Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost Can't Remember how Boredom Feels

I just read an interesting blog post about boredom and creativity.  It made me think a little... and mourn the loss, or temporary obscuring, hopefully, of my own boredom and creativity. 

The author says:

This lack of creativity is more than just a lack of time to be creative, however. Unlike God, we can’t make something out of nothing like He can, even though we are made in his image. We need something to work with: problems to solve, ideas to reimagine, skills to harness.

Doing this requires that which we also find (or call) boring: the patient, disciplined process of learning new things and practicing new skills. The time to do it is merely a luxury our culture neither provides nor praises. Even extra time will not help if we lack the understanding and tools to inform our imagination. Or the virtue. An undisciplined imagination in the service of ungodly desire is not much help in saving the world.
 All this time I've been blaming my creative recession on lack of time.  Obviously, that's not all there is to it.  I knew that, of course.  I feel like my days are just awash in keeping up with home, life, and needs.  I have no time to think, imagine, practice, or read.  And by "read", I mean read something edifying and thought-provoking, as opposed to random internet bits which seem to have taken over my reading capacity.  And that's just the problem, isn't it.  Not only is my daily work-life made up of small tasks, this and that, jumping from one thing to another, often several at once, just to get it all taken care of, but my thought-life is the same.  I take in bits of information, with great fascination, but don't digest them.  I add it to some collection in my mind, or not, and go about my day.

Before Jonah was born, and when he was very little, I had lots of boredom and I think I had many more creative activities.  A smaller domicile, only one child, much less work to do made time for art and music and other creative pursuits.  Also, and probably most telling, we had dial-up internet.  I spent way less time on the computer.  There was no Netflix in the evening on the couch with my husband, but rather only the occasional movie.  Certainly no Facebook to suck my time.

These things are blessings and curses, I must say.  I was reflecting the other day on how thankful I am for the internet--  I think we're able to live more frugally (I have saved A LOT of money on school supplies this year with the internet resources I have available, and there are many other areas of savings that are only possible with the internet) and able to have more connection with far-away family, all thanks to the internet (and it's high-speed nature!).  But I never have to be bored when I'm occupied with blogs and facebook and even so many interesting things to research and read and learn on the fascinating interwebs.

Not to say I have no creativity now --I have piles of ideas, sometimes!-- but I feel like that capacity is quite reduced.  I don't act on my ideas very often.  Or when I do, I feel woefully out of my depth.  I have trouble making things work, or getting to them at all.  I miss those things.

I guess I miss having a bit of boredom in my life.

 [As an aside, I don't feel so bad about letting Jonah be bored.  He always is looking to me for stimulation, and I simply can't provide it all the time, and that's okay.  Just now, we had planned to read aloud in our latest book for a while, but he's been so engrossed in his Lego creation that I can't --won't!-- drag him out of it, even to read to him while we have time.]

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