looking through me

Tag: expectations


There’s a low-grade hum pulsing through me. It’s the murmur of expectation and the suppressing shush shifting my focus from the possible back to the present. Because what may be is not what is.

Yet I strain against the second hand. There is so much simmering—I want to watch the pot. I want to guess when it might boil. I want to plan for all the potential bubbling up. But it’s not time. It might simmer for days or weeks . . . it might not boil at all.

Waiting is hard. Being present to what is—instead of being caught up in what might be—is hard.

The pull of possibility is strong, so I keep tugging my attention from the tension of waiting to the nimbly passing now. Where am I this moment? What lesson can I learn here? What grace is unfolding around me? How can I be useful in this reality, not the one that may or may not be coming?

I want to live well. I want to look back at my day, my year, my life and see that I lived each moment fully. I don’t want to see the present slip by while I wait for the future.

Still, I’m tempted to let my eyes linger on the pot. I’m tempted to compose a melody to resolve the static hum of anxiety.

The water may not boil. But this moment—right here, right now—is mine.


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rolling chair

As a person of short stature working at a desk of fixed height, I keep my chair raised high enough to type without getting carpal tunnel syndrome . . . which means my feet don’t touch the floor.

First world, short person problem. I know.

When my coworker asks me to look at something on his monitor, I give a healthy push against the desk to propel my chair back so I can see around the cubicle wall. It’s good exercise. This morning I pushed off and my chair started tipping instead of rolling. Wheeled office chairs don’t tip on industrial, low-pile carpeting, so I assumed I had leaned too far without pushing hard enough. Clearly the solution was to put more arm into it and really shove.

Turns out I did not need more power. A larger shove resulted in nearly launching myself out of my seat. The problem wasn’t one of force but one of hardware: a wheel had broken.

The chair was never going to roll. Even if I were the right height and heft to fit in the chair and even if I used the right technique and pushed with my feet instead of my hands, the chair would still be broken. It would still tilt when I need it to roll.

It only took one near unseating for me to change my strategy. Trying harder—using the same method—wouldn’t work. I didn’t have to prove the chair’s failure over and over.

The world—like my chair—is broken. The more force, the greater the tilt. Yet shove after shove after shove . . . it’ll roll again, right?


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