Now I know I’m going to sound like my Grandad here in that ‘don’t know they’re born’ kind of way – but bear with me.
Picture the scene. 1976 (or thereabouts) and I’m watching the rain pound against the kitchen, window.
“Mum I’m bored…”
“Well, if you don’t find something to do Anthony, I’ll find something for you”. Was mum’s reply.
“Er – it’s OK…”
‘Sod that’ I thought; and not wanting to clean the garage out, tidy my bedroom or peel the spuds for tea, I disappeared and found something to do.
And I can clearly remember what I did too. Sellotaping a ruler to the back of a shoebox, and stretching 5 elastic bands across the front, I knocked up a guitar! And from the rainy outside, my mates then turned up - bored! It wasn’t long before upturned bins became a makeshift drumkit, various glasses of orange juice were lined up and became homemade percussion, and together we proceeded to cobble a couple songs to fit the noise. When my Dad came in from work, we performed our creations, (under the band name – “The Elastic Band” – clever eh?) and shorty after the band broke up. Shortly after a cry from the kitchen of “Tea’s out.” that is.
So why am I reminiscing? Well what I’ve noticed (and I generalise obviously) is that we simply don’t seem to get bored these days, and as a result our latent creativity remains just that. Untapped, undiscovered, unrealised and unseen. What a waste.
Whenever we get anywhere near the danger zone of boredom, we are rescued by the cavalry of 24-hour TV, films on demand, the ever-giving internet, Playstations, iPods and all that great ‘time-filler’ stuff. And the instinctive creativity that was once propelled by such an occasion remains out of reach.
Now I’m no luddite, and enjoy all of the afore mentioned as much as you probably do; but I do make the effort occasionally to surround myself with nothing and no-one, and see where this then takes me. And I have to say it usually takes me to a better place creatively.
So go on, try and get bored. This weekend, switch off everything with a plug or a signal. Surround yourself with nothing, and see where you end up. You never know, you might end up lead singer in an elastic band!
Let me know if you do.