A being very dear to me said to me yesterday, at a safe distance of 30 miles or so,
I get it. Life now for a lot of people has passed the point of happy family dinners and board games, cleaning, organizing, reading, watching movies, walking the dog. Into boredom. Some have greater challenges; people with small children, financial distress, abusive and dysfunctional relationships. But many are just…bored.
It’s really kind of a dreadful word, boredom.
the state of feeling bored.
“the boredom of afternoon duty could be relieved by friendly conversation”
weariness, ennui, lack of enthusiasm, lack of interest, lack of concern, apathy, uninterestedness, unconcern, languor, sluggishness, malaise, world-weariness; frustration, dissatisfaction, restlessness, restiveness, tediousness, dullness, monotony, repetitiveness, lack of variety, lack of variation, flatness, blandness, sameness, uniformity, routine, humdrum, dreariness, lack of excitement; informal deadliness; sameness
“his eyes were glassy with boredom”
It’s that place where you find yourself with nothing to do, or nothing to do that compels you to movement.
I recall saying that to my mother, whose eyes lit up with a kind of malicious glint.
“Oh honey, I can find something for you to do.”
After a couple of rounds of room cleaning, laundry, windows, etc, I learned to keep my mouth shut regarding boredom. I did read voraciously as a child so it didn’t happen all that much for me.
I think the same principle applies to saying,
out into the ether of the Universe, something will be found for you to do, and it might not be all that positive. Better to be proactive.
It’s unfortunate that another word that often comes along with boredom is, inertia. That which grinds to a halt tends to stay there. Now is the time to flip through the mental rolodex and try to remember a time and place when you said to yourself,
“If I only had time I would…”
What? Practice the piano? Start an art project? Write something? Listen to something that stirs your brain on Audible? Remember. What was it you were going to do?
I’m blessed with a vigorous and compelling spiritual discipline, so I always have something to do. I could detail how I start my day and continue throughout with spiritual practice, but that would not be humble. Anything that raises your consciousness, mental and spiritual energy, and frequency has to be a good thing for you.
What will you take with you out of this world event? What will you remember that you accomplished, or didn’t accomplish? So let’s create a possibility list.
• What religion or spiritual practice has interested you? Have you ever wondered what Buddhism or Jainism, or Shamanism was? Do a little research, find a practice that that discipline does, and do it. How does it make you feel to do that? Can you feel it in your body? Your mind?
• Have you ever wondered how the great masters came up with art materials? Those basic elements might be right there in your kitchen. You could come up with an egg tempura with say, turmeric, that would make the exact right color to paint some marigolds. The early artists used what was to hand, wood, charcoal, oil, all possibilities of nature. They didn’t have TV, phone, and internet to clutter things up, those masters were an open channel for God and nature to pour through. You can do that too. Now’s your chance! Quiet your mind, open your eyes and create something.
• Music really does have charms, and great power. I myself am a great fan of those other great Masters, otherwise known as the dead European white guys. You know, Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert, Bach, the lot. Music is math, heart math, and has great power to inspire, comfort, to bring those chills to the body and soul that are indescribable. Put on the headphones and crank up The flight of the Walkure, or San Saens third symphony, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion. The last movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, or Barber’s Adagio for strings. Great music takes you to another place, a better place. After that go practice the piano, or the flute or the cello, whatever you have ever played and start again. Practice really does make perfect. Anything you do a thousand times you will get good at.
• Have you ever wanted to write something? My darling mother so wanted to write a book. She made many starts, life seemed to get in the way, and then it was too late. The synapses failed, and she couldn’t hold a train of thought long enough to write what she wanted. It was very sad, and I’m sorry for it. That’s one reason I write now. I have found that my most successful efforts have been when I closed my eyes and asked God, my guides and angels, my writing muse if that’s what you call it, to write through me. I find that if I ask that, then relax and sit at the keyboard, the words just come. I edit of course, there’s been some edgy stuff that wants to come through, but on the whole it’s a marvelous experience. Try it. Most of the great writers, when asked about their process say, “I just sit down and write.”
That’s a start! Use your imagination. We have lost some of our ability to do that, dulled by the noise and relentless attention-sucking information and imagery of the modern world. Boredom can be the Devil’s playground, and can take us to dark places. It can also be a remarkable gift for transformation. Perhaps this time is the nexus for the next unfolding of life on this planet, what part will you play?
“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”
― Mark Twain
A little boredom can be good for children though, if we keep them so busy and entertained that they don’t have downtime to cast about in their fertile brains, they become stunted in their creative process. Give them that.