Dr. Seuss knew didn’t he? In Oh The Places You’ll Go he describes how the waiting place is the worst. How nothing happens and nothing happens and nothing will ever happen. Or at least that’s how it feels when you park your wagon out front of the waiting place. You can’t go in and get a refreshing ale- no that’s not for the waiters. And you can’t leave, because one of the conditions of the waiting place is that once you agree to the wait, you have to wait it out. Sounds a bit like Hotel California.
Earworm right there for you Boomers and Xers. #sorrynotsorry
We are currently in a waiting place. Surgery has been sort of scheduled for Coco, but there are still many little moving parts that need to line up, so nothing is quite set yet. We don’t know precisely where to go, or when, but we do know a general direction and an approximate day. Plus or minus.
The funny part is: this is the same as it ever was. Because that is what life is like. We run our circus with apps for productivity and calendars to show where we will be at any given time, but it’s really all just a promise on the wisp of a dandelion. All of the appointments and work meetings and party acceptances are just a semblance of a life well organised. Which can change on a dime.
We trick our brains to believe that those colour-coded blocks of betrothed time will anchor us to something real and solid. It’s how we make sense of the world. Which is what makes the waiting place such a challenge to sit within. Whether it’s waiting for surgery or waiting to get out of lockdown or waiting for the phone call from the oncologist, the waiting can be worse than the actuality.
Part of the discombobulation of the waiting place is the the tickle of activity that goes on all around. People go and come and go as you sit and watch. They make dinner plans and break arrangements. They buy shoes and groceries. They live. They play as if all of the things they are doing have meaning, and all things will come to pass.
The most interesting thing about the waiting place is coming to the understanding that we live much of our lives by a pact. We agree that we can exchange a pineapple (fifty dollars) for about twelve actual juicy pineapples (giving us about six times our RDA of Vitamin C into the bargain), even though no one can eat a plastic promise. We tell the bank we’ll pay back the loan no matter how often they change the rules and bend us over. We tell the kids to get the parchment to get a job, to earn more pineapples.
The pact sounds a bit like the theme song to Trainspotting if you let your mind get all PF Project.
Which is why the waiting place is no place for anyone to stay too long. Sanity darts away as we look at the farce of pineapple collection, where people are born and pass away, and no pineapples were harmed in the making of this movie.
The waiting place. Just stay for a moment.