Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so

After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,

we ourselves flash and yearn,

and moreover my mother told me as a boy

(repeatingly) 'Ever to confess you're bored

means you have no

Inner Resources.' I conclude now I have no

inner resources, because I am heavy bored.

People bore me,

literature bores, me, especially great literature...

John Berryman, Dream Song 14 The Dream Songs (Farrar & Strauss & Giroux 1969)

Sometimes, having nothing to do does me good.  I love an unexpected period of solitary time that allows me space to think and to plan - or just to sit with a pile of magazines and a pot of coffee. And the curious subterranean boredom of the earliest days of parenthood, when life seemed to close down to repetition interleaved with the panic of responsibility, nevertheless held a precious intensity.

But I find myself more intolerant of what truly bores me. Waiting interminably in a doctor's surgery with no-one else in it and nothing to read or in a traffic jam with no radio and lashing rain that excludes even the distraction of people watching. Or yet another evening listening to acquaintances discuss schools or cars or extensions. And yes, of books that just don't make my heart sing. Slowly I've learned (these things take longer with me I fear) I can say 'no' to the invitation that makes me groan and put down the rapturously reviewed book that I just don't like. And as for the rest? Perhaps I can use those moments to cultivate my inner zen.  

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« upstairs downstairs | Main | coast »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.