Patience: An Invitation to Thought

Credit: Kevin Trotman, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kt/53443134/

Last week I went to mail a single book at the post office. The Automated Postal thingie in the lobby was on the fritz, and little Liam and I ended up waiting in line for about forty-five minutes. A lot of people were pretty cranky about the whole waiting thing, which I get: everybody’s got a lot of stuff to get done. They budgeted ten minutes; it took waaaay longer. I was tempted to be cranky along with them, but then I thought…

I thought. As in, I started thinking. Not worrying, just thinking. I’d like to say that I figured out something important, like solving an important plot point in the new novel or coming up with the perfect dissertation idea.

I didn’t, though. I just thought sort of random grateful thoughts. I thought about the folks in front of me and the folks behind. I played with Liam a little, and I thought about what things he might do some day. I thought about the books I was reading. And all of a sudden they were calling me up.

Sometimes I think we’re a little too afraid of being alone with our own thoughts. Patience is really just an invitation to thought. That is, if we let it be.

 “Patience” by Kay Ryan is a gem of a poem that says all this better than I have. Here’s just a bit to whet your appetite:

 Who would

have guessed

it possible

that waiting

is sustainable—

a place with

its own harvests.

 

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