I’m No Longer Waiting For …

I read this poem as today’s first writing prompt in our afternoon writing class. The prompt was to use the repeating line: “I’m no longer waiting for…”

Advent of Midlife

I am no longer waiting for
A special occasion;
I burn the best candles on ordinary days.
I am no longer waiting for
The house to be clean;
I fill it with people who understand that
Even dust is sacred.
I am no longer waiting for
Everyone to understand me;
It’s just not their task.
I am no longer waiting for
The perfect children;
My children have their own names
That burn as brightly as any star.
I am no longer waiting for
The other shoe to drop;
It already did, and I survived.
I am no longer waiting for
The time to be right;
The time is always now.
I am no longer waiting for
The mate who will complete me;
I am grateful to be so
Warmly, tenderly held.
I am no longer waiting for
A quiet moment;
My heart can be stilled whenever it is called.
I am no longer waiting for
The world to be at peace;
I unclench my grasp and
Breathe peace in and out.
I am no longer waiting to
Do something great;
Being awake to carry my
Grain of sand is enough.
I am no longer waiting to
Be recognized;
I know that I dance in a holy circle.
I am no longer waiting for
Forgiveness.
I believe, I believe.

— Mary Anne Perrone, published in National Catholic Reporter December 15, 2006

And here’s the response from one of my students, Tasha Paley, from New York City. I got to hold her hand in the waterfall today, and this afternoon in class, she wrote this:

I am no longer waiting for Santa Claus to come. Everyday is Christmas if I rise with awareness.

I am no longer waiting for fresh gingerbread from Gretel’s cottage. My cottage lives inside me and goes with me where I go.

I am no longer waiting for Mr. Right. First of all, it may be Ms Right, for all I know. Secondly, I am the Ms Right I’ve been waiting for and am growing into, like the Rock That Grows; like my socks that fit snugly over my feet.

I am no longer waiting for autumn to arrive. Perhaps it is autumn now, the autumn of my life, which is a resplendent season ripe with the perfume of gentle tide.

I am no longer waiting for someone else to figure it all out for me. I am not meant to figure it all out. In fact, if I am guided to do the next right thing, then days will unfold like a magic carpet

I am no longer waiting for answers to the mystery. I think I have always loved the mystery but it is not the game of blind man’s bluff it used to be.

I am no longer waiting for a perfect score card. Perfection and I parted ways a long time ago, thank goodness. Perfection was an agony. Acceptance is my very best friend and when I stroke my heart it breathes life into me.

I am no longer spinning in circles, running to EST for the magic bullet, therapist shopping for the wisest shrink in town. I learn from others. I am teachable. Even on this trip to Bali. Especially when I slow down to invite in quiet, to invite you in, to breathe space between my bones.

I am no longer waiting for an instruction manual. Although there is guidance it doesn’t come to me like a white knight on horseback but it surprising ways—the pink bud that sat amongst the green quietly by the roadside as I walked with my buddy Sharon; the curve of grooves in my chopsticks, the celebration of a friend’s birthday, the dream at night that does for me what I cannot do for myself.

I am no longer waiting to be an artist. In fact we all are. I am your midwife and you are mine. And lets not forget the Source, the greatest midwife of all.

I am no longer waiting for you to call or someone to say speak up to cure the boredom. If I want something I must say something. Clearly. With prayers for willingness.

I am no longer waiting for the harsh voice of judgment to be cast away. I simply say “Bless you, Change me” and it melts.

I am, however, waiting for death. It walks beside me even on the best of days. It continues to be my task to make friends with it.

​​​​​Tasha Paley
​​​​​Bali
July 11, 2018

Photo by Marsha Morgan.

Photo by Sarah Perkins.

8 thoughts on “I’m No Longer Waiting For …”

  1. J’attend certainement une lumier douce
    D’une amie qui allumera c’est jolie bougie
    En regardant cette si jolie flamme qui
    Dance sous les rythmes d’après soupir.
    J’attend certainement un bien être d’une porte qui s’ouvre et a travers je vois te
    Chose se hâte de me voir entre

    1. Dear Mokrani, without my daughter here to translate your words, I’m afraid I can’t read them or appreciate them. But thank you for visiting my site and sharing your story.

  2. Beautiful, empowering, perfect guidance, worthy of being re-read frequently. Thank you!

  3. I loved the poem you read to your students and especially love what one of your students wrote with the prompt.
    However, I was a bit uneasy that the author, Mary Ann Perrone was not acknowledged as the original Poet.

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