Thursday, June 4, 2009

Awaiting Further Instructions (P.S. It isn't just you, we're all on Stand-By)

Here we are, waiting for our cue, our call, something that will reveal the next indicated thing. Talk about a uniting force...I do business with companies who create products using my designs. For the past 4-5 months, I have been, at intervals that come nowhere close to hounding, asking for information about sales performance, potential new lines, things that are useful to one who earns some of their income and professional reputation from licensing artwork. There has been no response to my questions. In the smaller picture, this can bring on feelings of ill treatment, the grump response, a tiny huff. In the larger picture, and I only, truly believe in the larger picture, it has no significance at all. I am content with the present state of affairs and if I want to get things moving, I can - and do - just go ahead and work on what comes to me without requiring an answer.

The recent illness of someone I love and treasure is helping me remember that, like it or not, there are no guarantees. As the newscasters choose to call it, the recent economic downturn has certainly been a deeply painful object lesson on that subject. But, you say, promises were made, contracts were written. And for that there are courts of law, ways to seek a version of justice. However, life will continue to be life and we have two choices - take it on its own terms or keep fighting the endless, futile round of battles, only to end up in line together, on Stand-By in a really big, overcrowded waiting room.

I have begun to see life as a process, or series of processes, each of which takes its own time to reach a form of blooming. It has always struck me that forcing plants (bulbs, in particular) to grow on demand is creepily unnatural. If it's not time for paperwhites, maybe we could move on to something else. A story I was told over the years concerned the family deciding to induce my mother's early labor, allowing my father who was being returned to the Pacific battle arena to see whoever his baby might be prior to shipping out (and the unstated but always lurking possibility of not returning). I'm told they did things like that in those days. She was in labor for 72 hours; I've had asthma and respiratory illness most of my life. Surely they knew about fetal distress in 1945...or maybe not. Yes, it was a situation with mitigating circumstances but...Just that, but.

It appears to me that we are all here in what could be called the dark, waiting, either patiently or not, for our orders, for clarity, for a decision that rests in the hands of someone else. How about this? Think of something else to do in the meantime, for no answer will come because you wish it would. Come up with a Plan B, learn to knit, read something really good in that devouring way we used to allow ourselves before we became so mature and felt we needed to give an accounting of all our moments. Become still, discover joy in waiting (isn't anticipation part of the fun?), do crossword puzzles, be willing to let it go. There may never be an answer, which, of course, is an answer in itself. Even going Stand-By, we will somehow, miraculously, wondrously, eventually arrive at the intended destination. Maybe not the one we intended, but the right one all the same.


Erin Perry said...

Plan B, indeed! There's always an alternative, isn't there. We do have the power to choose how to feel and react to any situation. Often we can't change things, but we can change how we let them affect us.
Erin in Morro Bay

Anonymous said...

For those of us with control issues... it's a gentle reminder to practice surrender..that we are not in control, even on our most conquering of moments..