Monday, June 16

Filling in the Blanks

SMID's Music Monday

I have a ruminating song line in my head. Looped forever and forever (okay for like 2 days now) is the first line of Sarah McLaughlin's ANGEL:

Spend all your time waiting...

A line that apparently won't leave me until I sort something from brain to fingertips and get my thoughts to line up across the screen. Here goes.

I love that song in it's total, but it's this first introduction line that has me captured.

Spend all your time waiting...

The lyrics go on to talk about waiting for a second chance, a release and some esoteric reference to escaping a dark hotel room in exchange for being in the arms of an angel. A lovely, lovely tune with a singer that is unmatched. In my attempt to order these thoughts and make them presentable I thought I might be able to use the whole of the lyric and connect it somehow with my ideas, but alas that's just not gonna fly. Therefore, you shall have to cope with my prose rather than Sarah's luscious poetry. Deal.

Let's consider this please.


All the time.

Are we?

For what?

Friday last, I sat in a restaurant not far from my home waiting for a friend to arrive. It wasn't a long wait, but there was enough space between my arrival and hers that I got stuck on this thought of waiting. All the time.

I spend a good deal of time waiting in my life. I wait for trams, buses, or trains to arrive. I wait for the mail to come. I wait for the end of the school day. I wait for holiday breaks. I wait, I wait, and I wait for small things and large. We all do, and there is some level of waiting which is not only expected, it is inevitable. But here is the concept which has held my thoughts: What am I doing with that waiting? How do I fill that wait time?

When teaching young pre-schoolers I often sing this little song (yes, I am indeed a brilliant lyricist, please prepare to be amazed):

I know it's hard to wait, it's hard to wait
I know it's hard to wait, it's hard to wait
I know it's hard to wait, but it's gonna be just great
I know it's hard to wait, hard to wait!

Which (obviously) makes the time passage between putting on your shoes and being able to launch yourself outdoors to play so much more pleasurable. And endurable. Really.

Established as inevitable, the query of what I do with my wait time and whether it is wasted time really has me thinking. And as you, my friends and readers, now know, I spend a lot of time in my head. But before I bore you wax poetic further with my thoughts on this topic, I would love to hear yours.

What do you do with your wait time?
Has waiting for something over-occupied you unduly?
Do you suppose there is integrity in waiting it out?
Are you waiting for life to begin or are you living it now?

Yes, my friends and readers, these are the things I think about.

Please, wait no longer. I have managed to begin a blogroll on my sidebar. (Yes, I am a little slow on the uptake.) The first blog on that list belongs to my darling daughter, Emma. Show the girl a little love won't you? Pop on over, leave her a comment. She deserves it. She's a good one, that kid. Tell her I sent you.


  1. I carry either a book or a magazine with me at all times. Currently, it's The Yiddish Policemen's Union and the June 9th Newsweek (timelag from the States). I would carry an ipod, but I am always forgetting to recharge.
    And right now, I am rooting for Turkey.I want to see what happens in the streets if they actually win the EM. But I like the color loyalty!

  2. In addition to being adept at vertical napping - which I often practice while waiting - I either people watch, explore or read while waiting. Exploring means waiting somewhere other than a defined queue and reading is dependent upon knowing whether or not I would HAVE to wait and therefore brought reading material. Once I get my mind around the concept of having to be patient and wait, I'm usually pretty good at it.

  3. I fill waiting time with books, iPod, eavesdropping on other people's conversations, suduko, blogging (shhh don't tell anyone), writing lists, daydreaming.....

  4. Oh, I love that song...and waiting...and one of the reason why I'm sick I guess.

  5. I find that showing up late is a great antidote to waiting. Seriously, I always have something to read with me, so I do that or listen to music or take pictures. When I was a student I used to have flash-cards with me at all times. I think I learned most of my Greek and Hebrew words that way.

  6. I almost always have something to read, but often I'm writing in my head, or figuring out a conundrum or whatever. I love waiting times, in general, except in doctor's offices or hospitals, because I just hate them so much it's hard for me to relax.

  7. I think about what I'm going to make for dinner and the shopping list that goes with it. I sometimes imagine parties in my head - who I would invite what I would serve.

  8. As I read this, I immediately thought of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss and that section leading up to and about the waiting place.

    I’m sorry to say so
    but, sadly, it’s true
    that Bang-ups
    and Hang-ups
    can happen to you.

    You can get all hung up
    in a prickle-ly perch.
    And your gang will fly on.
    You’ll be left in a Lurch.

    You’ll come down from the Lurch
    with an unpleasant bump.
    And chances are, then,
    that you’ll be in a Slump.

    And when you’re in a Slump,
    you’re not in for much fun.
    Unslumping yourself
    is not easily done.

    You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
    Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
    A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
    Do you dare to stay out? Do your dare to go in?
    How much can you lose? How much can you win?

    And IF you go in, should you turn left or right . . .
    or right-and-three-quarters? Or maybe not quite?
    Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
    Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
    for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

    You can get so confused
    that you’ll start in to race
    down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
    and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
    headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

    The Waiting Place . . .
    for people just waiting.
    Waiting for a train to go
    or a bus to come, or a plane to go
    or the mail to come, or the rain to go
    or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
    or waiting around for a Yes or No
    or waiting for their hair to grow.
    Everyone is just waiting.

    Waiting for the fish to bite
    or waiting for wind to fly a kite
    or waiting around for Friday night
    or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
    or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
    or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
    or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
    Everyone is just waiting.

    That's not for you!

    Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying.
    You'll find the bright places where boom bands are playing.

    It is hard to wait. But sometimes, we need the reprieve wait gives us, don't you think?