The extra-ordinary boredom of being alive

The extra-ordinary boredom of being alive

A few days ago I saw a photograph of a human snake made up of hundreds of people climbing the summit of Mount Everest. About 36 different expeditions queuing up, taking advantage of a spell of suitable weather, hoping to reach the top, take a snapshot and go down again.

Personally, I am passionate about Mount Everest, I have visited the region several times and each and every one I have felt deeply moved by the majesty of this mountain and the breathtaking surrounding landscape.

I have no desire whatsoever to “conquer it”, or to engage in some adventurous ascent. I’d rather let the beauty and the emotions conquer me.

I am fortunate, I have a good amount of passion in me, that provides me with emotions, memories and lived experiences that add something extra-ordinary to my otherwise uneventful daily routine.

I have learned to use boredom as an alarm bell to signal when change is required or at least some thoughtful valuation on what is going on in my life.

From boredom to passion, sometime is a long, tortuous way; other times it is an exercise of creative imagination.

Where did this passion come from? I could not say. I am not sure how it started, but I believe that at one point in my life I packed my rucksack and went looking for it.

For a long time I had thought that passions, like extra-ordinary events, would take hold of me, overwhelm me out of the blue, and sweep me away, as I mess about with my ordinary everyday tasks. But is it really so?

Maybe I got that idea from listening to fairy tales of princesses, princes on white horses and everlasting happiness. I can now see that I was brought up with the illusion that I must wait patiently for happiness to come to me, in one form or another.

And what if, after all that waiting nothing happens, would it not be rather disappointing on my death bed, to discover that I have misunderstood the message all along?

I’d attempt to use my time – while it is mine- to look out for opportunities to discover, uncover and recover, and if I should find nothing of value, well, at least I tried.

I wonder if this, the attempt of taking responsibility of our time, is what pushed those Sunday climbers up the steep slopes of Mount Everest. I hope so, otherwise it would have been just a routine chore of taking photographs in peculiar places, in order to break the boredom of living.

Personally, I’d rather live my life than let life outlive me.

Paola Pomponi, september 2012.