Friday, August 14, 2015


It is our nature to wait.
It is our destiny to wait.

As the seasons change, we read the signs and we wait.
   For the first green shoots to peek through the snow.
   For the first red and orange leaf to float to the ground.
   For the sun to ride high in the sky.

When I was a kid we waited for the mercury on our outside thermometer to read 75 degrees.  That was the temperature it had to be before my mom allowed us to swim in our pool.

Christmas morning we  got up early... after the long  wait... to see what Santa... and my parents... had brought us.

The first day of school was a day I waited for, looked forward to always, even as an adult and teacher, anticipating the new school year with joy.

At this moment, I am waiting to hear news and results on several fronts.

What are you waiting for?

We all remember being little and told maybe as we asked about an upcoming possibility or soon  as we one more time asked when an event would occur  or later as we asked when mom could play with us or dad could walk us to the corner store. 

In  Waiting for Later by Tina Matthews, Nancy finds a wonderful way to wait for the promised later.

How do you wait?

What makes your waiting easier or harder, shorter or longer?

Waiting can be exhilarating  as we anticipate the good, the wonderful,  and the desired.
Waiting can be unbearable, as we wait for results which could be  negative--medical tests, academic hearings, or judicial verdicts..

What do we do with the time when we cannot act, but are forced to simply wait?

Early childhood educators are waiting for September 1.

That is the day the Waiting by Kevin Henkes will be released.     I can't wait to read about how five friends (actually five toys) wait by the windowsill for something to happen.

They each wait for their own something.

The pig with the umbrella waits on the rain.   The bear with his kite waits on the wind. The dog with his sled waits on the snow. The owl waits on the moon... and the rabbit is content just to watch and wait.

We wait our turn. We wait in lines.  We wait in traffic.
We wait to hear about Y...  We wait for X to meet us... We wait...

And as we wait, some of us create reasons and  worst case scenarios.  I am not good enough or  He never wanted to go in the first place or  I should have never agreed to this or It will never come.

How do you wait?

Waiting can be in the eyes of the beholder, in the mind of the "waiter". Your waiting is not my waiting.

Samuel Becket offers absurd possibilities and a tragicomedy vision of waiting in his two-act play,  Waiting for Godot ,

Two characters are  waiting in vain for the mysterious Godot.  Their waiting continues.... comically, repetitively, and endlessly.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti  elevates us from childhood waiting pushes us beyond comic waiting to thoughtful, sophisticated, collective waiting.

In I Am Waiting, he challenges us to critically consider that for which we wait.
 And more importantly, he asked What should we be doing to end the waiting?

His poem begins

I am waiting for my case to come up   
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone

to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting   
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier   
and I am waiting   
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right...

As he continues to list that for which he waits, I note with sadness that this poem, published in 1958 in  A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems, still resonates today.  We don't read it as just historical commentary, but current social and political commentary on our own time, as well.

Read Ferlinghetti's entire poem here.

What are you waiting for?
How are you waiting?

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Make a list of small and big things for which you are waiting

List the thoughts and activities in which you engage which you wait.

Write a poem about waiting.

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