One of the most complicated things we do as people is to wait. We wait for news. We wait for change. We wait for word from people we miss. We wait for doctors to tell us what we already know (or fearfully worry we know). No matter the reason, the experience of waiting defies ready description. Here, with that by way of introduction is a very brief effort.
Time loses its bearings. Some minutes take hours. Some days take weeks. The phone or email stops being something you check and becomes an odd (and inseparable) part of you. And no matter how careful you are to make sure you won’t miss the word when it comes, it seems never to come.
Books stop being able to distract. Work starts to seem less important than it is. Movies you know are funny are not. In the waiting, there is a palpable sense of loss. A knowledge that nothing is the same now and that what it looks like next depends entirely on what (if it ever arrives) the word actually is.
For while waiting, we are at sea. Hoping that the shore is in reach — waiting for the words that let us know what to expect when we arrive. Because we will arrive at some point.