Déjá-vu. If you’re curious about who you are, try waiting for a while.
There are nearly three hours to wile away at the dealership where my car is being serviced. I don’t mind. It’s what I do best—sitting, waiting . . .
There are six of us in the room: two are on computers, two are on phones, and one is punching keys on an iPad. My computer is on my lap as I decide what to do next. iPad guy is wagging his head back and forth in what I can only assume is a response to the bad news that he is reading. The computer people are plugged up with ear buds. Intermittently, they drag out their iPhones for a quick look and poke away at keys. The room is completely devoid of eye contact.
Good grief. Where have we all gone? Off into a world of cyberspace as far away as we can get from one another. The cyber scene in front of me prompted me to put away my toys and opt for reading a book instead, Finding My Father’s Faithby a favorite blogger, Wynne Leon. A real, live, honest-to-God book with a cover and paper pages to turn. Another talented author, artist and blogger friend, Nancy Wait, makes the most of her name as she wiles away time spent on the subway by sketching marvelous images of sleepers dozing peacefully as she whips through the dark underbelly of New York City.
I sit and cool my jets while hanging out in a room full of noncommunicative people quietly absorbed in their various versions of electronics. Years ago in my Honda waiting room before electronics hijacked the world’s attention, quite a different story played itself out. Folks hid away in their inner worlds reading newspapers or books or like me, sat quietly with eyes closed. My closed-eye peace was interrupted on one waiting-room day when a mom asked her small daughter if she’d like to watch TV. No matter that the kid was peacefully absorbed in reading her own book. Drat. So much for enjoying a moment of quiet stillness.
The TV didn’t work. Thank goodness. From nowhere, the quiet readers sprang forth to assist, while I experienced an instant sense of resentment over the soon-to-be interruption. I consoled myself with the idea that this sweet little girl would probably enjoy something quiet, soothing—but no. Instead, she opted for a loud, violent scenario in which a building suddenly morphed into a ginormous unbelievably noisy and threatening robot intent upon destroying anything in its path. So much for assumptions. So much for reverie. So much for my wishes and my desires. Did anyone ask how I felt about this sudden shift in the disturbance of my reality? No. Did they care? No. Did I? Definitely!
As I sit in today’s Hyundai waiting room and wonder why I am writing this blog the answer creeps into awareness. It reminds me that life is like a waiting room—full of people who are strangers to us, each lost within his/her own head, each separated from one another by virtue of what goes on in the world of personal thought. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of situations that we cannot control, and frustrated by the decisions made by others without our permission—decisions that have a personal impact upon us. So often we are at the mercy of those around us in a desired world just beyond our reach.
My personal waiting room is a wonderful place to see an infinite variety of souls and scenarios—some to my liking, some not. What a wonderful place to just sit and observe the contents of my world reflected back to me inside of my head. What a perfect opportunity to look into the crumpled fragments of my own inner workings and take care of the pieces that need a bit of smoothing out.
Thank goodness for the kindhearted souls among us who rush in to be helpful—even if their help is not necessarily needed, wanted or welcomed by all. They provide me with a rich opportunity to look at attitudes and feelings that spring forth as a result of their good intentions. I may not be able to control the acts of others, but I can control my attitude. I can decide whether I would prefer to react in anger or to respond with love and forgiveness. I can choose acceptance and peace of mind, or I can choose judgment and resentment.
Who am I? I am who I choose to be.
Déjá-vu indeed. I’ve been in this waiting room for a very long time, and I think that it might be a very long time before I get back into my car and drive off into the sunset. I choose to be ready. While I wait, I want to do everything I can to graduate to the place where waiting rooms are nonexistent, and nothing exists but the unspeakably beautiful glory of what awaits us on the other side of the veil. Now that’s something worth waiting for!
As a final note, I’m happy to proclaim that this blog was started in the waiting room yesterday, finished in the Lazygirl today, and escaped the risk of being lost in the dumpster tomorrow (here). There’s hope for me yet. There’s hope for everything, friends. Keep the faith—and add your light to the vision of a waiting room filled with love, peace, joy, truth, beauty. Don’t forget to factor in the eye contact that allows us to truly see and appreciate another—and behold the best in all.