WAITING FOR SOMETHING

Everyone is waiting for something. Waiting for the kettle to boil, the rain to stop, the sun to come out.

Futuristic landscaper showing Everyone is waiting for something.

We are still waiting for something.

Everyone is waiting to clear their closets, their broken memories, their heads full of cynicism, the nagging fear that time is running out and it’s only just begun. Everyone is waiting for something and we’re not sure what it is.

We are waiting for time to pass. The sun to set. We are waiting for another day, for a chance, a break, a letter, a message, an email. For the lucky numbers flattering birthdays and anniversaries to strike gold in the lottery.

In ‘Waiting for Godot,’ Vladimir and Estragon spend their entire time talking about and trying to meet the illusive Godot. It becomes clear that he will never show up and they are wasting their breath talking for the sake of talking and doing nothing because there is nothing they can do. Samuel Beckett’s existentialist play makes the audience think about the meaning of life, the absurdity of existence, the drudgery of passing time and the suffering it entails. Beckett reminds us of us.

What are we waiting for? We are waiting for something to modify, to heal, to resolve, to change course, to transmogrify, to change history. It is said that the only permanence is change, thus change is the only permanence. What are we waiting for? We are waiting for the lights to change, the weather to change, your children to call. You wait and wait. You get used to waiting. But when your time comes, you must not miss it.

Everyone is waiting for something and while we wait we mislay the sense of the present, our own presence, of being there or here or somewhere or somewhere else.

Waiting for Something Good

Good things come to those who wait. They say. Waiting carves lines on your brow and irritates the nerves in your spine. Stress grows like magma in a volcano. Hunter gatherers lived with uncertainty. We have lost their gift of insouciance.

Waiting is a cycle of time when you have no control over the outcome of when the waiting will come to an end. It is a disease without a cure and the answer isn’t how to stop having that feeling of waiting but what we do in the meantime. A wiseman – maybe it was a wise woman – once said while we wait we must create.

What are we waiting for? We are waiting for the war to end. The famine to end. The drought to end. The injustice to end. Waiting is like rust. It never sleeps. It never rests. While we wait for life, life passes, wrote Seneca, the Stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome. Put simply, don’t wait.

What is THE SMELL OF DEAD DREAMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog.

11 Comments

  1. Humans are programmed to progress in one way or another. Living in the moment is indeed a challenge. I have not mastered it as yet.

  2. After my brain haemorrhage last August, which I survived with my cognition and memory intact. (A miracle, most people of 71 die from it. ) I had a near death experience on the operating table, which has transformed how I look at life, and made me profoundly grateful to be alive.

    I live in a state of Love daily. I reach out, and in the reaching out, my energy unfurls. I have zero idea if my plan, my aim will work, but I reach out anyway. It’s not in my hands. It never was. I am a butterfly, with my chatting, my messaging and personal emails. I am surrounded by the love and friendship of hundreds of friends around the world, most of whom I’ve met, or sometimes just connected with online, since 2004. We are HONEST with each other; we share our fears, our tears, our worries. We are all profoundly human.

    I CAN help, with words, texts, poems. I was born for this precise moment and I know, with total certainty, that the right thing will happen FOR me. It’s far beyond my actions, it’s all in divine intention, where we are so loved, beyond all knowledge, for who we are right now, in all the ‘messiness’ we have. No problem, God loves us and if we learn to be patient, we’ll see it unfold.

    Been doing this for 31 years now, through thick and thin.

    My ‘thing’ is hugging. I give verbal hugs now, not just physical. Cliff, I’m giving you and each of your readers a hug right now. You ARE loved, and you are worthy. NEVER doubt yourself, we’re angels ………

    As John Lennon sang so practically: “All you need is LOVE.”

  3. The profundity and parameters of your horologically-hewn, philosophical proposition, I would posit, Cliff, albeit perhaps paraphrased in predictably plagiarized, obsequious O’Donnellesque preoccupation (Hat Tip, Maria Popova), is possibly even more appreciably pondered, in the pedagogy of our most prominent 20th-Century practitioners of that epoch’s expansive, existentialist, evisceral embracement, such as the holy trinity of the mighty Messrs Einstein, Bergson, and Russell… ‘Its most compelling manifestation comes to life in Russell’s discussion of time and the question of whether or not it is real — perhaps the greatest friction point between science and metaphysics, and one that came to a head just four years later in Einstein and Bergson’s landmark debate, which shaped our modern understanding of time. With an eye to the mystics’ assertion that linear time is an illusion, Russell writes:

    “It is difficult to disentangle the truth and the error in this view. The arguments for the contention that time is unreal and that the world of sense is illusory must, I think, be regarded as fallacious. Nevertheless there is some sense — easier to feel than to state — in which time is an unimportant and superficial characteristic of reality. Past and future must be acknowledged to be as real as the present, and a certain emancipation from slavery to time is essential to philosophic thought”… https://www.themarginalian.org/2016/05/13/bertrand-russell-mysticism-logic-time/

    (By Maria Popova)…’“It is the insertion of man with his limited life span that transforms the continuously flowing stream of sheer change … into time as we know it,” Hannah Arendt wrote in her brilliant inquiry into time, space, and our thinking ego. A generation earlier, Virginia Woolf contemplated how this insertion engenders the astonishing elasticity of time; a generation later, Patti Smith pondered the subjectivity of how we experience time’s continuous flow. These reflections, once so radical and now so woven into the cultural fabric, wouldn’t have been possible without a fateful conversation that took place on April 6, 1922, which steered the course of twentieth-century science and shaped our experience of time.

    So argues science historian Jimena Canales in The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate That Changed Our Understanding of Time (public library) — a masterwork of cultural forensics, dissecting the many dimensions of the landmark conversation between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson.

    What makes the encounter particularly notable is that unlike the canon of great public conversations between intellectual titans — including those between David Bohm and Jiddu Krishnamurti, Margaret Mead and James Baldwin, and Matthieu Ricard and Jean-François Revel — where surface disagreements are undergirded by and ultimately reveal a larger shared ethos, Einstein and Bergson clashed completely and vehemently on the subject of their conversation: the nature of time. Einstein insisted that only two types of time existed: physical, the kind measured by clocks, and psychological, the subjective kind Virginia Woolf would later observe. For Bergson, this was a barbaric and reductionist perspective robbing time of the philosophical dimension that permeates nearly every aspect of how we experience its flow.

    The debris of that disagreement became the foundation of our present ideas about the fabric of existence…’

    https://www.themarginalian.org/2015/12/09/the-physicist-and-the-philosopher-einstein-bergson-jimena-canales/

  4. if time and pressure of time is indeed an issue, and i cannot see as it is. i want as much as possible of it. More. I am greedy for time, i want lots and lots of time. But before i deviate i can confirm that there is an easy solution that reduces all such waiting and other time pressures without your having to cease existing. It is Apathy. Good old apathy. Chemically, medically, neurolgically or philisophically induced. At critical intensity its application facilitates entire indifference and automatic procrastination. Game over ! Time reduced to pure pleasure. everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

  5. On Charles Bukowski’s gravestone reads: “Don’t Try”, a phrase which Bukowski uses in one of his poems, advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity.

    Bukowski explained the phrase in a 1963 letter to John William Corrington: “Somebody asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’

    You don’t, I told them. You don’t try.

    That’s very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or, if you like its looks, you make a pet out of it.”

    The art of waiting….don’t try.

  6. Interesting thoughts about trying and not trying. I am a trier. My Buddhist name is Sanghay Tzondru, meaning the Buddha of Perseverance. My teacher, Geshe Ngawang Dharghey, must have seen this as my essential characteristic. Of course, I should have persevered with Buddhism and may by now have been far along the path to Enlightenment rather than stuck in the wet mud of earthly pursuits and ambition. But we do what we do. We follow our own path and I suppose I have been guided more by Sam Beckett’s mantra – Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  7. Sanghay, you certainly live up to your name and put most mere mortals to shame.

    As you say, we all have our own path to follow – Enlightenment can be elusive – the road is paved with disillusionment.

    It was William Blake who said: “the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom” – pushing boundaries and going to extremes will make you all the wiser. Travel to the Himalayas and you’ll come back a changed person with a different name.

    “Break on through to the other side,” sang Jim Morrison – LSD can take you there too, but will leave you equally disillusioned – at some point you have to come back to earth and get your fingers dirty, burnt or stuck in a pie.

    Certainly you’re better off taking the road less travelled – it can get you there quicker than the M25.

    I guess Bukowski was referring to waiting as a better way to spend your time rather than running around after it.

    Sit back with a pint pf Guinness – good things happen to those who wait.

    Don’t follow the flock – a writer has to stand apart – you are a chosen one.

    Even the Bible tells us to be different: “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.”

    Maybe Kafka got the idea to write Metamorphosis one morning when he woke to catch a cockroach scuttle across his room and thought, what if that was me?

    Where do ideas come from? If you are patient they come – if they don’t, wait some more but whatever you do, don’t get disillusioned.

    You have to be ready when inspiration comes, for its what you do with it that counts. Be careful they can be slippery and elusive fuckers – before you know it, they can leave you grappling and drowning, begging for mercy and let you out of their grasp.

    The likes of Hunter S Thompson and Kerouac were outlaw writers – they were shooting from the hip – no surprise Hunter’s body ended up being shot out of a cannon – he wasn’t gonna wait around to get old. Enlightenment is not for some – the disillusionment can be all consuming.

    As Faulkner said: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” – now that’s enlightened thinking – he knew what he was talking about – there’s no beginning and there’s no end.

    Get on while you can – time waits for no one – those fleeting windows of opportunity are not there for long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *