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I found this image a few days ago, and had such a visceral reaction...  I've held on to it, while my mind teased out what it was that was stirred up in me by this picture.

Look at her.  She is waiting.  Every fiber of her being is yearning toward the object of her desire.  The wind, the water, the sand...  all of it is flowing along, and she, clearly, expects what she is waiting for to come into view at any moment.

I think that the submission that I have lived and practiced looks like this.  If there were a single word to characterize what I have done, what I do, most of the time, that word might well be "waiting."  Waiting to know what was.  Waiting to find and be found.  Waiting to be here.  Waiting for Him to come home.  Waiting for Him to wake up.  Waiting for bedtime.  Waiting to see what He might want.  Waiting for illnesses to end.  Waiting for surgical procedures to happen.  Waiting for the healing that has to happen after surgeries.  Waiting for the weekend.  Waiting for the next paddle stroke.  Waiting to hear that He is pleased... or not.  In fact, as I think of it, much of my "vanilla" life is taken up in waiting, too -- on a whole variety of fronts.

Entering, as we are, into the holiday season of gift giving, I am reminded of those long-past childhood years when I waited, impatiently, for Christmas morning, and the time when I might see what treasures had been delivered by Santa Claus.  That childhood waiting would begin, each year, with the arrival of the Sears and Roebuck's catalog.  My brothers and I would pore over the pages, filled with every imaginable toy, and compile long, detailed lists of all the things we wanted.  We'd write out our lists; we'd whisper our longings into the ear of the local department store Santa; we'd silently amend that list to our prayers each night... and then we would wait.  Long, winter days spent waiting for the fulfillment of all that childlike waiting...

As I read around the blogging circle here, I can find others who are engaged in various kinds of waiting.  Over at Swan's Myst, there is the frustration that derives from waiting for a demanding do-me sub to figure out what his role is and ought to be.  Morningstar eagerly awaits the day when retirement finally arrives and allows her to finally embark on her new life with W.  Oatmeal Girl's Master is dealing with health issues, and so she waits.   Kaya, too, healing from her own surgery, and awash in all the complications that life brings, waits...  Different stories, but in every case, there is that common sense of waiting for some expected outcome.

And that sense of expectation is precisely what has me thinking.  Waiting seems to me to be about expecting something.  Wishing for something...  It might not go all the way to the level of a "demand," but then again, it might.  When I wait, there is something for which I am waiting, and I expect it to come to pass.  Without the expectation of wish fulfillment, the waiting evaporates.  By definition, waiting is about remaining inactive in one place while expecting something.

So, I wonder, if waiting, in itself, is a matter of seeking to control; trying to shape and define the future to match up to our wants and our desires.  I think it very well might be, and that begs the question:  If I have sought to relinquish control, to enter into a relationship within which the control does not rest with me, does waiting (for whatever) remain a consistent choice for me?  Is there anyway to wait and not create some sort of expectation or demand in the process?  And, if the answer to those questions, is (as I suspect), "No," then what?  Can a person just stop waiting?  Can I?  What would that mean?

If I weren't waiting all the time, would I stop projecting forward?  Not waiting might mean just being.  Now.  Right here.  Without any sort of expectation or demand.  I'm not sure if that is even possible.  I'd have to pay close attention to be able to catch myself leaning forward into that expectant, yearning posture.  Could I?  Would I?  What if I did?



  1. Swan,
    Beautiful piece. Life often seems like a series of stepping stones in moving from one waiting thing to another. Learning to be in the moment and not 'waiting' isn't such an easy thing to do. I can achieve it for a bit sometimes, but it seems hard to not look forward to the next thing.

    Like now, waiting for Paladin's family to visit this month, waiting for my soon to be ex and his sub to visit and waiting for the divorce to be final, both next month, waiting for the VA to make up their mind (who the heck knows when on that)... yes.. you're right. Life is chock full of waiting. But I can also sit in this moment, be grateful for you, and mouse, my long time blogger friends, and now Lady Aphy and Mistress Krista, cute little Missy and Jewels, new local friends and so many wonderful things things in the NOW. I think waiting also keeps life exciting. It's always having a goal to move forward towards, even in moments of stillness and being present, that 'waiting' is always hovering at the edges, for inevitably it will come back into our conciseness.

    I suppose life is about keeping them all in balance. The 'waiting' and the 'being in the moment' and 'reflecting'. All three combined
    are a part of what I shift between to try an keep balance for myself. Paladin is very big on the present and future, and so do I tend to be. The past is worth reflecting on, as once, I waited for big thing that happened then. But.. now is now and new wonderful things lay ahead.

    Thank you swan for the reminder though, to be able to be in the moment and enjoy it and not reduce it's enjoyment by focusing too much on the future!


  2. weirdgirl6:02 AM

    This was very very interesting to me...I have no answers but found a very strong echo here of my own experiences of that constant sense of expectation one finds behind the wait. I have often felt that my own sense of expectation leads nowhere except disappointment because it attempts to force MY ideals and order on an external world and on to the Other who has their own path to walk and dreams to chase. Maybe this is partly what Sartre was referring to when he described all relationships as conflict - not in the direct sense, but perhaps in the sense of an inner conflict with ourselves? I'm not sure, but there is surely lots of food for thought here. Thank you for writing this.

    With fondness

  3. weirdgirl6:04 AM

    P.S. I love the new template you are using - it feels like I am actually writing to you after it pops up in that lovely font :)

  4. I only know I am NOT good at waiting for anything..... and I do know - have been told so many times by so many different people - that if I would just live in today and not fuss or worry about what is coming - or might come - I would be a lot calmer / happier/and a whole lot less stressed.

    I have tried - god knows I have tried - but in the dark of the night - when the world sleeps my mind comes alive and whispers to me - incessantly whispering to me - I wake and the worry starts - and I wish - oh how I wish - that the "tomorrow" I am wishing for would be here NOW - so that the nocturnal voices would stop whispering in my ear.....

    I really do admire folks who can be so centered in the here and now that they don't wish for the future - I wish (small smile) I could have 1/10 of their ability......

    Until then - until some miracle happens that gives me the patience and calmness to live in the NOW - I guess I am doomed to wishing and hoping and dreaming

  5. Love the flying herons, Sue.

    I looked at the picture before I read any of your post. I immediately thought it's a picture of a girl kneeling in the water feeling very cold and shivering. The idea of waiting didn't occur to me. I didn't see in it what you saw.

    I certainly used to do a lot of waiting - from one anticipated state to the next. Nowadays I don't wait nearly so much, but remind myself that most of my life has passed and I must experience the rest of it as much as I can, whatever it happens to be in the moment.


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