Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lessons in the Art of Slow

It's sad, really. How we hurry and blurry our way from our day to day to night. I struggle with it. I watch my life pass by like the leaves in autumn, caught in a flurry of chill breeze. Why am I here? This job, I mean, not earth. Is this reason enough reason to stay? What of my life, my real life? The one that throbs and pulses in side, that strains against convention and "office appropriate" attire. The one that suffocates every morning on the ride in, that cries out for five pm.

Home again, home again, or so the saying goes. I stagger in, put down the bag, pet the cat, kick off my shoes. I put on real clothes, the kind my soul an stretch out in. Then it's dinner, then it's decision. Art or Writing? Yes, they are the same, but different mediums. There is another. Exercise? No time. I breathe and dive in. Plunge through the ice. My fingers click clack, my back bends over a vat of pulp. But am I really present? Am I really there?

Slow down. Breathe. Really breathe. In yoga they tell you each movement is a breath. An inhale, an exhale. I struggle even with that. Downward dog, exhale. I breathe shallow, hurrying to the next pose of my sun salute (too often a moon salute). What's going on here? Where did I go wrong.

A call. A challenge. Not quiet this time but loud and demanding. It's my life. Slow down, it says. Breathe. No really. Breathe. Feel the air enter your lungs. Expand until they are about to burst, when your vision goes dizzy and you feel like an over filled balloon too close to a needle. Exhale. Through a tiny hole in the mouthpiece. Let it whistle and whoosh. Do it again, and again, and again. Elongate your muscles, stretch your spine. Let the worries and woes of the day leak onto the floor and run between the boards. They'll evaporate. They'll be gone.

Why is it so hard to slow down? I tell myself it's because I have precious little time to pursue my dreams. I'm not the only one. This I know. But how does one cope? No. How does one decide, resolutely, without flinching, to take up their sword and march into battle, no matter how weary, how hungry, how bone dry? I need a refill, a rest. I need to go away for a week. A place I've never been. A place where I can find myself again.

Then the small voice would return. The one that speaks only truth. I would hear and shed years of grime from the hurry. I would hear and listen. I would return and obey. Oh, precious respite. Now my challenge be to find YOU.


Eva said...

You described a present feeling in me lately. Eloquently put. You are an amazing writer.

Auntie Cake said...

Oh yes, I am always in a hurry from one place to another as well. T do try and slow down. It seems the older I get, the faster I need to do something. Get somewhere. I do try and slow down. Enjoy the route it took to get there.
PS- I would adore living in a steampunk world too!