Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Praise of Boredom

I think boredom (or Boredom, if we think of it as an allegorical figure and if we do then it isn't wearing a robe like Honor but, appropriately enough, pajamas) is under-valued. I'm not a fan of social media, anyway, and I prefer to keep my big, empty head as empty as possible. Counting my friends every day doesn't deepen the mystery of existence for me. But, oddly enough, boredom does. To me, boredom doesn't mean apathetic or numb. It's a weirdly active state that usually arrives in slippers carrying a day-old newspaper. Boredom is curiously inviting. "Relax, pal," Boredom says. "Don't turn on the TV or pick up another book. Stare out the window. Drool if you want to." Boredom is a ouija board without the planchette, a clock with no cord or batteries. Boredom is all potential. And an unlikely balm to the tender and impaired parts of ourselves that need it the most.

P.S. On or around the first of the month I post a new poem on my website. Check it out in a few days.


  1. Love this: "boredom is all potential." Would that I could get my kids to understand this concept! I would have to wrest all technology from their superhuman death grip!

  2. My mother-in-law always says, "The trick to raising boys is keep them too tired to get into trouble." Idle hands are the devil's workshop and all.

    I have girls. It's amazing how creative they can be when they are bored. If they whine about being bored, I have plenty of chores they can do. So they invent...

    If you ask me, the best ideas come from staring out the car window on a long road trip.

  3. Absolutely. We have so little space to be bored with all the modoern gadgets. And then - tapping into our own brains turns out to be quite exciting.

  4. Thank god for boredom, staring off into space, or what have you. The best ideas come from those moments and when we all least expect it, when we are most vulnerable and ready to receive, Lady Boredom/Distraction whispers in our ears: "Here's a gift. Pay attention to it...later."