THERE’S a scene in the film The Shining in which Jack Nicholson’s character is filmed typing furiously, brow furrowed with concentration, creative juices flowing.
On closer inspection it transpires that he has typed the same sentence over and over again, a whole book’s worth of the same sentence, each page, each paragraph endless repetition of the phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
I felt a bit like that myself this week. Like Jack I have become a very dull ‘boy’, very dull indeed, not like me at all. This dullness has crept up on me over the years and has begun to seep into all aspects of my character and my life and is becoming evident to all and sundry.
My clothes are dull, my conversation is dull and my thinking is dull. And before you glaze over with boredom and turn to the other page perhaps also my writing has become dull. I blame the weather (how dull is that?), my mother, the crisis, age, money (lack of it), not enough iron, excess of ions and global warming. I have become so dull I can’t even blame myself. Even Cromwell has given up.
So what can I do to reverse the signs of dullness? Is there a cream made of monkey’s eyeballs and sheep’s toe nails that can miraculously return my thinking to that of my youth?
Will the excited and excitable art student re-emerge from behind the sensible wool cardigans and step into those Doc Martens and colourful tea dresses once more to expound and mull over all things theoretical.
Will she swoon at the sight of a Rothko and mutter appreciative comments about the latest Tate installation? Or will she tut and walk away craving a cup of tea and a current bun?
It is a worry is it not when your personality loses its way and no longer knows how to follow the coordinates of its previous position? What does one do when one’s passion stills and falls away? Drink? Take drugs? Eat chocolate? Cry?
None of the above, what one does, dear readers, is re-evaluate, reflect and remember; the three Rs of personality rejuvenation. Cast aside the cynicism of age, hold back the tide of adult diaper thought and move forward into the new age of passion rediscovery. Go forth and rediscover. Visit a gallery or two, mooch around a museum, book tickets to Shakespeare, and take the train to Madrid; anything to shake off the mire of aging thought and the slurry of discontent. Go shopping, break out the torn jeans and Converse sneakers wear your hair in plaits (even the men) and cover your arms in bangles.
Taking my own advice for a change I have decided to get out more.
My first act in the process of de- dullization was to visit the modern art gallery in Alicante. I’d forgotten how excited I could get by the sight of paint slathered onto canvas or objects stuck on wood and if truth be told the joy of the souvenir shop. The sluice gates are open, culture be warned, the girl is back.
Oh modern art how I have missed you!
Anyone got a pair of Doc Martens I can borrow?