clan. But for all the name’s highbrow associations, in the last few days, three marvellous Murrays – Andy, Bill and Walker – have brought me down to earth with a bit of a bump with their ‘ordinariness’.
Last week, charismatic Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker (89) discovered he had lymphatic cancer after blood tests following a fall on holiday and, despite his fame and age, his stance is open, positive and grateful: “if I had not had (the fall), … they would not have found out about the cancer. It was a blessing in disguise.”
The BBC documentary Andy Murray: Behind the Racquet showed us that the 26yr old can jerk tears without the aid of Wimbledon speeches. The endearingly hesitant way he spoke about the Dunblane tragedy whilst having to bury his head in his dog’s neck to compose himself had me in floods. He might be virtually teetotal but the drive and stamina required to get to his level showed him far from the programme’s producer Jo McCusker’s assertion of ‘ordinary’.
Finally, everyone loves Bill Murray, as was supported by The Independent on Sunday which ran a quirky piece on a website housing stories in the first person relating to the Lost in Translation actor. Whether these stories are true or not is questionable but not really the point; it is the image of Murray mingling with ordinary people – handing out $100 bills to fourteen year old girls to buy sandwiches, giving lifts to strangers on a golf buggy and asking to be called ‘Dr Murray’ – which casts the Ghostbuster’s legend in a peculiarly everyday light.
Paul Coelho thinks enlightenment is ‘very ordinary’. I think he’s right.