Creativity and Boredom


Getting back into the routine of term-time, the holidays are now long behind us. At the time they yawned wide and frighteningly empty, a void demanding to be filled, especially with a young child to amuse. But what happens when the pressure to go out, to fill up with sights, to exhaust them (and ourselves!) is resisted?


We have had many lazy uneventful days this summer, muddling around at home, doing very little, growing bored and frustrated with each other, but it is on just such days that we were most productive, possessed at the end of such seemingly wasted hours by a genuine need to create- sometimes the most random objects!

decorated lampshade


In the banal crisis of boredom… is it not, indeed revealing, what the child’s boredom evokes in the adults? Heard as a demand, sometimes as accusation of failure or disappointment, it is rarely agreed to, simply acknowledged. How often… the child’s boredom is met by that most perplexing form of disapproval, the adult’s wish to distract him – as though the adults have decided that the child’s life must be, or seen to be, endlessly interesting. It is one of the most oppressive demands of adults that the child should be interested, rather than take time to find what interests him. Boredom is integral to the process of taking one’s time.

Adam Phillips ‘On Tickling, Kissing And Being Bored’

fairyland story painting

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