Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The places and spaces in between...are imaginary.
I'm not going to do a play by play of the query process. I think most of you who read this blog have been there. You know the part that gets hard--the part where nothing happens, the silence, the waiting. Creativity is suffocated, snuffed out in this small space in between. You can't concentrate, you're anxious, you want to start something new, but can't get started because...you're waiting.
This past week I have struggled with the concept of waiting. I have been pre-occupied with this notion--this limbo of life. Because I am in this place--not only waiting for responses on the queries, but waiting on someone to fall in love with our house so we can move...waiting to move, waiting for the weather to warm up, waiting to get over yet another illness from the toxic toddler factory. I am huddling in some illusion of stillness, waiting for the future to arrive.
Today I am finally at that place again where I can remind myself that waiting is just that--a concept, an illusion. Something my mind has made up to separate the place I'm in from the place I want to be in. This space of waiting is a prison, but it is also a lie that I am using to imprison myself. Life flows in one continuous stream, there are no spaces in between. Streams do not start and then stop and then wait to start again.
Why does it take so long to remember this?
Waiting is just another word for opting out, for not participating in life. Waiting is an excuse, a space created to let ourselves off the hook. Waiting for someone else to make the next move in our own life. We think, "I just can't go on, I can't do anything but sit here and wait, I'm so anxious." But, life is going on. Life is moving in its faithful direction...forward. Seconds, hours, weeks, years tick by whether we use them or not.
In reality, waiting is not even an option.
I've been trying to figure out what the opposite of waiting is because it's not necessary movement. Sometimes stillness has a purpose: observing, meditating, resting...but these things have nothing to do with waiting. Waiting is not stillness, it is creativity in motion, only it is creating whirlpools of fear, anxiety and doubt that--if you wait too long--you will drown in.
The opposite of waiting then I believe is trust. Trust that things happen, that there is an eventually and no amount of waiting or worrying or wishing on your part is going to make those things happen. Trust that a response will come or it won't; trust that an illness will pass and that another one will come; that warmth will come and go. Moving forward with life, participating in it, appreciating it, creating when we can, resting when we cannot. This is all we have to do.
What does this mean for me personally? Today it means letting go. Letting go of trying to control the query process by over-thinking it, letting go of the outcome. Knowing that if this novel doesn't make it through the process, I can write another one. Knowing that creativity only stops when we stop...to wait.
What are you waiting for?