Modern people no longer have a sense of “deep boredom.” Some may refute, saying, “What’s wrong with not feeling bored? Are you ridiculing the jobless?” I would reply that modern life, which is not at all boring but is becoming ever busier, feels like illness. Modern people are ill with a sense of having their hands full. Today is busy, but tomorrow will be busier.
People are required to be a multitask machine and produce more results. Philosopher Han Byung-chul described such tendency as “hyperattention.” Time spent doing nothing or time spent being absorbed in thought is considered as a waste of time. It is difficult to take time and reflect on oneself or one’s lovers. If you look back, you get to stay, and if you stay, you are likely to fall behind. If we do not hurry, we would not only be failed to move ahead, but we will lag behind. It is shameful and pathetic.
As a matter of fact, we are busy, but we are not really sorrowful. We receive in exchange for our labor, and if we do not have a job, our livelihood will be badly off. Yet we, while awkwardly not being sad, feel blue after reading this “not sad” poem. A life where we can capture twilight with your eyes, a life where we simply observe smoke coming from chimney scattering in all directions, and a life where we find ourselves from the landscape ― this poem holds us in the shoulder and suggests taking a break to find such lives we know but often forget. Hey, pal. Catch your breath. Let us be bored for a moment.