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Ennui of the state

May 24, 2020

Do you feel a restlessness? That sense you’re waiting for something – anything – to happen and yet, still, each day passes the same as the last. The rapid drama of the beginning of the crisis has passed, the peak has passed, and yet we still wait because the danger has not passed.

If you’re fortunate enough to be sheltered from the worst of the crisis, by now you’re intimately familiar with the contours of boredom. Uncertainty is many things – stressful, frustrating, immoveable – and yet who’d have thought it was so dull?

I’ve resisted the capitalism 2.0 side-hustle BS of ‘if you didn’t achieve [productivity goal] in lockdown, maybe time wasn’t your problem’ that marked the first weeks of the crisis.

But this is the golden hour.

Because if it’s true that nothing is certain, then it’s equally true that everything is possible.

My act of radical optimism has been to throw down some words each morning. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not, but showing up is half the battle. A day with time spent fingers hovering blankly over the keys is better than a day without. But it’s been getting easier: 9000 words in March; 9000 words in April; 11,000 words so far in May.

Ennui is an energy, and maybe – just maybe – now’s the time to channel it.

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