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Hurry Up and Wait

Janet Kuypers 05/30/09

People are rushing, don’t have time for breakfast after you slammed the alarm snooze button three times, stumble out of bed, you’re clean enough, forget the shower, clean up your face, smooth your hair, put on your work clothes, grab the briefcase, lock the door, spped up but avoid the sweat of a near sprint to make it to the el train, the bus stop. You can grab a muffin and coffee once you get into work, you think, as your light pant doesn’t change once you’ve stopped at the stop. You’ve still got places to be, check your watch, look down the street, where is your carrier, you need that vehicvle to get you to where you need to be. Pace a bit. Adjust your clothes. Check your watch again. This is corporate America, you think, hurry up and wait.

The world rotates over a hundred thousand miles an hour. Everything is spinning. Observe the world. See more and more, but feel connected less and less.
Is it possible to relax where you least expect to?


When people would take smoke breaks at work, you know, 20 minutes outside their office highrise every other hour, I thought, if they can take smoke breaks like that, I can take one or two 40-minute breaks a day to walk up and down those 42 flights of stairs. At least it’s healthier than smoking.
Well, if I can do things like that, if I can pick up recyclable garbage left on the street after thinking people are pigs for throwing recyclable trash out like that (because if I don’t do something after I complain I’m almost as bad as they are), if I can make choices like that, maybe I can look for peace, or even meditate, anywhere.
Even at a bus stop.
If you could find some time to just stop, after an hour the earth would have moved six hundred thousand miles.
I wonder, when the world is spinning like this, if you could meditate, mentally step outside it all. Gain a new perspective. Come to peace with everything.
I wonder what people think of me if I do this.
But I wanted to see if I could finally relax.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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