Patience is a virtue I’ve been trying to relearn of late. Waiting at the post office, at the computer, in front of the stove. Often, I try to substitute those blank periods of time by multitasking, but it never unravels as effectively as I’d like—the water boils over, the computer falls asleep, the line shifts a few yards while I stand gazing at unread emails.
Time is such a precious commodity, and yet it’s impossible to make perfect use of every second, try as we might. There’s the implication that in order to make the most of what we have, we must always be in motion. Idleness yields nothing and everything changes. Right?
Perhaps, yes. Or perhaps the act of simply being is something we should embrace, not excessively, but at least in small pockets of our lifetimes. There’s a natural charm to isolated acts of waiting: I remember, years ago, sitting on a porch in a small town in Italy, listening for the afternoon church bells and watching a line of white sheets flicker in the wind. It was a moment of gentle, greater realizations, a moment when I thought about where I was and what I was doing in this grand game of existence. Subtly yet surely, time ambled away. It was idleness, but a meaningful type—it was simply being.