I just read that “to be bored is to be inattentive.”
Attention is a bit like appetite: it can be primed, and it can be oversated. If you are hungry, you could take care with what you choose and sear some scallops in butter, pepper them lightly and finish with a bit of lemon and white wine, and it’s a delight. Or you could shove some Tastycakes into your piehole until you want to vomit.
At this moment I’m not in the Alice Cooper concert for which I was an usher at 15 years old, at which my capacity for attention was overwhelmed and I had to leave early with headache.
Nor am I in the mandatory three day training last week, in which one must sit uncomfortably side by side with people not of one’s choosing while looking at a powerpoint in one’s lap and on a screen 15 feet before one, and having said powerpoint (so helpfully) read to one by a pre-recorded voice (Oz-like), and, piece d’resistance, having said pre-recording interrupted with asides by a “trainer,” so named for the inadequate training he got from the higher-ups, who themselves are inadequately trained by people even further up who have far too much confidence in their abilities to interpret and transfer information, and in their belief that said information trickles down to us in a way that is consumable—phew, rant largely avoided there, NOT. In the training, boredom was acute–it was like being on the conveyor belt with Gumby when the sweets were shoved in his face, but instead of sweets it was policy. Yuck.
At this moment, I’m on the back deck with coffee– “on the back deck with coffee” really is enough, as it evokes such ease and tranquility as I’m experiencing. But to show the point of the impossibility of boredom when attentive: the air is cool and sweet, the breeze enough to soothe the sunburn on my face. There is an enormous weeping willow ahead 200 feet on the other side of the yard, a dead ringer for an outsized dripping green ice cream cone or Oscar the Grouch’s hippie sister. The sound of highway traffic belies our socio-economic status. In the time I’ve been writing, a dozen or more neighbors have awakened to let out dogs and children to enjoy the sunshine, grabbing their Sunday papers before they go where they will with their coffee. I have grooveshark up to play Phil Keaggie, just something I was in the mood for.
In this moment, I am grateful. There are disappointments and aggravations, yearnings that can’t be named, worries for the future. But in this moment I am suffused with passion for the rest of my moments. Each a gift.