This quotation comes up a lot, and my response to Oliver’s question is probably atypical. Frankly, I imagine that I’m going to spend quite a lot of my life waiting on line.
Yes, I want lots of hugs and kisses. I want to be kind, to remember to breathe when I feel like yelling. I want to get outside every day and actually be able to tell someone afterward what the sky looked like. I want (like L) to stop not just to admire the flowers, but to smell every single one of them. I want always to be able to run, or at least to run many, many more miles than I already have. And even though — like so much else — it will hardly feel wild, or precious, or even very good to do so, I want to keep writing.
But most of all, I want to be OK with waiting. Waiting for the bus. Waiting for the check. Waiting for the party to start. Waiting for the baby to fall asleep. Waiting for my husband to come home.
Whatever is happening while I wait, that’s my wild and precious life. I don’t want to miss it!
What about you?
Photo credit: Julie Gibbons
Mondays at The Variegated Life: favorite links.
The day after my birthday last week, Brian had surgery on his left elbow. The surgery was not major, but it involved several logistical hurdles, and now Brian’s arm is in a cast, which means he can’t do the dishes. The problem isn’t so much that I hate doing the dishes (which I do), but that doing the dishes eats into the few evening hours I have for my work. I suppose I should cook meals that involve fewer dishes, but when it comes to making dinner, I have only so many ideas. So. This week, with much less time for reading, I have just one link for you — to a podcast, of course, which, like me, you can listen to while you make dinner or do the dishes. I am so grateful to have listened to Krista Tippett’s interview of Sylvia Boorstein at the beginning of what turned out to have been a challenging week. Whenever a challenge arose, remembering this bit from the interview helped me let go of my complaining thoughts and self-pity:
You have to know that I grew up in a post-Depression household. Both my parents had jobs and I’m an only child. I lived with my two parents and my grandmother, who was widowed, my father’s mother. And my parents went off to work, so my grandmother did a great deal of the mothering, and she was very, very solicitous, so that I remember her as bathing and washing and dressing me and making braids and preparing the kinds of foods that I liked.
The only thing that she was pretty not moved to respond to was the coming and going of childhood bouts of “I’m not happy.” I’d say, “But I’m not happy.” And she’d say — my grandmother was not a learned woman in that sense, but it’s an ethnic thing to use that Talmudic turn of phrase — and she’d say, “Where is it written that you’re supposed to be happy all the time?” And I actually think it was the beginning of my spiritual practice that life is difficult. Then forty years later, I learned that the Buddhists said the same thing, that life is inevitably challenging and how are we going to do it in a way that’s wise and doesn’t complicate it more than it is just by itself?