After wading through rain and clay mudslides on my dog walk yesterday, today is brazenly perfect in its brand spanking new blueness; light breeze, shimmering golden leaves and happy crows. It's irritatingly beautiful in Los Angeles this Saturday afternoon.
I'm reminded by my friend Vivien, who lives in London, and has an innate wisdom of which I'm envious, that patience is a virtue, not because our pedantic teachers told us so, but because we're not all the same and we don't think the same way or act the same way or make decisions at the same pace as other people, and that if indeed we did, or they did, the world would be small and dull and predictable and boring. What makes life interesting, however you look at it -- whether with abundance, or through a too-small myopic lens -- is our ability, still to be surprised. Think of baskets of eggs. We line them up -- one over here, one there, one around the corner, just in case, one hidden in the cupboard for a rainy day, an array of possibilities, each one measured and shaped and ready to go, but then the one that smashes in your face is the one you didn't see and hadn't prepared for. This is what we call serendipity. And the best things come from serendipity, or the unexpected.
I am impatient by nature. Waiting makes me anxious. I think the worst. My imagination is filled with deliciously macabre scenarios, each one more bizarre and complicated than the next, and I find myself fretting and worried and miserable and ready to chuck in the towel. What Vivien reminds me, and this is woman who is a fan of Chopin's nocturnes and French poetry, is that rhythm is subjective. We each have an inner tempo and we can but dance to that beat, not anyone else's. The happy accidents occur when tempos collide and for one moment, for one glorious second or minute or day, if we are lucky, two different, subjective rhythms hit each other at the right place, the right time, and with the same intention. If these things were easy to predict would they be as transforming? I doubt it.
And so what can we do but wait, and not plan, and live in faith? That word faith again..."Faith: an abiding conviction in the openness of tomorrow" is a definition that works if you do or do not believe in the divine. I think of faith as staying on track, as not veering away from the road, and knowing, somehow, that the road is the right one.
A film adaptation of a book takes out the boring bits, or leaves them in to be signified by a little photo montage...the passing of time. But life itself has boring bits and we're called upon to be patient and at peace with waiting for things. A highlight reel would get old very, very quickly. (Or so I tell myself.)