Re: Fighting Boredom
I just reread that article and found the choice quote of which I was reminded. It was originally intended for recent college graduates, but I think its usefulness for aikidoka (perhaps especially for recent shodan grads?) should be self-evident. Since it comes right at the end--and since it's so darned good--here it is, for the impatient:
"If it takes will-paralyzing boredom to bring your insignificance home, then hail the boredom. You are insignificant because you are finite. Yet infinity is not terribly lively, not terribly emotional. Your boredom , at least, tells you that much. And the more finite a thing is, the more it is charged with life, emotions, joy, fears, compassion.
What's good about boredom, about anguish and the sense of meaninglessness of your own, of everything else's existence, is that it is not a deception. Try to embrace, or let yourself be embraced by, boredom and anguish, which are larger than you anyhow. No doubt you'll find that bosom smothering, yet try to endure it as long as you can, and then some more. Above all, don't think you've goofed somewhere along the line, don't try to retrace your steps to correct the error. No, as W. H. Auden said, 'Believe your pain.' This awful bear hug is no mistake. Nothing that disturbs you ever is."