Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Passion and Boredom

I have too many writing and cover projects and not enough time!  This is a good thing.

I've been thinking about boredom and passion lately.  We have some customers at my day job that show up several times a day because they're bored and the most interesting thing to do is to come over and shop.  I'm not knocking this--but I wonder what it means to be bored, and what various passions mean to quality of life when measured against a lifetime.  

I haven't been bored since I was a child.  I used to be bored all the time.  Restless.  It seemed like there was nothing to do.  I ended up reading and that cured it.  Suddenly I didn't have enough time to read.  I'd gripe about having to go up and eat dinner with the rest of the family when I wanted to at least finish the chapter.  Does that mean that obsession or passion or addiction is the end to boredom?  If so, is alcoholism any less valid a 'cure' for boredom than painting or writing or touring the world?  

I've known people who drank because they were bored.  I wouldn't want to spend my time that way, but if they have nothing better to do, should I judge them (assuming that they aren't harming anything except their own livers)?  What about people so bored with life that they want to move on?  It may not seem possible to most people, but I know it happens.  

I don't think many of our ancestors were bored.  Perhaps some, some of the time, but survival--eating, holding on to shelter, watching out for predators and enemy humans--kept things from becoming dull.  Not to mention village/clan politics kept things lively.  If you didn't get along with your neighbors or family, moving out meant big risk, so you had to deal and dealing can be tough.  With increased safety and leisure time, boredom has more opportunity to take root.  And what does it signify?  Luxury?  Lack of imagination?  Lack of coping mechanisms in brains designed to survive in what used to be a very harsh environment?  

I don't know.  Stuff to think about, when I have time, assuming I find the time between projects.  Sometimes it feels like I'm losing ground when I finally get to sleep.  Not enough hours in the day.  And that, too, is a product of our modern age, though perhaps the builders of our ancient and mighty monuments, be they pyramids or cathedrals, felt that same press of time as their projects sometimes required the work of generations ....

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