An article proposing that boredom is a good thing: a source of creativity. Told from the perspective of someone who has, at times, been phenomenally bored.
Sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s…
“Mum, I’m bored.”
“Why don’t you read a book, or go out to play?”
I can assure you that there were longer and more complex exchanges between my mum and myself but this particular snippet typifies how mum dealt with my need for mental stimulation. Mum, if you’re reading this, thank you it was the perfect answer.
In response to my mum’s directive to ‘read a book’ I generally sought solace in The Famous Five, E. Nesbit and C.S. Lewis. In a serendipitous twist (which I’m not convinced my mum foresaw), I then further occupied my time by desperately willing the sitting-room carpet to transport me on journeys around the world; urging my wardrobe to open a portal to Narnia, and spent long summer holidays of riding bikes, building dens and cooking sausages on *small* bonfires in the field at the bottom of my mum and dad’s road. My sister was always in tow and occasionally my little brother (in his role as The Lamb from The Phoenix and the Carpet, Five Children and it, and The Amulet – see I remember all three stories). Whilst my time was thus filled, my dad was at work and my mum was busy performing her ‘Blytonesque’ role of baking cakes and bread, and doing the family’s laundry.
That Mum and Dad were absent from my adventures is important. When Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog set out on their adventures they did so without parental interference. There were also no parents fussing about clean nails and grass-stained clothes in E. Nesbit’s or C.S. Lewis’ stories. Therefore, I didn’t need my Mum and Dad joining-in with a trip on the sitting room carpet or coming down to the field to build a bonfire (I suspect they’re relieved not to have been involved in that one)!