A line from a song confesses, “I’m no good at stories that haven’t ended yet.” I remember telling a friend I just wanted to know what was going to happen in my life. He said, “You know what’s going to happen–you’re going to die.”
This impatience with the time it takes life to unfold, intolerance for all the hours of not knowing, feels like a constant companion of the past forty-five years; even as a child I was in a rush to grow up, although I don’t know why. Like skimming a book for its plot, do we miss the full resonances of events, their meaning, in our hurry to resolve our suspense? Where we are now is a place too.
In these early days of a fresh year, I feel myself yearning to be further along on my projects and dreams…already! I keep reminding myself, “You’ve made a beginning; that’s enough for now.” When my students in Japan became frustrated with the pace of mastering English, I told them: “To learn anything, you only have to do two things. First, have the courage to start. You’ve done that already–congratulations! Next, don’t give up. That’s all.”
Or as Miguel de Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote: “Patience, and shuffle the cards.”