I’m wary, as I send you these daily notes, of loading you up too much, sending you out to the world with a full agenda, a list of creative things to do. When in fact I want, really, to send you inwards. To think. To wait. To reflect.
There’s always so much to do, so much to alleviate boredom, so much that is interesting to do or watch or see.
And I love all that. I love being busy. I love watching, seeing, doing. But I also know that boredom is a great friend to artists. In order for thoughts, ideas, images to bubble up, they need space. They need emptiness. They need boredom.
Today your task is simple. I want you to make time for boredom. Deliberate boredom.
Because boredom breeds brilliance. (Sorry. I can’t resist a shiny bit of alliteration.)
Firstly, make a time today to really just be. Be bored. That means: lie on a sofa or sit on a chair or recline on the grass. Not with a book. Not with a device. Definitely not with a device! Alone. No music. Nothing but you and the tumbleweed of your own thoughts. Set a timer if you must.
I spend a great deal of time simply staring out the window, blankly. My mouth probably hangs open. There might be a bit of drool. I’m in a sort of suspended state. Sitting, or lying, simply letting myself be empty and bored. That’s when things start to show up. Not straight away, but eventually.
In Spanish, the verb esperar can be used to refer to waiting, or to hoping. I love this, that these things are entwined in the language. The state of waiting implies, easily, the state of hoping. We wait, and something will arrive.
So do what you can. Start with fifteen minutes. See if you can allow fifteen minutes every day for the next week, fifteen minutes of simply sitting and waiting with no distractions, no focus, no intention. Except for boredom. And hope.
I promise that something will arrive.
You know it’s there before you see it…