"I've been studying the fine art of waitng, like a good thief planning his crimes;
I’ve been studying the art of patience, in this time between the times.”
- For the traffic to clear.
- For our turn at the doctor’s clinic, the checkout lane, the FX terminal, the automatic teller machine.
- To board the plane at pre-departure at some busy airport.
- For a daughter, son, or spouse to come home.
- For a friend or a date to show up.
- For someone to call or text.
How much of your life have you spent waiting? How much of this waiting is the kind that plays on your nerves or flirts with your fears?
I know someone badly traumatized by waiting. “I have spent half of the first half of my life waiting," she fumes, "with murder in my mind."
affair or lying dead in the streets, I always hope he is dead.”
- J. Viorst
Over the years, though, we pick up coping aids. We stop fussing or cussing, or drinking ourselves numb. Yeah, soon, but never soon enough, we get over being dumb. We learn, we learn to help ourselves.
Writers and bloggers, for example, would often stuff notepad and pen into their pocket for just in case they fall into the waiting trap. They look around wherever it is they're waiting – the airport, the supermarket, the semi-dark of their bedroom, the total dark of their fear -- for ideas to write about. How can there not be -- if they looked hard enough -- a topic to ponder and make grist for the blogging mill? And why not, while waiting, write about waiting and how to turn it into an art?!
Serious scrabblers carry around precious word lists to memorize and anagram every which way for all imaginable word combinations. I suppose that’s how a scrabble nut must have found the time to scramble “dormitory” into “dirtyroom,” “dictionary” into “indicatory,” “motherinlaw” into “womanhitler!”
Dedicated chess players play their previous games over and over in their minds – trying this and that brilliant move they could have played to win the game instead of lose devastatingly as they did.
And not to forget the most wonderful time cruncher ever invented by man. The mobile phone! During a stretch of waiting, we squeeze the blessed thingie of all its worth in calling, texting, gaming, music playing. picture taking.
Waiting, it's all waiting, can you see? Waiting to be done with school, find a job, get a promotion. Waiting for the one for whom we are intended. Waiting for the children to grow up, graduate, get settled. Waiting to drop out from the rat race, or to drop out -- period.
We are told to enjoy life in all its stages -- and that means ALL.
It is relishing the outcomes as well as the processes.
The cake as well as the bake.
The baby's birth as well as the nine months preceding it.
The unfolding of the story as well as its end.
The coming of the awaited AND the waiting itself!