Saturday, October 6, 2007


Michelangelo - "Genius is eternal patience."

Patience gets a bad rap these days. Everyone's in a hurry. Where are we going? Anytime you mention anything that requires craftmanship, someone will say, "Oh, I don't have the patience for that."

My calligraphy pieces require an investment of approximately seventy hours over a course of two to three weeks. And patience. One small mistake due to rushing one of the numerous steps involved can mean the loss of hours of work. Patience is paramount.

The best things in life required patience...reading, writing, enjoying a sunset, making love, having a baby. All require patience.

Patience isn't just about taking time. It's about investing time in the activity--whatever that might be--whether it's driving on a crowded freeway or reading a book to a hyperactive toddler. Patience is a learned skill. We don't naturally have patience. We learn patience by experiencing what happens when we don't have it.

My friend Amarinda teases me by calling me the Zen Queen. The truth is that I have learned through often brutal experiences that a lack of patience can be at best a prelude to distaster. At it's worst, it can be deadly. That unwillingness to invest time in everyday activities like eating regular meals, making sure we sleep enough hours, and sorting out medications so that we take the correct amounts, accounts for some frightening near-death experiences.

"I don't have the patience," is a cop out. What we really mean by that statement is "I have no interest in investing the time to do that." That's okay. It's an honest statement. If we actually spoke that sentence every time the issue came up, it would serve as a wake up call.

Whether it's growing a vegetable garden or sewing tiny beads on a wedding veil or reading Pilgrim's Progress, all require patience. Many of lifes best experiences are missed because we lack patience.

Years ago, when my daughter was quite young, she had speech problems (actually, she didn't talk at all!) One day, I had an appointment somewhere--I don't even remember what it was--so I bathed and dressed her first and then admonished her to stay clean while I dressed. After rushing around to get ready, I went out into the living room and there was my precious little girl with peanut butter smeared from end to end...on the table...on the chair.

She looked up with this gleeful grin on her face and spoke. "I make sanmich. I love you."

Hmmm. Patience is a virtue that leads to things of beauty. That might be arriving at your destination safely. Or it might be the gift of love.


Don't forget to stop by Kelly's blog for her Sunday quote. And then pop over to Amarinda's blog where she's showcasing Barbara Huffert's newest release, My Last Dark Day And then? Invest time in enjoying the weekend.


  1. I will never have the patience to read Pilgrims Progress. I tried to at University but I lost consiousness mid way. Thankfully Cliff notes were invented for the impatient. The Scarlett Letter? Cliff notes. War and Peace? Cliff notes. Thank you Cliff whomever you are. You know when you think about it Cliff is the perfect man -precise, to the point, leaves you feeling fulfilled and when it's over you can put him back on the shelf and get a fresh one.

  2. I had to read The Odyssy out loud in order to stay awake while reading it.

    As to yesterday's comments...ever read the greek play Lysisistra (sp?)? That's me at the moment...only I'm not trying to keep him from going to war! Result? He's been veeeeery nice to me this weekend! I might give in right before he leaves tonight, hee hee!

    Ahhh...the power a woman holds when the man is needing some!

  3. I'd like to say I'm patient. I think I'm patient most of the time until it comes to large crowds of people and loud noises or repetitive loud noises. Or as Anny puts it: I don't have the interest of dealing with those issues or spending time working through them.

  4. Great reminder about being patient. I've lost a great deal of my patience since moving to Los Angeles so I'm working hard to get it back. Sometimes it's hard to slow down and stop the tapping foot but it is worth it.