Slow up, slow down

“Haste makes waste.”

This is so musty and quaint, it’s nearly turned to ashes. Everything must be fast, faster than fast, almost simultaneous, as in live TV news, instant messaging, mobile connections, cell phone photography, Skype sightings. It’s all part of the sensationalism of our world. If you’re not having sensations, ideas, questions, answers, every minute, you’re not alive, circa 2013. Animation, resolution, choice, decisions, action is what counts. Yoga people call it “monkey mind.”

Have you noticed that the car that raced ahead of you usually ends up waiting at the same red light you do? Speed limits on the roads don’t mean anything anymore. In fact, if you follow them, you’re considered a bad driver. It’s OK to have a microwaved, soggy baked potato instead of a crisp-skinned oven-baked potato because, after all, you saved 23 minutes. Well, I guess if you’re going to use that 23 minutes to write a great poem, or wash the car, that’s OK.

But living life slower can be a revelation. You’ll see things you never noticed before. The color of people’s eyes. The mistake on a restaurant check. The first red tomato. Was that painting always on that wall? Because there’s not enough time, spelling and punctuation in emails is downright insulting.

Doing everything fast as you can, getting it over with, subtracts life.  Your thoughts, musings, revelations, a-ha moments, are condensed into a blur as if they really didn’t happen. Eating slowly, recommended digestion-wise for ages, is the only way to really taste food, appreciate the texture, color, succulence.

“Take your time” is a profound phrase. Take your time. The first thing that happens is: you don’t take anything for granted. And that equals appreciation and that can actually lead to happiness.

People seem to automatically, subconsciously slow down as they get older. Maybe that’s why quickness is revered. As soon as you seem to be contemplating, you’re not considered young anymore. But isn’t that absurd? Slowing down and slowing up can lead to unexpected pleasures. It just takes practice. And good timing.