When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Estonia, I used to spend a lot of time on trains. This was before I had a cellphone, so either I brought a book or I stared aimlessly out the window.
Once, while in aimless-staring phase, a collective gasp startled me from my stupor. Outside the opposite windows was the aftermath of a train derailment. Massive train cars were piled pell-mell like children's toys. Fortunately, it wasn't a passenger train, but the image stuck with me.
On another occasion, I'd run all out of English-language books and was bored as hell. The uneven tracks and ancient train swayed with a rhythmic thump and clatter--so rhythmic that it was poetic. So poetic, I actually composed a long child's poem for Halloween, memorized it on the way to the capital city, Tallinn, and hastily wrote it down when I got there.
I still have it, and still think it's the best poem I've ever written.
There's a lot of creative power in boredom.
But now it's way too easy to find distractions from boredom with my cellphone. I try to resist, try to sit with boredom, but it's damned difficult.
I was thinking about that train ride--though didn't write about it--as I wrote up the long description for the Distraction UnTarot card. Instead I wrote about dark magicians using distraction online to take us away from our greatness, and about the perils of being unable to focus one's mind.
Maybe I should have written about the blessings of boredom instead.
The UnTarot/Legacy of the Witch Kickstarter launches February 14th. If you click this link then click the green "Notify me on launch" button, Kickstarter will remind you when it launches.