accepting boredom

Sunday, April 11, 2004

It’s again that time when everything slows down and I stare at the walls and wonder, somewhat anxiously, what’s next? I know what I should do. I should breath. Then, without answering the voice, I should let my mind wander. There is no next, there is present. How can I live each moment if I live only to plan the next moment? I have to stare at the walls and live. My life doesn’t need to be a collage of happenings. It is what it is: a collage of moments.

As this website is named, I have lived a life in search of relief from ennui, or relief from boredom. As a child, my favorite....

Of course, once I start to sit down to write—or pick apart my brain, as these sessions have become—I become anxious and begin to look for excuses to stop. Videos, e-mails, phone calls, news sites, any distraction is welcome. It’s part of my generation’s neurosis. Long gone is the generation of sheepherders. Long live the sheepherders.

It’s easier to write in other places where I have fewer distractions. I’ve had some rather negative thoughts while writing in one of those places today. I was in the Bucks of Stars with Doolies. She was visiting for the weekend and she’s a wonderful distraction. I love seeing her and spending time with her. I hate saying goodbye at the end of these short weekends we have together. But I lie in the moment and enjoy what I have. In other words, blah, blah, blah.

We were sitting in the Bucks, Doolies was studying for her Step 3 (prescriptions, here she comes), and I had my computer open. I wrote a crappy musing, looked at my story and blanched, closed my computer, and stared at the walls. Doolies gave me her fantasy book and I read the first fifty pages. A great sense of failure enveloped me. I asked myself, who am I kidding? I don’t write like this. I don’t tell these types of stories or form these types of images in other people’s minds. I should stop pretending. Maybe I could continue writing musings, since at least these can be somewhat interesting, and give up my creative aspirations. It’s difficult to answer these black questions. I’ve been on the same paragraph in my story for weeks. Why do I even bother?

I should allow myself to fall into the media overload: cable TV, video games, movies, telephone calls: white noises that protect me from the silent walls and their questions. These black moods sicken my stomach. They crystallize my feelings, and draw my weakness in liquid red on the chalkboard.

...my favorite phrase was ‘I’m bored.’ I would tell that to anyone who would listen. The adults would give me suggestions on what I could do to lessen my boredom. Not surprisingly, my mushy brain would scoff at them and continue the mantra, ‘I’m bored. I’m bored.’ Other suggestions would find similar deaf ears. I am not sure what I was looking for at that time.

I still haven’t discovered how to relieve boredom. I’ve learned to accept it and cover it with noise. I write these musings in a feeble attempt to embrace ennui and cover up the noise. I hope there is nobility in this.