The Art of Waiting (a new essay in Orion)

The other week, at a reading of his new book, Broadway Baby, the poet Alan Shapiro said something about writing that I had to repeat to my students: “Writing is a way of being happy. Even if you’re writing about something sad.” I’ve said similar things to them, but never as well as that.

“The Art of Waiting” is an essay I wrote for Orion magazine, one of my favorite publications. I’m so honored that Orion published my essay, which is probably the most personal and difficult piece I’ve ever written. But writing it–when things were very hard, and very sad for me–was a gift. It was a way of reminding myself not only that I’m not alone, but that the natural world is interesting, mysterious, and wonderful, and provides purpose and healing that we did not expect. Click here to read about Jamani the lowland gorilla, marmoset reproductive suppression, Virginia Woolf’s diaries, the sound of 13-year cicadas, and my efforts to come to terms with my own infertility.

(Pictured above: sunset in Siesta Key, Florida)


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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The Art of Waiting (a new essay in Orion)

  1. Belle,
    Beautiful writing. I love how you draw from nature. On a walk on the river shore yesterday, I thought about your essay, and it came to me that yearning creates a balance, like light and shadow. And we all yearn—some to nurture our creative selves, some to have a loving companion, some for children… and so many other things. You have the creativity and the companion, and I wish for you whatever else your four-leaf-clover heart desires:). Thank you so much for writing and sharing.
    Karen Tootelian (Chief and I)

  2. Well, Belle, we’re glad to feature you and fine, fearless writing. Erik, Orion

  3. Bill Diskin

    Thank you, Belle (and Orion) for sharing this piece. I wish this kind of thoughtful, heartfelt discourse was the norm in our society.

    Bill Diskin
    Charlotte, NC

  4. I am a new Orion reader of just a few months and was immediately drawn to your piece, simply because I wasn’t expecting something so…personal, perhaps? I shared your story with a friend of mine who is currently going through the same struggle. The connections we make with people can come from the most unexpected ways, of just going about our daily lives. All I did was read your story and I love the way it was told. I’m so eager to read more from you! Thank you.

    • Belle Boggs

      Thank you, Dena–and I’m sorry for the late reply here. I agree with you about the unexpectedness of connections and how comforting that can be; I met an amazing woman scientist just the other day at a friend’s aesthetician shop; we went kayaking and talked about her time in Kenya, studying baboon reproduction. I hope I’ll have a chance to write more about reproductive topics soon; there is a lot I’d like to say and a lot I’d like to discover.

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