Waiting

Chris Corrigan has this great observation about waiting.

The second kind of waiting is the one that really fascinates me. This is waiting when we are fully engaged in the present. The most powerful experience I have ever had of this was when my children were born. Being with my partner through two long labours was a very interesting kind of waiting. Time starts to do funny things – it gets shifty and stretchy and your awareness of it detaches and solely rests on the emergent moment. A child will soon be born, and the best you can do is to be fully alive to that possiblility. Distraction serves no purpose. In fact, with our second child, my partner commented that at one point it felt as if she was living in a ghost world. As we walked around with her living through this long and low grade labour (40 hours!) she noted that none of people we were walking past had any idea of what was going on between us and within her. She felt in the world but not at all a part of it – like a ghost. But she was deeply within the moment.

This is a deep presencing. It is waiting for something to emerge, something life changing, possibly life threatening, and yet with no way to know how it will all unfold. Radical trust into the moment, radical readiness to accept what will come.

I’d quite like to start a meeting with this story. So often we rush into meetings without allowing the possibility that something completely new and unexpected could happen. Often, folks try very hard to legislate against it.

2 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. Jeff Risley

    Very powerful. Thanks for pointing it out. I can describe two moments in my life like the ones Chris highlights: 1) When we adopted our son from Guatemala…waiting in the hotel in Guatemala City for the foster family to bring him…seeing him for the first time. We were completely focused on the moment; 2) Just recently, when I having my sonogram to see if I had PKD…laying on the table, watching the little machine show pictures of my kidneys, waiting for the tech to say something, anything. A bomb could have gone off and I woulnd’t have known it. And I am going to print this post off and make everyone read it in my next meeting.

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  2. Johnnie Moore

    Hi Jeff, thanks. I love that you’re going to try this in a meeting. Now I must do the same.

    The instance of waiting that comes to mind for me was when I was 21 and involved in a head-on car crash. What probably took five seconds or less appeared to pass in an extraordinary form of slow motion in which there was just awareness, not fear or shock (that came later!)

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