Saturday, January 5, 2013

Take the Boring out of Life this Epiphany!

I went for a walk in the ball park behind our parish office. I looked up at the sky and lo, I beheld a magnificent cloud formation that was almost exactly the same color as the sky behind it - gray/blue. One had to look at it for a second to see the breadth of the clouds. It struck me that many people might not appreciate that particular cloud formation and just see it as a harbinger of bad weather, or as just a "blah" color and an uninspiring sight. How often do people forget to really look at nature and see it for what it really is? How often do we listen to nature with discerning ears? How often to we see and hear each other in life? How often to we truly see and hear music for what it is, furthermore, God? Is God at all like our own mental picture - is music - is nature - are we? Do we treat each other, music, nature, and God as they should be treated - as they truly are? I hypothesize that for all of us, the answer, to some degree, is "no".
A friend and I were talking a while back and reflecting upon the idea that one must listen in life to listen in music. I would expound upon this to say that this is true in almost everything. Why do some people consider certain things to be boring? Is anything under this great vault of sky and beyond truly boring? When one sees that even the smallest imperceptible creatures and building blocks of life pulsate with a subtle animation - with the "fire" of what we call life - how can one not be interested in even the very least of these things?

Nature is exceedingly complex, yet so often we would find just observing it to be boring. This translates into music as well. Great classical works, full energy and forged with mental fire, are often shunned by the populous as "boring old music for boring old people". Even many "indie" groups which sometimes contain a similar level of nuance and complexity are "indie" for this very reason. As a culture, we do not see or listen. Perhaps this is because we are removed more and more from nature? I would not feel comfortable guessing too much, but suffice to say that we miss a lot of things that take more than one glance to understand and dismiss them as boring.

Prose, music, painting, even each other - are these boring? Appreciate a microbe and begin to see a bird and hear its song. Appreciate a bird's song and begin to understand a melody and dimly understand a symphony. Begin to appreciate all things under the sun and perhaps begin to see and hear the eternal underpinnings of being and existence - the vibrations behind all things. See these things and nothing would be boring. Do not be overwhelmed by complexity. Hear the still, small, and omnipresent voice of God just as the Magi did at the end of their long journey to find what seemed to be just an ordinary, dare I say boring family with an infant child, who grew to become the reason for all we do - the Eternal One whose glory is in even the simplest and smallest nuance. Happy Epiphany. C.P.