Sunday, May 4, 2008

Waiting time

I'm on my way back from the Art of Storytelling festival in Miami. It was a lovely experience, lots of good stories told and heard, as well as some teaching time. There were two things in particular that marked this experience for me.

1. It feels like another step towards being a "real" artist. This is silly, of course. I already am an artist, I've been an artist forever and expect I will continue to be an artist for the rest of my life unless something changes drastically. But this was another example of truly being in the world as an artist. It felt really good. And it felt like real work. Which also felt good. Though I am now very tired.

2. And there was a lot of waiting around. Right now I'm in the Miami Airport (it's 5:30 in the morning, so if I'm more rambly than usual, forgive me) waiting for my plane home. I waited for rides, waited for events, waited for this or that. In between the waiting there were short, intense bursts of activity, but the waiting was a real, necessary part of the event. So I got to thinking about waiting time.

Here in the US when we wait we get really impatient. Two minutes in line and we're complaining, twitchy and whining. It's rarely an opportunity to get to know the people around us, nor a chance to just rest in the moment. Our lives are so busy we can't afford the wait.

But waiting is part of life, it's part of what we need to do. Not everything runs on the same schedule we do - and frankly, often enough we make others wait, it's only fair that it happens to us from time to time. It's an opportunity to cultivate patience, to have a meditative moment, read that book you cart around, to observe or even connect with those around you. Our lives are so hectic, just waiting offers a chance to stop and be, even when we don't want to.

I certainly don't manage to live with that zen in-the-moment mindset all the time or even often. But on this trip, with these moments of waiting, I've been able to take deep breaths and just be calm. Even when I've not had a book to lose myself in. It's felt pretty good. Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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