Monday, July 21, 2008

Tea with Waiting...

I love a man who has asked me to wait. I have grown weary of waiting. I have spent my life waiting for futures that will never come. Waiting for a god to bring destruction to an “ungodly world”. Waiting for god’s paradise to erase all that ails me. Waiting for an eternal pipe-dream. So, no, I don’t like waiting anymore.

I spent years living by my mother’s motto “Wait on Jehovah (her name for god).” Waiting for abusive elders to mend their ways, watching as I and others were trampled upon under the guise of “tending the flock”. I waited in closed door chambers to have elders tell me I was finally good enough to be welcomed back into the fold after having worn a scarlet letter and been shunned for 18 months. I waited for apologies and unconditional love that never came. I waited and waited and waited. And waited some more. So, no, I don’t like waiting anymore.

I waited for four years to kiss my first boyfriend. My mother said, “No kissing until your 18th birthday.” We broke up a month before I turned 18; my lips still wonder what his lips taste like. So, no, I don’t like waiting anymore.

I waited for a love of 20 years, the truest love I’d known in my young life, to be consummated. I shed tears upon tears in a prison I never sought, trying to be the good little Christian, the chaste woman, the someone everyone looked up to. I lost years of love, years of expression, years of being in my own skin. So, no, I don’t like waiting anymore.

I love a man who has asked me to wait. I feel shackled. I feel like I want to break out of my skin every time I see him. This is not building anticipation; this is caging the phoenix who wants nothing but to rise, to spread her wings, and fly. I feel helpless. I feel broken. I feel confined.

I love this man. So, there is nothing left to do but invite the waiting in, pour it some tea and decide to be friends.

Hello Waiting...is that one lump or two?


tall penguin

14 comments:

Elessa said...

is it the waiting or is it the not knowing if he will be there after the waiting that you dislike?

after having found yourself waiting for that which never came in the past, is that truly what you fear will happen with this man you love?

*hugs*

tall penguin said...

"is it the waiting or is it the not knowing if he will be there after the waiting that you dislike?"

A good question dear elessa. It is the not knowing that unsettles me. While I know there is nothing guaranteed in this life, I have experienced so many unrealized dreams, so much unfulfilled waiting, I guess it's not unreasonable for me to want some sense of where this waiting is leading.

In the meantime though, I realize that this angst around waiting is about so many other things besides him. As with any relationship, he is a mirror for all the unresolved bits of myself calling for attention and love.

And so, my call for tea with waiting is a call to be with that which is unsettled within me. I trust that the real-time details will flow from that open space once created.

Hugs back to you elessa.

Rich Beckman said...

"It's hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he's okay. It's hard to be the onewho stays.

I keep myself busy. Time goes faster that way.

I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks. I work until I'm tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that's been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?

Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?"


The opening paragraphs of The Time Traveler's Wife (a terrific book), which your post put me in mind of.

falterer said...

Nicely said, Ms. Penguin.

I'd like to learn to live, not for the moment, but in the moments before it. Longing and desire and expectation can be frustrating, but they can also be invigorating and exciting. I'd like to learn to savor the moments before the moment. Not waiting, just living with the vague, pleasant aroma of what's next.

Maybe that's weird and impossible and wrong. Or maybe I just haven't learned how yet. I'll wait a while longer and let you know.

PS: you're awesome.

Umlud said...

I have to agree with falterer, but also have to say that, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." A more fatalistic statement (often negatively rendered into English) from my Japanese half is the phrase, "Shikata ga nai," which roughly translates to, "it can't be helped" (with the implication of, "so why agonize over it?").

I feel the term "Waiting" carries a lot of emotional baggage in English, and has become a negatively colored word. I don't think waiting should always be good or bad, nor should it be forced into one corner or the other based on who you wait for. In addition, you should not feel like you must wait passively; a calm ocean hides strong currents. I like your attitude of inviting Waiting in for tea. Perhaps Waiting will like other activities as well.

Of course, I only hope that this Waiting remains a short-term guest.

Flonkbob said...

I spent 17 years waiting for my first spouse to love me. I don't wait any more.

I resent bitterly every wasted moment spent waiting for what would never come. I don't wait any more.

Some things I can't have immediately, but I can work towards what I want. If there's nothing I can do, I do without. I don't wait any more.

This is my one life. My one 'main chance'. My one and only opportunity to experience the joy of living. I will not waste any more of it. I don't wait any more.

Flonkbob said...

I spent 17 years waiting for my first spouse to love me. I don't wait any more.

I resent bitterly every wasted moment spent waiting for what would never come. I don't wait any more.

Some things I can't have immediately, but I can work towards what I want. If there's nothing I can do, I do without. I don't wait any more.

This is my one life. My one 'main chance'. My one and only opportunity to experience the joy of living. I will not waste any more of it. I don't wait any more.

Flonkbob said...

But apparently I sometimes push the button twice. Sorry 'bout that. ; )

Rebecca said...

That passage from Time Traveller's Wife is what it feels like to be in a long-distance relationship. I remember reading that when my boyfriend of years had left for university, and it resonated. I then reread it when he needed a "break," loved me but didn't know when or even if he was coming back. It resonated just as much then, too. Waiting always has the same flavour. It's damn bittersweet.

Rahul said...

You wait beautifully. Your writing is existentialist, and I dig it. /rd

Ged said...

What are you really waiting for I wonder?

tall penguin said...

"What are you really waiting for I wonder?"

I'm waiting to become friends with waiting. It's about becoming okay with letting things take place over time and trusting my ability to deal with the possible disappointment of things not turning out "as expected".

It really has little to do with this particular situation. It's a life lesson I want to integrate as well as possible. To continually accept things just as they are and should I choose to wait for something/someone, to not lose sight of the present moment. And to let go of how things "should" be.

Ged said...

Ok. I love your writing but that was a little too esoteric for my tastes. Waiting to become friends with waiting is kinda recursive. Disappointment is just a fact of life that we have to keep in perspective. Somewhere between I never get what I want and no one gets what they want all the time is is a life-affirming balance. I dunno, life just seems to work itself out if you let it.

tall penguin said...

"I dunno, life just seems to work itself out if you let it."

Yes! This is what I've been processing this past week since writing this post. I was waiting to become okay with the idea of waiting. Recursive? Perhaps. Esoteric? Definitely. It's about continually opening the space to integrate what I haven't yet learned. To make way for all that is.

I'll revisit this in a new post.