Wait Upon Your Story: Smack Dab in the Imagination by Dia Calhoun

Solstice means sun stand still. Can you even imagine that? I can't. Can't imagine the fact of that--myself standing outside looking at a shadow of a tree--waiting for it to move. Because we couldn't even see the sun stand still--would be blinded it we tried. We would only know the sun stood still because shadows stood still.

So both the sun and the dark through shadows--stand still. And what do we do when that happens?

Considered metaphorically, this stillness would be an opportunity for us to stop. To be still and to wait--for? the sun to move again? Our culture does not encourage or teach us either to wait or to be still--for anything. Waiting implies vast impatience. Wait in line. Wait for someone to call. Wait, wait, wait. I'm tired of waiting. I don't want to wait anymore...etc.

This is why I love something that Carl Jung wrote, which I quote not quite exactly, but close enough: "When you wait upon the silence it is not silence. And when you wait upon the darkness, it is luminous."

I'm trying to re-frame my concept of waiting, to turn it towards the idea of attending, or paying attention. This is especially helpful for any kind of creative work. How many of you writers out there ever purposefully stand still and "wait upon" your work? I invite you to try, for one hour, just sitting beside your story or poem, like sitting quietly with someone you love. No expectations. No striving. Only presence. After that hour, my guess is you will move forward again with your story with new eyes.


  1. I love the idea of purposeful waiting. I suffer from impatience and need to constantly remind myself that most things happen in their own time. As a writer, learning to wait with patience and a sense of openness is something worth cultivating.

  2. Very powerful idea. I am going to try it.


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