Are we there, yet?
Wait for it...
Time, creator, is on our side. Or maybe its working entirely against us, eroding our effort, diminishing our resources.
Or was that saving our resources, slowly acquiring more strength? Preparing for the moment when we spring into action?
Time, creator, can make us crazy. Don't let that be the case.
From our first moments in life, our constant consciousness has just stretched on and on and on. Sure, we take some naps along the way but we always return to what is happening right now and then go on.
Time is now. Its always now.
Recent writers have coined the term "The Long Now," reminding us of something the ancients knew:
that consciousness goes on and on and,
if we want to be competent in our creativity, we work with time to get things done as they can be done to prepare for the moment of our most perfect expression. That understanding embraces action, non-action, boredom, fury - the full gamut of the speed of accomplishment and its apparent absence.
Creator, you are only here to create - to change the state of things and to experience what that feels like.
When understood in this light - that creation happens constantly, that it is eternal, we learn to live a steady, whirring hum of transformation.
Sometimes, we let that loose and make things happen in distinctive, dramatic ways.
Other times, we let the hum just quietly purr without obvious motion.
I see a cat napping, then pouncing when it recognizes movement against the ground.
Culture has not prepared us to be occupants of this "The Long Now." We're trained to be the slaves of instant gratification. We're bred for outcomes. They whip us if we don't deliver outcomes when they expect them.
We want things when we want them. We don't want to wait.
I can think it up in nano-seconds so give it to me in nano-seconds.
The "Long Now" of life, is not, however, all big outcomes, not finished products but, rather, an endless train of small changes, minor accomplishments. Behind every finished creation is a great trail of tiny, almost invisible achievements. We are almost never impressed by these but they form the substance of all of our efforts and they integrate together to form the complex systems we are all symbiotic with.
Take any example you wish. Imagine anything you want to accomplish. It is formed from detailed steps strung together in sequence to fabricate completion.
Achievement is fashioned from consistent, focused attention to a complex changing state.
I have long worked for high net-worth clients. Because they were people of means, some (but not all) thought that meant they could always get what they wanted NOW! What they asked of me, however, was always born of the complex, thoughtful and carefully integrated. They wanted the well-crafted and unique - one of a kind and typically something never before created.
These projects took time to create.
That conflict between the required time for quality and the client's need for instant gratification taught me to schedule milestones showings of progress where they could see obvious change, apparently significant progress. Often, these milestones were somewhat contrived, out-of-sequence, forced to look more completed than they actually were.
Because they were incapable of recognizing the actual, tedious work and time required to accomplish their project, I would show them obvious change they could see and feel. Once they got that, I would disassemble this show-and-tell and return to the endless, sequenced stream of invisible accomplishments that would eventually fulfill their desire.
A lifetime of this taught me that the true, creative life is deeply invisible and can only be appreciated by the creator in first person.
If I wish to create it, no one will ever recognize what I'm doing. They'll only see the end product of that effort.
It was thought up in nano-seconds. It was created in nano-seconds. Billions and billions and billions of them. The creator resides there the whole time within the details. That is the "Long Now."
This is true both for those we create for and for ourselves. Any of our personal goals are products of many things - many beyond our ability to control. They take time. They have their own time. They may come together or completely fall apart.
When we create, we manage the rise and fall of our creation and adjust our plans and efforts accordingly.
When we say things are a work in progress, we mean it.
We are the directors of that process and our mastery grows as we learn to direct the "Long Now" of our creation. So, wait for it.... steady as she goes. We're not going anywhere.
And that, we are in for the duration.