“Eaten Up By Boredom”

Well, as I was saying, the world is eaten up by boredom.  To perceive this needs a little preliminary thought: you can’t see it all at once.  It is like dust.  You go about and never notice, you breathe it in, you eat and drink it.  It is sifted so fine it doesn’t even grit on your teeth.  But stand still for an instant and there it is, coating your face and hands.  To shake off this drizzle of ashes you must be for ever on the go.  And so people are always ‘on the go.’  Perhaps the answer would be that the world has long been familiar with boredom, that such is the true condition of man.  No doubt the seed was scattered all over life, and here and there found fertile soil to take root; but I wonder if man has ever before experienced this contagion, this leprosy of boredom: an aborted despair, a shameful form of despair in some way like the fermentation of a Christianity in decay.

[Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest, 2]

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