Perspective: The Impossible May Take A While

Mar 10, 2021

I woke up at 1:15 in the morning and reached for something boring to read so I could go back to sleep. It was a mistake. 

The book I found was The Impossible Will Take a Little While, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb.  Its subtitle was Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times.  And it was perfect…and imperfect.  

Perfect because it had 52 short essays by people I have admired for years. Brilliant thinkers and writers like Alice Walker, Desmond Tutu, Diane Ackerman, Vaclav Havel and John Lewis. Arundhati Roy, and Bill McKibben.  One of the best pieces was by Parker Palmer, a former sociology professor at Beloit College.

Wow!  Not casual reading. They were stories about grace. Imagination, courage, radical dignity, and justice.

Mr. Loeb’s book was imperfect for the job, though, because at 1:15am one does not want to be stimulated or inspired.   One wants to sleep!

I originally found that book, by the way, in a Little Free Library across from the Logan Museum of Anthropology on the Beloit College campus, where I also found a Japanese and English dictionary with the translation of the words wabi sabi: imperfectly perfect. 

My conclusion after four more hours without sleep that night? Maybe everything isn’t as hopeless as we are likely to think these days. 

I’m Rick Brooks, and that’s my perspective.