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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Boredom. By John von Daler

                The baby in the grass extends his plump little arm toward the light-blue sky and releases a weather-worn leaf from last fall into the air. A breeze catches and twirls the sheer, beige leaf into and out of sun and shadows in an easy, graceful, swirling flight.

                "Whee!" squeals the baby, enraptured and we stare in wonder at this joyous interest in something as commonplace and uninteresting as a falling leaf. All right, we think of autumn as a glorious time, the whirling colors still fascinate us after all these years. But one little brown leaf in the wind? We would never have noticed it without his eyes.
                A year later walking to the playground he tottles along the pavement from one revelation to another: a bicycle left by a wall, a door that opens into a dark passage, a moveable metal piece at the bottom of a scaffold. As he strolls in wonder from one discovery to another I think, At this rate we will never get to the playground at all and then we will never get back in time and then we will have to rush and then we will get stressed...
                Some friendly god whispers in my ear, But what was the purpose of the excursion? To play, right? So play!
                It occurs to me that boredom begins where attention leaves off, that running blindly from place to place often effaces the joy of the journey. If expanding our intellects means diminishing our areas of interest, then we must be doing something wrong. Boredom is in the eyes of the beholder. Thanks, little baby, for making my life much more interesting. Whee!

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