August 11, 2007 at 3:16 am Leave a comment


Okay. So we all know that adage about the cup half empty or half full, right? And the cool thing is to always make it seem that we are the half full type of personality, sucking the best out of what little we have, right? (Who actually admits to being a half empty kind of person?) But here’s what I think: pour out that half full or half empty, whatever it is, and start over. Be empty. Be totally empty. So empty that you’re shaking that cup, swirling your finger around the bottom, searching for that wetness, so empty that the frustration builds up, because what will happen is that you’ll get to fill it again. If you leave it with anything, you’ll have to mix it—and what’s a mix? Like all the colors of the palette swirled together: mud.

Boredom. I need to look that word up. My guess is it means something like this: “Pertaining to the inner drive to delve deep into the soul (boring like making a hole) to find internal peace, pleasure and creative joy.”(I was always good at that Dictionary game, the one where you find a word, make a definition, and try to stump everyone. Margaritas always helped to loosen up those definitions a bit. I always won, but with the margaritas, winning didn’t particularly matter). What happened to boredom? It’s the best thing going: emptying out in order to refill. How many of us can remember that beautiful whining we used to make, when the entertainment was over, when the drive to do the long desired summer activities were met, then came that moment, when it would start… the bumbling into walls, the picking up and placing down of a multitude of materials, and increasing the volume of our complaints to deaf parental ears: “I’m bored!” And then, it would come…the project that would inspire us for days, the clubhouse, my macramé hammock (that I never finished), the dug out irrigation system I created that almost destroyed my parent’s yard, dressing up the poor dog like a clown, making a ridiculous play to entertain only the family:  those inspired creative impulses that have carried some of us actually into our careers.

Better than that: boredom. Successfully mastered will bring that drive to delve deep to find that peace and creativity anywhere, anytime. Waiting at the airport. Waiting at the doctor’s office. Waiting for anything: how many times do we need to wait? How impatient are we about waiting? Fill the time with cell phone calls, with calendar adjustments, work affairs…but to wait that extra bit of time to EMPTY, to create that void, then to call up what specifically we want to fill that spot, so that in the process, time disappears, and we say….ahhh…because we have filled with grace and the artistic brush of our souls…boredom…that moment of listening to what says, “hmm, what would be fun to do now?”

I think as we get really good at boredom, we can almost bypass the whining stage: we learn to be on the alert to get ready to EMPTY, and we even get excited to cleanse out, to dump out, to trash calendars and watches, and then to await the magic of the simplicity of filling…the surprise and charge with reaching out with openness to the obvious wonders of the Earth awaiting us to make what we will with it, as ridiculous and nonsensical as it may all be, and what does it matter? The object is creating joy.

Yesterday I walked past a little boy sitting on the sidewalk, totally absorbed into pounding designs into bricks with a hammer and awl. I watched him for a bit, and delighted in the fact that he didn’t even notice me. I wondered what stories were going through his mind with each hole that he made, and how he probably learned how to use his tools better with practice, learned the nature of the brick, made decisions about where the bricks would go. I wondered if he would become a future architect, an artist, a mason, or just someone who learns to empty well and search for new ways to fill, and to fill in ways that bring the soul a kind of peaceful happiness. I really doubted that he had any kind of schedule to be hammering holes at that specific time. It was emptying out and searching for the fill that produced that endeavor.

Boredom. I so love it.




Entry filed under: Ruminations.

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