What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.
Miss Virginia Woolf, on diary writing
My mom always said that boredom is a state of mind. "Only the boring are bored, Molly," she'd cluck, which would always lead me into a spiraling thought: Am I boring? And if so, what do I do to become un-boring? And if I were un-boring, would I not be bored right now? Then I'd look at myself in the mirror a lot.
At the particular moment, inside on a freezing Saturday wearing two pairs of socks and the sweater with the thickest cable knit I could find, I find myself in a grayish, blobbish, blah state. Aka: Bored. In New York City. And that's fucked up, slash not even really allowed. But in my defense, I've been to two museums this week, seen three movies, written 1,000 words (okay not really but let's just say that for the sake of my pride), and socialized for a reasonable number of hours with some reasonably cool people. And as for today, I have already had my requisite latte and wandered the streets for an appropriate amount of time, and read exactly one hundred and two pages of a book...and now, finally, I am left to my own devices.
And so I am writing. As a default, a back up plan. According to "Boredom: A Literary History of a State of Mind" by Patricia Meyer Spacks, "...writing resists boredom, constituting itself by that resistance. The act of writing implicitly claims interest (boredom's antithesis) for the assertions or questions or exclamations it generates." This passage invites another spiraling question (easy to spiral when one's toes are cold, I suppose): Do I write so I will not be bored?
Yikes! What a thought. That one's life passion/goal/set of daily activities is potentially just an anti-boredom campaign. That everything we do we do with the fear of boredom in mind, what Spacks refers to as a "displaced, unmentioned, unmentionable possibility." She goes on to say that "The act of writing both draws on and generates imaginative vitality," meaning, I suppose, that by this point in the blog post I should be a) less bored and b) inspired. I begin to consider this, retracing the trajectory of this blog post while sipping on an organic cream soda.
The trajectory of this blog post:
1. I'm bored.
2. I start a blog post about being bored.
3. I google boredom.
4. I find something interesting about boredom.
5. I read it.
6. I eat a few wasabi peas.
7. I begin writing about what I read.
8. I feel like I'm doing something, carrying out an action, becoming interested (or maybe that's the cream soda talking...)
Upon reflection, Spacks seemed to have the right idea. I was able to peak my own interest with the act of reading and then writing, which then brought on this interesting (while still managing to be boring) interest in boredom itself. Aka: Once I got to thinking about boredome, I wasn't bored anymore. Aka: Thanks, Boredom, for making me struggle to evade you and then become fascinated by you...You are actually kind of cool, Boredom!
Ralph Liton said that "the human capacity for being bored, rather than man's social or natural needs, lies at the root of man's cultural advance." Well, Ralph, even though you keep saying "man" instead of "human" which pretty much annoys me, I'll give it to ya: being bored sometimes makes you want to get off your ass and learn/make/create something. And I think my mother would agree with me.
So many black crows happened through the sunroof, the plane attacked the sky, and suddenly, I was back in New York. This is bullshit, this blizzard, it has left us in its hangover, its party snow, its post-outrageous outrage. Confetti is as corny as Poptarts, and I love that. What I also love is snacking; never eating a whole meal. You only love doing things like that, he said. In little bits, I said, which is how my organs, heart, and hair felt, too.