Today, my thoughts are turning to August 30th – not too far away now, of course. But I have been waiting for August 30th for several months at this point. I know, in a manner of speaking, we’ve all been waiting for it – nobody (that we know of) has a shortcut to get them from, say, March to October in the blink of an eye, just in case they don’t feel like living through all the days in between. The reason I can’t wait for this specific day, though, is because there’s something in particular happening then, the thoughts of which have been tickling around inside my skull since before the summer.
I’ve been looking forward to it in much the same way I used to look forward to Christmas, or my birthday, as a kid. The waiting is all part of the experience, I think. It adds something to the eventual pleasure of having your expectations fulfilled; it makes the whole thing feel somehow greater. I wonder, though, if this mind-set is something I have because I’m a child of a certain era, an era in which we had no choice but to wait if we wanted something. There was no ‘instant-download’ this, no ‘one-click purchase’ that. I think, and I know it’s not a new thought by any means, that humanity lost something important when it jettisoned its ability to wait, to anticipate, to look forward to the unexpected, or uncontrollable, arrival of something which is desired. Soon, if our entertainment purveyors can’t download happy experiences directly into our brain before we’ve even thought of what we’d like to do, or see, or hear, we’ll consider it a travesty of justice. As my mother would say: God forbid.
So here I am, the soul of patience.
The event on August 30th? The new novel by my lifelong hero, Alan Garner, entitled ‘Boneland’, will be published. I have it on order, from an actual bricks-and-mortar bookshop. I can’t wait.