Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wednesday, Feb. 22: Waiting

Waiting can be torture. We all know that. Someone is supposed to pick us up, someone is supposed to meet us, someone is supposed to call; the minutes take forever, and it is as if we won’t let ourselves breathe until the awaited arrival occurs. And there is the waiting for something to be over, a boring lecture, a boring movie, a boring family reunion ( recurring theme these days), a boring day in school, a boring class. You get the idea: watching that clock tick ever so slowly when we were in grade school. Waiting for the release from our seeming prison.

And then there is the waiting for something to stop. Like a cold. Or an illness. Again, we seem to think nothing can be right until this thing is over. This is often one of the worst aspects of being sick: this wishing we were not sick anymore.

Or wanting to fall asleep, and anxiously awaiting that, which, as in being anxious to be well, often undermines the result we want.

And then there are the physical discomforts: Of being too cold. Or being too hot. Or being hungry, though sometimes that is just phantom hunger and sometimes we really are hungry. Or needing to go the bathroom, and not being able to leave the situation. These are more simple to remedy, usually, and if they aren’t, a whole population starving say, are among the most cruel predicaments of the human lot.

But what of the old fashioned waiting for someone to show up, or for the light to turn green again, or for the letter to arrive?

These have the other side, of course, the side of while I am waiting, what if I just come into the present and do very little? Since I’ve got to sit here and wait, what can I do to be present and happy and absorbed in the moment? Then waiting isn’t a torture, it’s a vacation from the rush. This seems worth exploring, don’t’ you think?


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