July 13 2015Missed the bus this morning and hitched a ride with the driver of a red SUV…They’re not all bad, I told myself as he pulled over to pick me up.  He had just dropped his sweetheart off to work at the hospital on the other side of town and was driving home to Fairhaven.  Construction work is now proceeding on up the hill.  Cooler temperatures today after a night of rainfall and the air smells of wet earth and the perfume of green things.  I sat down for my usual knit, and C. came and joined me to swap stories about our prospective weekends.  She had gone to her first class in Centering Prayer, a form of meditation.  “The first 20 minute session felt like they would never end, the next 20 went better,” she told me.  Then Harvey the filmmaker came by and interviewed C. and D. on the bench.  I was really moved to hear my neighbors’ talk about their experience of the past 4 years of this project.  D. said that I was like a silent Pied Piper, attracting all kinds of people to the bench, primarily drivers of Volvos, he noted.  C. said her day felt “complete” when she saw me doing my hour of knitting each day.  We all agreed that we’ve become family by now and will keep in touch even after the knitting ends.  C. and D. left to work on stripping the front porch paint, while Harvey continued asking me thoughtful questions, pausing the videotaping often because of noisy passing cars.

I have been thinking about desire and waiting.  Suffice it to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for the line to reach the Bay and it is almost there.  I’ve been living in a state of subdued excitement for years.  Is it okay to start getting excited now that the consummation of this project is imminent?  I’m a passionate person, but life’s hard knocks have taught me to channel passion into patience, not to get attached to outcomes beyond my control.  That which I desire cannot be achieved overnight, but I now believe I will arrive.  How does one hold both the passion and the patience at the same time?  I would rather not live in the painful tension of sweet desire, but that’s a cop out and I know it.  There are no shortcuts.


4 thoughts on “Passion

  1. ravenandsparrow says:

    Ha ha…so you are a Volvo magnet. You can add that to your resume!
    Your project has yielded so many treasures over its long unfolding, mostly in the form of relationship and insight, and time is the key. Just being there, over and over, has cemented you into the neighborhood. Talking about it here has allowed it to grow beyond that neighborhood. Thank you so much! I will be a little sad when you reach the sea, but I think what you have made, in the larger sense, will continue to grow.

    • Christen Mattix says:

      You are very welcome! Thanks for making the journey with me. You’ve been wonderful. I’ve really appreciated the sincerity and depth of your words. And you know, I will be a little sad too. It’s a bittersweet time for me–both an end and a beginning. I don’t think the project is over–in many ways, I think its work in the world has just begun.

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