Tuesday, December 14, 2010


“In the pursuit of tomorrow, we often run into scheduling potholes — those waiting periods that force us to linger in the present tense. Stuck in the “now” (for how long, we don’t know), we must wait patiently for the next available ride into the future. It is a chance to take a breather. But no. Far from enjoying the lull, we feel frustrated, impatient, jittery. We look at our watches and are annoyed to find them still ticking. One of our worst fears is to be left behind as the world rushes toward its destiny.

“We firmly believe that time flows in a continuous stream, twenty-four hours a day, rain or shine. But, so far, no scientist or philosopher has been able to prove without a doubt that time goes in one direction, from left to right, from the past into the future. Sure, time can be measured, but it can be plotted only in relation to a number of other phenomena, like the position of the sun or the ticking of the energy inside atoms. In and of itself, time doesn’t seem to exist. No wonder we feel foolish when we are made to wait: We are trapped in an invisible cobweb of our own making. . .

“Waiting is not a prelude to the future. If anything, it is a prelude to the past. The precious minutes, hours, or days we invest anticipating an event—the return of a friend, the birth of a child, the purchase or a house, or the last chapter of a book—make everything more memorable. Take the time to wait: In doing so, you are manufacturing the stuff of your souvenirs. Dawdle in the present tense. Give your future a past to remember.”

[Source: 'The Art of Doing Nothing', by Veronique Vienne;]

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