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For those who aren't familiar with Five-Minute Friday, you should check it out! It's the perfect end-of-the-week, scrape-the-last-of-the-creative-juices-from-the-baseboards-of-your-brain exercise, and it's good people, too.
Children waiting in lines, in circles, in desk chairs with arms stretched taut learn the lesson early, and I learned it well: you wait your turn. But don't misunderstand: you don't wait to learn patience, or to glory in other people's turns, or to reach an epiphany and find that what you were waiting for wasn't what you really needed. You wait because your turn will come, like physical development, like multiplication tables, like gravity. It isn't important that you understand how, only that you bear with the waiting in order to receive your turn. Your hand can fall as you eagerly speak. You can stand and take your place.
What we don't learn--what it would be cruel to teach children--is that some turns don't come. You can be patient and quiet, can celebrate others' time in sun, can do every ounce of preparation and still be skipped, like just another duck in the circle. You legs can tremble with readiness, your arm can ache as muscles atrophy, and still you can wait uncalled upon. I don't know if this is true of me, but I know it's possible. I've realized, only recently, in that gut-level, full-awareness means of realizing, that my turn might not come. Not because the world is dark and cruel, not because God is mean or forgetful, not because I wasn't good enough--just because. Unexplainable, but unavoidable.
I watch a man show off cool science on a TV show: he floats an aluminum foil boat on nothing, bobbing on waves of pure air. The eyes squirm and insist it isn't possible, but it's right there in front of them. No amount of wishing will make it less real--even without understanding the whys (it's resting on a gas that's denser than oxygen, just like it would on water), it's irrevocably true.
My arm is tired. My crossed legs are ready to spring me into motion and give chase. But it's not my turn yet. C'est la vie, childhood Chandra. C'est la vie.