Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Waxing Philosophic, So I Wait


Screenshot of part of the opening credits to The Walking Dead




Or, conversely, waiting, so I wax philosophic.

Wait, according to Google, is a verb that means “stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.” It is “used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen.” The word takes its origin from the Old Northern French waitier, which essentially means almost the same thing as the term wake — “stop sleeping,” or “stir or come to life.” Strange how the concept has shifted in meaning over time. From what once meant stirring to life, the word now means bide one’s time. From activity to inactivity, or passivity. From actual to potential. For the man who was born centuries before, for him to wait is for him to do something. But we live today, and waiting, they say, has now become the closest thing to doing almost nothing, as though one who waits is caught in a seemingly perpetual limbo, anticipating something that has no assurance of ever happening. Manigas ka, as they usually say in common parlance.

I disagree with the part about doing nothing, or the way in which the word has now come to mean, the one about going hard as stone more so.

There are things that — or people who — are worth the wait, and waiting does not necessarily mean doing nothing in the interim. On the contrary, waiting gives us the opportunity to prepare, and it does so while raising anticipation, the same way that one would build a house, brick by brick, eager to see the day when the blueprint will finally take its form, habitable as any home ought to be, visible to the eyes as the good hands that have built it, real to the touch, evidence to the hard labor that will give it the semblance of life it deserves. So we do what we can as we wait.

Waiting, especially the part about patience, is not necessarily opposed to, or mutually exclusive with, having the audacity to go and get what you want. They do not have to cancel out each other. Oftentimes, waiting is part and parcel of the chase, of the struggle. Strike while the iron is hot, so they say, all the while forgetting that you still have to wait for the iron to get hot in the first place. It takes a certain amount of forbearance to dare have an audience with someone who eclipses our world. We wait because we are audacious. We are audacious because we wait.

Timing is everything as everything is a question of time, an inquiry about the when. On its own, there is no right time. Rather, we make the time we choose to be the right one. We select the hour of the day for the reckoning point, and try to turn it into the proper time, which is why it is necessary to exercise prudence and caution in choosing the moment we desire to make proper. For all we know, it, too, is a risk, for there are no guarantees in scheduling things. Which is precisely why we do what we can to make the time we choose to be the right one. This, I think, is the essence of timing.

Because timing dictates the length of the wait, weak emotions are nipped at the bud, snuffed out like the tender flame of a small candle lit up in the midst of a virulent storm. But the strong ones feed on the wind until they explode into a prairie fire. Sometimes, it is not that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Rather, it is that the possibility of presence makes it so, especially if it is for the first time.

Bob Marley has a song where he says, or sings, that he does not want to wait in vain, and I think nobody does. It is for that reason that he asks: “Is it feasible? I want to know now for I to knock some more.” It is his way of saying that he has gambled enough, and that he now wants to know if all the waiting he has done will not end up in futility. He does not want to end up turning into a rock. He is looking for some kind of assurance, a sign to continue, for he has stirred, or steered, himself to life the moment he decided that someone is worth the wait.

I like to believe that my soul was born long before my body first saw the light of day. I might have already lived centuries before, the time when waiting meant doing something. Which is why I wax philosophic and do other things as I wait for her.

Her name is Kae, and I want the world to know. I want the world to know that I wait for her. That I am waiting for her.