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June 6, 2006
I'm cleaning an unused room in little spurts -- ten minutes at a time, maybe twenty. Sometimes I put in an hour. It will take a long time, but who's in a hurry? It's been a junk repository for a long time, too. If I don't clean it, I'll still have to live the next couple of months ahead. I'll still be putting in time on this earth. Only I won't have a usable room at the end of it.

I have a number of long-term projects like that -- things I do in small helpings. The kitchen is one. The garden is one -- it has taken years to help it to its current beauty. Everything, in fact is like that: no large task is really a large task. They're all groups of small ones. Every book is a group of pages. Every day is a set of hours. Every child's dependent years a set of moments.

We think patience is the ability to do something for a long, long time. Actually, it's the ability to see time in short doses -- to be content with small victories, one by one by one. Patience is understanding that life is a series of brevities, each enjoyed or suffered in its time and then each over and done with, layered one upon another upon another in history, until a tower begins to form. One tower, and then another, and then a wall -- and someday, a city.
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