Listen to your life,
See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.
In the boredom and pain of it
No less then in the excitement and gladness.
– Frederick Buechner
Okay, so I admit it. Sometimes I really need this reminder. Sure, I can see the beauty in every day and in the earth and the trees and the wind and in my child’s laughter and in my husband’s eyes. Even in the pain of life…
But in the boredom? It’s just so… boring. Yet I love that Buechner chose that word specifically… it’s not a word often talked about. So much easier to talk about pain and beauty, sorrow and angst… so much spiritual *juice* there to analyze.
Yet he choose to point out the mystery and beauty in boredom… and when I find myself in boredom… in a rut… this quote rescues me. It reminds me that all of life is a mystery, it reminds me that boredom is a legitimate place to hang out and claim, too… no better or worse than the more exciting times of life.
And what it really reminds me is that boredom is a product of contentment, and that most of the time I find myself *bored*… it’s really that I’m content. I’ve got enough food to eat, so I don’t have to worry about my next meal. I have a roof over my head, so I don’t have to worry about shelter. If I am *bored* what it really means is that I have the luxury to relax enough to not worry about immediate safety concerns.
So when boredom strikes I aim to treat it like the luxury it is.
And be thankful for the down time.
And feel gratitude and be contented with my moment of pause.
Because if one thing is for certain, it is that life is very very interesting, and it changes and evolves all the time. Boredom never lasts for long, because eventually there are things to attend to that keep us on our toes.
This is my second quote splat… just a weekly series of fun, silly, low key illustrations that I splat onto the page in just a few minutes, off the cuff, to accompany my favorite quotes.
For this awesome quote, I used purples and whites to emphasize the spiritual dimension of all of life (yes, even the boring moments!) and I actually ripped a diagram of the eye out from my med school anatomy book (thanks Netter!) This is the actual anatomy book I used fifteen years ago when I was a first year medical student, a place where I didn’t usually have the luxury of being bored. Well, I actually was very bored when in class, but not because I didn’t have enough to do. More like bored because there seemed to be something missing from just the study of the body like it were a linear model instead of a dynamic interactive energetic fathomless mystery.
But anatomy is important too, a jumping off point to at least, to understanding the stuff that we are made of. If you look closely you can see the labeled diagram under the swirly layers of purple and white paint. And that’s pretty much an analogy of my life, come to think of it. Learned the basics about the human body in medical school, and have been spending the past dozen years or so after med school swirling on the energetic and soul interactions to form a multidimensional understanding that I could sink my teeth into.
I put the eye diagram in the palm of my hand… because if we hold a moment in our hand, just one moment, and are lucky enough to peer deeply into it… to see past the veil of the obvious and see into the mystery… yep. Sure enough. Fathomless. Fathomless and eternal and beautiful moment. Painful moment. Bored moment. Exciting moment. Glad moment. All of life swirls in there together, inseparable from the next.
If you love this Buechner quote or want to gift it to a friend who would enjoy it, leave me a comment or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will select a random reader to send it to! xoxo