On some days, ‘waiting’ literally means silence and stillness – the tick. tick. tick. of the minute hand counting down to that unknown hour in which the pain will subside like the tide slipping out to sea. It is the waiting you do through a storm; waiting for lightning and thunder to give answer to the growling grey clouds, then for fat, round, heavy raindrops to fall in force, for the rain to lighten until streaming sun breaks through. It is waiting for that bit on the roller coaster ride when your heart – with your stomach- lifts in a momentary sensation of weightlessness before the next plunge.
On other days – which are most days- ‘waiting’ means filling all of the space with words and sounds and life. We check the clock only when the activity stops. For each minute we held our heads high, there is a sense of accomplishment. Chased by guilt.
And we swing between wiggling the wonky tooth, teasing the achy pain until it’s sharp, and lying still enough that it might not find us. Brightly lit new beginnings beg us out of dark corners until we join the parade again. This is what it feels like to live.
There is light and there is dark. Living means facing them both.