My friend and poet, Robert practiced a form of industry distinctly different from that of his wife. Sandy was and is a 110% person, active at the fullest while she is awake and prolly when she is asleep as well. Theirs was a marriage of opposites in which each struggled to understand the other.
One beautiful spring day, I called Robert to see if he wanted to hear a writer who was in town that night.
Sandy answered the phone. She was extremely anxious and worried. “Robert is in the backyard in the sun and he hasn’t moved in an hour! He won’t answer when I call him! I’m afraid to go out and touch him!”
Just tell him I’ll looking for a friend to go hear Bill Merwin read at Duke, sez I.
“He’s popped up!”
Robert picked up the phone. Sandy was chattering and scolding him in the background. “Sandy, she is lovely and lively but she can’t appreciate the healing power of boredom,” he said sleepily.
In today’s NYTimes Science, the understanding and appreciation of boredom is briefly explored in an interesting article by Bennett Carey “Boredom May Let the Brain Recast the World in Productive, Creative Ways”