Waiting for the video…

One of the more challenging aspects of life is waiting. Waiting stops the forward motion of doing and forces me to just be.
I don’t know where this imagined time-line, this ethereal schedule that dictates “things must be done, completed, finished by thus and such a date” comes from, but the damn thing exerts an awesome power on my behavior, makes me feel either successful or a failure, and keeps me moving—in a sense—rapidly toward death.
Whereas, waiting, just being, seems to fly in the face of mortality and the fact that I’ll die someday soon and all my doing will cease and all I’ve accomplished will fade into the ethers as my existence disappears from view.
But maybe that’s the key difference between waiting and doing: one encourages an experience of the fullness of this moment as the goal of living while the other encourages the drive toward the moment when things are finished, ignoring this moment for that future prize of being done.
The fact is, both aspects of living are true and necessary… Call them Creativity and Receptivity and they become clearly defined yet opposite sides of the same coin: life. I could no more resist life’s drive to create than I could life’s need to restore, rejuvenate, rest and receive. These so-called Yin and Yang of our natures are part of the laws, if you will, of existence on this earth. As long as I am energy in matter, I must obey these laws. The gift we are given at birth is the very thing that can cause us pain or pleasure: this duality of living.
Today, I reawaken to the responsibility of conscious choice, and tease myself with this proposition: How will I spend this day wisely, both waiting and doing? Creating and Receiving?
The tool that most clearly illustrates the harmony between these two aspects of living is, of course, the breath. And what a gift it is to remember that though breathing is involuntary—a force of the creative nature of life and not of the will—it is my awareness of it that makes for that richness I experience while waiting, wherein waiting is magically transformed into being, gestating, and presence.
Ah! Just one deep inhale and the release of all that business in an exhale and I am in-the-moment, alive, present, both/and.
Now if only that guy who promised the video of my performance several months ago would finally deliver the finished product so I can get back to doing my job…

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3 thoughts on “Waiting for the video…

  1. I appreciate this piece, which gets me thinking about my writing process. I’ve found it’s important to maintain a discipline of sitting down at fairly regular times and staying put for awhile and writing–emphasizing the technical, productive side of things and proving, each time, that it’s possible to tap in to that well of unconscious creativity rather than waiting for some mystical sense of inspiration to come to me. But the mind definitely needs time to be still and empty; there needs to be time to restore energy and allow ideas to emerge. If I try to force myself to produce, produce, produce–if I demand more than what the mind has received and cooked up in its dark slow-food kitchen,then writing starts to feel more like a habit in a negative sense–a way to actually avoid awareness. Thanks for this great food for thought, Thomas.

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