Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vicious Cycles


1. tired of the world; "bored with life"; e.g. "strolled through the museum with a bored air"
2. uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence; "his blase indifference"; "a petulant blase air"; "the bored gaze of the successful film star" [syn: "blase"]

It's a vicious circle, I tell you. At first I just thought I was having a bad week or two, but I'm beginning to suspect that my boredom with this semester is a rather permanent state of things. That whole idea just makes me tired. So tired, in fact, that I can't muster up the energy to get up and do something about it.

A terrible state of affairs.

It's my own fault, I'll readily admit. I could actually go to club meetings or workshops or free classes. I could start/finish any of the several craft projects that have been sitting in boxes for years. I could go out and visit friends, work out, write letters, bake cookies, find a part-time job, or any other number of things. But I don't. I sit at home and organize puzzle pieces. I do the dishes. I get ahead on homework.

I think that deep down, I'm afraid that I'll find something so interesting that it will make it even MORE difficult to find motivation for homework. It's happened in the past. So that's a valid fear, and one that should be avoided. But instead of prioritizing, I'm just eliminating. Which means that not only am I safe, I'm also a bit unhappy.

Not so miserable and hopeless that I wish I wasn't here. Not desperate to get out, not feeling that everything is worthless, or anything similarly catastrophic. I'm just tired. Aware of a conundrum that I haven't quite the courage to figure out. Blogging in the library instead of working on a paper, because I'm bored with it. Suffering through a semester of lower-level classes I've been avoiding because I knew I'd be bored with them. Just becoming familiar again with "the inexorable sadness of pencils." I think this is how I felt in a lot of public school, too, actually. Just bored. Not by any measure of brilliance, but just because I always felt myself to be sort of a square peg being shoved into a round hole most of the time. Because things were moving either too quickly or too slowly, and either way, with a teacher unable to match my pace, without feeling like I belonged somewhere academically, there was nothing to engage me. Now that I'm a grown-up (?), I've learned to buckle down whether I'm engaged or not, but that doesn't make doing homework any more interesting.

Anyway, I'll let Roethke do the rest of my talking for me, since I've got a class to get to soon.

"Dolor" by Theodore Roethke

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects.
And I have seen dust from the walls of institutions,
Finer than flour, alive, more dangerous than silica,
Sift, almost invisible, through long afternoons of tedium,
Dropping a fine film on nails and delicate eyebrows,
Glazing the pale hair, the duplicate grey standard faces.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, man ... that poem is not what I need to start my day at my 8 hour a day, 40 hour a week, pushing TONS of paper job! I don't know if you remember the card that I got with Captain Kirk screaming on the front of it,and how I cut him out and put him in my office? Right now, he's got a big bubble saying, "Be cheerful, dammit!"

I did post an 8 1/2 x 11 printout of the Godzilla plan of attack photo on my supply cabinet, so I can look up at it any time I want and smile.

OK, back to the grind, with my pencil (aka word processor).