Monday, April 17, 2017

The boredom.

The endless waiting.
It is said that war is 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. It is. I know. I’ve been there and done that. The problem isn’t the terror. Its the boredom: waiting for a moment you know will come with no idea of when. It could come in the next moment or it could come in a thousand moments from now. Consequently you live in a state of heightened expectation, and only a brief moment of release, that comes with the terror, accompanied by chaos. And then the cycle repeats and repeats endlessly. And it repeats endlessly because war never ends. It too keeps repeating endlessly. We haven’t learned a damn thing since we walked out of the caves.

One would think there is a difference between war and peace. There isn’t. The conditions might be different but the process is the same: 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. And once again boredom is the issue, not the terror.

A thousand years ago in my high school algebra classroom the teacher had placed a banner spanning above the blackboard. And the banner said, “He who perseveres shall attain the expansion.” At the time I thought she meant if we didn’t give up we would expand our minds with the knowledge of algebra. Might have been her intention, but I have learned throughout life that perseverance is critical when a goal is in sight. In such a case the waiting, the not giving up…the boredom, ultimately wins the day. It is the price we pay to achieve the expansion, real or imagined, which might as well be the same thing, since before something is in hand we never know if indeed there is a difference. So the reaching becomes a compelling force that keeps us all sane, believing that one day there will be a goal that is reached.

We seem to need the pay off. Without a sense that something of value will be attained, all the persevering, the waiting, the not giving up…the boredom, becomes meaningless, and we are like a leaf left floating along on a turbulent sea, toward nowhere.
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