Thursday, 4 June 2009

WAITING AND WANTING

I WAIT AND WANT AND I WISH... it would go faster or at least go as fast as me. I am constantly in a state of frustration. I remind myself of a hot air balloon, full of the gases of expectation and potential but waiting, always waiting, never quite leaving the ground. I would like to examine my relationship with want. I want things. It is this wanting that drives me and can make me distracted, agitated and itchy. It can make me bad tempered. All good things come to those who wait. I must somehow learn to go limp on wanting, on hope and expectation, expect the worst, because wanting, expecting the best, seems to equal waiting and waiting seems to equal an irritability, a boredom and frustration and wishing the time away and then ultimately disappointment. This hunger, I want to let it go, it makes me miserable sometimes. Surely, if you are full of desires you wish to fulfil you cannot be happy here in the present. You are constantly moving the goal posts and never content. I wish I would learn to smell the roses on the way more, to enjoy the journey but I just want to get to the juicy ending. I want to devour the thing, suck out the pips, sink my teeth into the meat and chew on the bones. I wish everyone took all this as seriously as I seem to do. It is not that I am in a rush exactly, but rather I have been wanting for a long, long time and when I want something, I want it now, I want to have it. At night I grind my teeth and I pace my flat in the witching hours, in the dark dawn I lie awake and feed the want with worrying about it. I wind myself up and the gas seeps out of my lungs mixed with cigarette smoke and an air of desperation. It can be exhausting being positive, keeping the belief and faith, keeping buoyant, keeping your head above water. Always chasing things, following things up and following things through and struggling, always the struggling. Pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling. Keeping promises, chasing promises. I sometimes feel like an ant trying to drag an elephant to the nest. Or a cheerleader leaping up and down in treacle with chewing gum shoes and pom-pom’s made of glue. I know that this was never going to be that easy or flowing, there is always some hold up, some more waiting to do. Hang on in there! No I don’t want to hang on in there, hanging on in there is just like more waiting to do. And on the telephone don’t you hate the way they always say, bare with me, bear with me? I have never felt like there was plenty of time. In fact I am convinced that there isn’t plenty of time, that we are running out of time. I have always felt like I am running out of time. I wish the world would stop taking its sweet time, time is ticking away inside my head like a bomb. I hate to waste time. Some people would call this impatience, but inside here and underneath me it doesn’t feel like impatience, it feels like a fury and like I spent the years rocking on the same spot, hitting the same piece of wall with my forehead and it kinda hurts now. Do you ever feel like this? Like you are waiting in a cold lonely train station observing everyone else getting their trains, watching them all happily come and go along their merry journeys through life. Do you ever feel stuck? There are days when I feel like I live in a cold train station waiting room. It is OK there, I make friends, I wave hello and goodbye, I wish people bon voyage! I hear peoples stories and I try to learn their lessons. I know some people who have been waiting for the train for as long as me and there is comfort in that too, we swig wine from the bottle and give each other lights. We drink and talk about the ones who are not waiting, the ones on the other side. We tell each other horror stories of how it is to be a-non-waiting-person. People who have stopped waiting and wanting, this really is a nightmare, to have stopped waiting, wanting, waiting, wanting. Deep down, I know there is a train for me one day, but it is taking so long. I sometimes worry that I might fall asleep and miss it, that I already missed it. I worry I might take the wrong train, I worry that I might have to change trains too. In fact, to tell you the truth, I have taken the wrong train before and I had to come back to square root of one so many times. I have listened to bad advice and been told the wrong train times. I have swallowed my pride and accepted these defeats and failures and changed my route all over again. No this isn’t impatience - but more a fear of making those mistakes again - the ones where you know you should have listened to your gut instincts and protected yourself more and waited for the train you dream of, the destination you have in the heart of your mind. I carry my wanting like a full bucket of water. I must carry it myself. I cannot trust anyone else to carry my bucket of water without them spilling some. I carry my wanting for myself. It concerns me that some people just don’t seem to have the same panic or any sense of urgency. Surely, they have their own buckets of want, buckets of weighty water to carry. It feels like crawling in slow motion in a long queue to the moon sometimes. I must learn to let go of all the things I want and stop confusing them with the things I need or would like, or the things I deserve or think I deserve and then I might actually get somewhere. I might get some sleep and cure these insomniac years, these nights crawling the walls and chain smoking. I’m hungry, empty and dissatisfied. Everything, everywhere could do with tweaking and more work, nothing is perfect, nothing is really good enough. It is all quite ordinary, mediocre, at best an eight out of ten. It could all use more love and careful attention. It could all use more passion and dedication. It would be so good if everyone made an effort and pulled together in the same direction for once. The world seems like a slap dash and sloppy effort. It’s half-cooked with lame excuses, we are getting away with it and with as little effort as possible. The world feels shabby like it could use a wipe with clean cloth and some fresh air. My work needs some work and I should work harder, could I work harder? Probably. Maybe if I pretend I want nothing, perhaps if I pretend I never wanted anyone or anything or to be anywhere then something will shift and something will happen. Maybe my train will come, something has got to give, its maths, its science, things cannot remain frozen. Nothing is happening here folks, but more waiting. Waiting for the cheque to clear, waiting for the phone call, waiting for the break and waiting for the storm to pass, waiting to stop being hungry, waiting to feel more and to feel less, waiting to find the way to quench this awful thirst - waiting, waiting, waiting. There is an art to it, you have to go limp, think about something else, then let the waiting do the waiting somehow. Keep busy, keep swimming, keep breathing. What are you doing? Waiting. What are you waiting for? The waiting to stop. But I know when the waiting stops there will be fresh chunk of waiting to do, something else that’s taking longer than it should, someone else that has to catch up, somewhere else to want to go and another train to want to wait for. There is always something or somebody to wait for, to hope for, to long for, to want and desire. How to kill desire? How to dissolve wanting? Am I waiting to wait for nothing, wanting to want for nothing? Like waiting for the dead space, wanting the end of waiting - but to wake up and want nothing, no things, must be the beginning of death, to want for nothing is then maybe another state of yet more wanting and yet more waiting, after all. © 2009. Salena Godden

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