Progressive Christian Reflections by Chris Glaser: Godly Boredom

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Sun via clouds, Atlanta. -crg

I’m
writing this on the afternoon of Superbowl Sunday from frenzied Superbowl host
Atlanta which at present appears like, in the words of a city planner neighbor, a
city beneath occupation: roadblocks and street closings, helicopters buzzing the
skies, compact planes carrying banners, large planes carrying guests, sirens
screaming at all hours, a heavy and active police and safety and very first
responder presence.
 

In
this context of hyperactivity, Book Evaluation Editor Pamela Paul’s column, “Let
Youngsters Get Bored Once more,” in this morning’s New York Occasions speaks all the additional loudly and clearly: “Boredom is
valuable. It is superior for you.” Explaining the prospective for constructiveness and
resourcefulness in “empty” time, she says, “Perhaps in an incessant,
up-the-ante planet, we could do with a small significantly less excitement.”
Asserting
“Life is not meant to be an endless parade of amusements,” she inquiries “the
teacher’s job to entertain as properly as educate.”
Christian
spirituality author Henri Nouwen critiqued “entertainment” by breaking down the
word entertain, which signifies “to maintain between”—in other words, to maintain us
betwixt and amongst in continual tension about what takes place subsequent.
Ms.
Paul reminisces about the days when kids have been “left unattended with nothing at all
but bookshelves and tree branches, and later, negative afternoon tv.” She
quotes Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel
Miranda, “There is nothing at all far better to spur creativity than a blank web page or an
empty bedroom.”
“It’s
when you are bored that stories set in,” she declares. “Checking out groceries
at the supermarket, I invented narratives about people’s purchases.”
This
reminded me of how I filled the empty spaces as a ticket taker and usher at a
film theater when I was in college. I believed one particular of my very first books would be Views from a Ticket Taker.
Saturday was a mixed blessing developing up. No
college, but I loved college, or at least I loved the structure it gave my day.
My dad worked on Saturday, however. My mom would get up incredibly early to repair
his breakfast prior to function, then return to bed for a small even though. …
I keep in mind bouncing with my brother and sister and
mom on her bed Saturday mornings, prior to or just after breakfast, and we would sit
and check out and get pleasure from a small time with each other with nothing at all to do but laugh and
speak and dream. A entire empty day stretched out prior to us, a day of
housecleaning and laundry and reading books (never ever magazines: early it was
instilled in me by my mother that if I had time to study, I really should be reading a
book) and watching tv.
My sister and years later, my brother, would drive
Mom to the retailer to do the weekly grocery purchasing, if my father had not completed
so the evening prior to. (Strangely, my mother never ever discovered to drive.) And I would
be left alone, a time I also loved, but also a lonely time when I wished my
buddies from college have been closer. Going to a parochial college meant fellow
students have been dispersed all through my then-identified universe, the 500 square miles
of Los Angeles. …
Saturday was my longest day, a day whose structure
I had additional freedom to shape than any other day of the week, generating me really feel
sorry for these kids nowadays whose no cost time is overly scheduled by ambitious
or properly-intentioned parents. Modest wonder that my life now consists of a
succession of “Saturdays,” getting selected to be a writer. It is a life blessed
by additional freedom than the lives of other folks, even though it is also fraught with worry,
getting no imposed structure but my personal, and getting no assured revenue,
particularly when writing anything like this book, completely on speculation. However
it does stretch my days, it does stretch my life. And it presents me sanctuary to
“stand under” (as Camus wrote of it), if not to wholly comprehend. [pp 12-15]
Reflecting
on all this nowadays, I believe how boredom may well come to be a sacred time and spot, a
fertile sanctuary for creativity and dreams, a godly chance.
Probably
it was Godly boredom that led to the Massive
Bang and the evolution of life and to you and to me.
Scroll down to the donate hyperlink under its description. Thank you!
Copyright © 2019 by Chris
R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and
blogsite. Other rights reserved. 

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