A few weeks ago, I made risotto for the first time in a long time. It was so much comfort, so much toothsome creaminess, and I’ve been wanting to make it again since then. But, I haven’t. The reason I haven’t is because I’ve felt that I don’t have the time or patience. My weeks have been filled with reading and writing and staring at a computer, so much that by the time the day is done I’m wondering if the words I’m speaking are even making sense. I can’t imagine standing over the stove for the 30 minutes of stiring and adding broth and stirring. I want quick fixes, I want to pull something out of the fridge, eat it fast, and be done with it.

Yet, I’ve also been thinking a lot about patience and how I have lacked it and neglected it for too long. I got tired of feeling like I had to wait for other things and other people and other circumstances in order to proceed with what I wanted. So I made quick choices, I stopped being deliberate, I leaped and leaped and leaped. Which is all ok to an extent, but I think I’ve reached the end of my leaping for a while.

For one, I’m just plain tired. For two, I’m reminded of the things, like risotto, that take more time and that pay off in ways they never would if rushed. Bread must have patience to rise. Jam takes patience to set. Pickles require patience for curing. Risotto asks for an almost trance, a quick saute of vegetables and rice until they’re glossy and smell like toasty earth, a hiss of splashing wine, and then the slow pouring and stirring of broth into rice. And just when you think it’ll never be right, it is.

There’s something sizzly and exciting about quick decisions, snap judgments, just going for it. It’s hard to be patient when you’re broke as hell and don’t exactly know where or how to be and feel like you’ve flung all your blood and tears and love into the universe with a slim garuantee of returns. But I want to pursue that quiet patience anyway. I want to be somewhere long enough, in a place or in a life, to plant and tend a tree. I want to learn all I can about the places where I am, so I can share that knowledge with new seekers and cultivate lasting bonds. I want to sink into the art of waiting like it’s warm water lapping at my cold feet.

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