I was listening to a conversation with author Elizabeth Gilbert about creativity, what creativity means, what myths we have about ‘creative’ people, etc. And she has this great line where she talks about how boring and tedious writing can be. Being an artist, a writer, is not full time interestingness. Gilbert grew up on a family run Christmas tree farm and she says:
“the Christmas tree farm is a great metaphor. And I think one of the reasons that both my sister and I ended up being authors is because we were taught how to do boring things for a long time…here is one of the grand misconceptions about creativity. When people dream of quitting their boring job so that they can have a creative life, one of the risks of great disappointment is the realization that, “Oh, this is also a boring job a lot of the time.” It’s certainly tedious. I mean, it’s a boring job I would rather do than any other boring job. It’s the most interesting boring job I’ve ever had, but…I have a theory that I’m just growing, and I haven’t really put a roof on it, but I’ll throw it out there, which is that everything that is interesting is 90 percent boring. And we are sort of in a culture that’s addicted to the good part, right? The exciting part, the fun part, the reward. But every single thing that I think is fascinating is mostly boring. “
What does it mean to be on a path of spiritual growth? For me, it’s what Gilbert describes here. Like creativity, spiritual growth means committing to practices, tasks, and relationships that, frankly, are not going to make you glow with enlightenment immediately or all the time. But in the course of doing the mundane and regular, you creative the environment in which transformation, meaning, and even magic can happen.
If you can stick through those [boring] parts, not rush through the experiences of life that have the most possibility of transforming you, but to stay with it until the moment of transformation comes, and then through that to the other side, then very interesting things will start to happen within very boring frameworks.
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday: “I Am, Because You Are”–
Unitarian Universalists have a strong sense that we are all connected. Practicing Ubuntu is a way we can live out our seventh principle of respecting the interconnected web of life of which we are all a part. We welcome guest speaker Debbie Adair Soro.
Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy Baxter, Sharon Arpoika, Debbie Adair Soro, and Haruko DeArth.