There is so much in life that excites: the birth of a daughter, falling in love, even the simplicity of a sunrise, all of these moments all too brief, and a prelude, to a sunset, love unrequited, and the death of a dream. If only we could see clearly the miracle of a single flower, said Siddhartha Gautama, our whole lives would change. Seeing clearly in this way means not only beholding the beauty before us but a future ugliness, withering and decay, the former easy to celebrate, the latter an agitation we would just as soon turn from in denial and disbelief.
What lies between these extremes is ennui, the gray of boredom, a deep-seated dissatisfaction with life, even when there is so much to be grateful for all around, often doubling down on a sense of guilt, causing you to feel bad for feeling bad, as if in an endless black hole. Sit and be with boredom long enough, however, and, interestingly, out of this sense of nothing arises something: not only dissatisfaction but also the desire to somehow move beyond it, though you cannot completely, save for brief vistas, this subterranean current of listlessness coursing beneath the surface of daily life, becoming a source of irritation and friction, and, suddenly, igniting a gift of flame and fire. The creative spark in your life comes from the combustion of conflict, not comfort. It is when you are uncomfortable, content to be discontent, befriending, as much as you can, the dystopia of your disquietude, you begin to find the surprising warmth of your own luminosity. It is never far. It does not lie unreachably beyond you, or in the distance behind you, but right now within you.