Hurry Up and Wait


Little decisions, little thoughts, and you find yourself meandering down a path quite different from what you had intended.  This tendency to drift is what inspired my poem in I Was Thinking.

For me, this meandering occurs when I’m waiting.  After the initial enthusiasm and vision of an event or idea, plans are put into place, activities are performed, questions are asked.  And then you wait.  Wait to hear back from a person, wait to see which path to take, wait for the next exciting thing.  Apathy and routine knock on the door during this waiting period.  No, that’s not quite right…they are much more stealthy.  They sneak in the window you leave open for the new opportunity.  They set up shop, comfortably settling in all the while keeping under your radar.  Yet somehow they still have an influence over you, as if they’re rearranging your whole house but so slowly that you don’t notice.

Apathy and routine, they made a mistake this time; they left something out of place and I rammed into it.  It woke me up from the stupor of “this is what I do day-to-day” and “this is how I think all the time.”  INTRUDER ALERT is flashing in outraged red lights. 

The much-played record, “Time to make the donuts,” can stop its spinning.  Waiting doesn’t have to be a robotic succession of days, and life isn’t a series of big events with the more the better.  Life is comprised of thousands of little things.  As a detail person, I zero in on one thing and make it big.  But the reality is that miniscule details abound, each contributing to the larger umbrella (life) and each to be enjoyed.  Even while waiting for the big event, tiny moments are swirling around, begging to be grasped and delighted in.

For instance.  Yesterday I was walking home from work.  The air was delightfully chilly (I like cold) and felt wonderful on my skin.  There was enough light in the sky that I could swing wearing sunglasses.  Several times I would briefly close my eyes, tilt my head back, and breathe in that cool air.  By the time I got home, I felt energized and cheerful.  I opened up my windows and let the wind whip in while I cleaned my apartment.  I even lived a little and pulled up the blinds to catch the last of the sun’s rays.

It was something so simple–the transition of seasons–yet it filled me with joy.  A turn-around moment forced me to break from my monotonous routine and partake in life’s myriad of little joys.

Which leads me to this week’s poetry prompt.  Write a “turn around” poem–something/someone physically turning around, or a movement, or a shifting feeling, etc.

A tap on the shoulder

Expectations explode

Will he, won’t he

Should I

Don’t go there

Heart palpitations hammer out thought

Wakeful nights, the dark illuminated by

the heart’s desire

The mind’s eye wakens to behold dreams–

reality here

But with day’s searchlight, the mind’s eyelid drops

The heart’s desire slumbers

Daylight reigns

blinds visions of the night

But now

In this moment

All eyes wide open

Desire and reality collide

The magical place between sleep and awake

The tap again

Both sets of hearts and eyes respond:

Turn around

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