Gretchen Rubin

“I Still Feel a Very Strong and Positive Pleasure in Being Stranded in Queer Quiet Places.”

“I Still Feel a Very Strong and Positive Pleasure in Being Stranded in Queer Quiet Places.”

"I can recall in my childhood the continuous excitement of long days in which nothing happened;  and an indescribable sense of fullness in large and empty rooms.  And with whatever I retain of childishness…I still feel a very strong and positive pleasure in being stranded in queer quiet places, in neglected corners where nothing happens and anything may happen; in unfashionable hotels, in empty waiting-rooms, or in watering-places out of the season.  It seems as if we needed such places, and sufficient solitude in them, to let certain nameless suggestions soak into us and make a richer soil of the unconscious."

--G. K. Chesterton, “On the Thrills of Boredom”

I feel exactly the same way. Years ago, my sister and I stayed at a small, shabby motel in the middle of Nebraska, and it gave me the most tremendous sense of excitement. Very odd.

Perhaps relatedly, when I'm trying to calm myself, I often envision places that are usually crowded and busy in their empty, quiet times--an empty parking lot, a deserted Metropolitan Museum.

How about you? Do you love diners in small towns, and the like?

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