We are all too familiar with the demons of our modern life. There is the phone. That’s a huge distraction. Instead of enjoying the solo of this amazing piano player, we are busy trying to get the performance inside the screen of our phones. Instead of listening to the wind going through the leaves of the trees, we are hearing the latest cat video on YouTube (Gotta love those cat videos! I love them!).
And that’s one demon. Another demon is the lack of motion. We all have some degree of this disease: the couch potato disease. There is a world to discover, a million adventures for us to live… through someone else’s eye on the series we are binge-watching. We are looking everywhere for a place to sit.
Why? Why are things like that? Why is it that reality is not interesting to us?
Because this world has become easy.
Wow! Sol! You can’t talk like that! What are you saying?
What I am saying is this: It used to take an hour to do the dishes. As in: You go get the water from the well, you heat it up on the wooden stove, you scrub the dishes, you let them dry. One hour. At least.
Three days to do the laundry. Yes, three days. Minimum. Women were slaves to these very repetitive and mind numbing chores. They used to see the world through the window located above the sink. Not pleasant. Not pleasant at all.
Dishes, even without the dishwasher: 20 minutes tops. Hot water on the tap! Huzzah! Laundry? Even faster! 10 minutes for a family of 4 if they have the washer and dryer inside their house.
So, we have time.
Is my point.
As humanity discovered it has more time for itself, humanity discovered a demon so big it took everything away with it: boredom.
Why are we on our phone? There are a hundred reasons, for sure. But basically, it’s because the device is our best friend. As soon as we get a minute (And we get a lot of minutes!) we dive into cyberspace. It becomes a habit. We live through the digital world. We become addicted. etc…
Boredom didn’t exist before. Only for the rich, the wealthy of this world. My grand mother was always doing something with her time. Even in “down time” she would be knitting close to the fire place. My grand father would be shining the shoes of the family, repairing broken pieces of this or that (Where did the art of repairing something by yourself go?). Their hands were always busy. Boredom was not in the picture. Depression either, by the way, but that’s not the purpose of this blog.
I have two teenagers at home right now. They will be with me during the summer. I just sat down with them after I observed what they were doing for the last 4 days, ever since they’ve been on vacation. I told them what I just wrote in this blog: do not stay inactive, do not forget the basic principle, the very cogs of the human animal. We are here to move and to think. Not necessiryly in that order. Find a project, or two or three, I told them. Find them quick, don’t spend time agonizing over the choice, do what you prefer to do, don’t wait from the light from above to give you a purpose. Then plan your day (My grand parents always had their week/month/season/year planned), make it an adventure. For yourself! You are the only one taking care of the ship of your body and brain, the HMS Me Myself and I. Do whatever you want, I said, as long as you don’t feed the demon of boredom. Be busy, get anxious, be aware that it might not be fun all the time (Some adventures do not have CONSTANT fun) and have a schedule, a reason, a purpose. You will have to get up in the morning. You will have to go through your schedule. You will have to cope with the impromptus of life, you will have to make something happen no matter what, you will have to reach the goal you have assigned to yourself.
And boredom will vanish. And life will give you its most precious gift: feeling alive, feeling good, feeling useful, feeling strong. It pays in dividend.
So, what does this blog have to do with music?
They each decided to spend their days practicing, composing, studying music. You catch my drift?