October 25, 2018

Food for Thought

The word “pending” has bad connotations but if nothing was pending, life wouldn’t be enjoyable. In fact, everything in life is always pending. The moment a restaurant receives an A, the next one will be pending. The A only refers to the past—what it was.

We want certainty. We want it now. That’s why “pending” is frustrating. But if everything in life was certain, why do anything? If you knew in advance how the ramen from a particular restaurant will taste, why bother going? If you knew in advance exactly what your dinner date will say, why bother talking to her? If you knew how the movie was going to end, why bother watching? You’d just be going through the motions like meaningless rituals.

Some people I know have been nursing their own novels and films for decades. Their magnum opuses are always pending. Why? Whether they know it consciously or not, what is enjoyable is the pending state. As soon as they complete their projects and they are evaluated by the world, they will have to find something else that will be pending. If you are not in a habit of frequently starting something new, it’s not easy. The beginning stages of anything tends to be boring (after the initial excitement over the idea) because, for something to be “pending,” it must have a direction and a momentum.

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