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Patience: Its Presence and Absence

January 29, 2010

Overdoing it. Refusing to slow down, pause, call it off, reassess.

Gluttony and tendency the to not learn that lesson, no matter how many times it’s presented to you.

It starts early, the desire for instant gratification. The good thing should hurry up and arrive NOW.

This year, I taught myself the art of waiting by spending more time in the kitchen. Pastry that has to chill, for a good reason. Preserving, conserving and canning, and the importance of letting jars process the prescribed ten full minutes. Citrus wine that needs to ferment, and marmalade that gets made only once you first wait forty days for the wine to finish doing its thing and the rinds to be strained. Stews that really mean it when they say three hours till the meat is tender.

A firm yet delicious lesson in patience, anticipation, and doing other things while I wait.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2010 7:34 pm

    We live in a world of instant gratification, I think we (or at least I) have lost the joy that comes from seeing a long, difficult project through to completion. Learning to have patience is one of the most difficult things a child has to learn, and, unfortunetly, in a world of fast food, TiVo, and the omni-present internet ready to answer all of our questions, patience is one of the things that has been pushed to the sidelines.

    I love to cook and bake, but never considered the time, for instance, that bread takes to rise helping me form patience. Thank you for helping me look at the world in a new light.

    • welltailored permalink*
      February 1, 2010 7:41 pm

      I learned patience the day I tried to rush candy. Soft, creamy toffee will not tolerate a hurried attitude!

      : )

  2. February 6, 2010 1:46 am

    As a 20-something, travelling in (former) Communist East Europe, I managed to confuse the idea of patience with “stoic indifference.” This done while waiting in long, inevitible lines of grey people, with the same inevitable disappointments in store at the end of the lines.

    But that was just practice. I honed the skill of patience/indifference as a professor, nodding sympathetically while a student argued for a grade change, me having decided long before that it wasn’t going to happen. (If they cry, though, I can be moved)

    Really, though… from a practical point of view, it’s always so much easier to be patient when you bring along something to read. If you’re trying to be patient in a relationship, though, well … that’s another story. Maybe that’s when one needs to take up pastry.

    • welltailored permalink*
      February 6, 2010 10:41 am

      Pastry, and a book in your pocket or purse. You have those things and you’re all set.

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