Earlier in September, I gave volume one of the journal Synonym a good read. The theme of the issue is “ennui” or a specific sense of boredom. It’s a topic I think could span several issues with many layers and opinions. I think that a certain amount of boredom is essential to balance ambition/inspiration. It can be transformative. It can be the empty moment that you need to refocus your energies and even serve as a catalyst for creative work. What the editors point out is that social networks and other online media has burdened many of us with overstimulation, taking advantage of our weak resolve to “shut down”. This creates a less than positive kind of boredom more closely related to fatigue.
This first issue presents some artists that I’ve loved here on the blog including Leigh Wells and Marissa Textor. Each artist/writer illustrates their take on “ennui” with the standout for me being the conversation between Jessica Stanley and Victoria Hannan. It always feels so good to discover a written piece that has found a way to articulate a subject that I’ve been trying to express without finding the words. They discuss finding the strength and focus to carry on as an artist without having someone to produce for or a deadline to meet. Those of us who have a full time job and try to juggle creative projects on the side can always blame the job for preventing oneself from more personal work. Strip yourself of the safety net of “full time” and you no longer have a scape goat. You may find that it wasn’t the job preventing you from moving forward at all; having only yourself to answer to.
Ofcourse, the idea of ennui has evolved for me personally in the past four weeks. There are times that caring for a newborn can feel like boredom when mixed with sleep deprivation. I often have to remind myself how fleeting these moments are. How many women have warned me how much I will miss these moments (however slow and quiet) when they are gone.
Image above from volume one by Debbie Carlos