Friday, January 30, 2009


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Two things my dentist said today stayed with me. First, he thanked me for encouraging him to write. He has become an impassioned chronicler of life (his life) and I should think this is a good thing, though it could be that his family feels otherwise.

The second (and related) comment was more somber – it’s hard to make life interesting when you’re older, he said to me.

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A quick interpretation would be that this is just him. Me, you – our lives are an amazing grab bag of riches! (Admitting to the mundane is hard.)

But if you think about it – if you work, if you clean your house and cook your food, if you exercise and go to your dentist fairly regularly – you will most certainly use up your interesting hours. And if you (like him?) find your work only mildly interesting (perhaps filling teeth is less interesting than teaching, though maybe he feels otherwise), then it becomes hard to create a life that, on balance, is remarkably interesting.

Of course, “interesting” need not be a worthy goal. Being hardworking, creative, respectful, nurturing – any these would form a rich life. And, interesting need not be found in the positive. Interesting can be born of tragedy. Who wants that!

Still, I go back to my dentist’s words and I see his point: for the ordinary, for us -- making an average day interesting – I have to admit it -- it can be a challenge.

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