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Reader comment on Carl Honore's passage ...

Living at the Right Speed


On Feb 6, 2007 pavi wrote:

this reminds me of something i scribbled awhile ago on slow things :-)... Meandering leads to perfection - Lao Tzu :-) Come walk with me awhile no no don't hand me your excuses- i'll drop them on the floor (i'm clumsy like that) and they will break into a hundred hard-to-put-together-pieces and then you will have no more excuses at all- so you really might as well come walk with me now for awhile- since we're all on our way to perfection anyhow-and this moment you're holding was meant for meandering (a wonderful word that) and what it means is being very not in a hurry very willing to explore what's around the next bend and the next and the next and what a wonderful way is that to live in this world (a wonderful world this) know it is a gift to have that kind of time that kind of trust the time and trust that old people and children have and so do puppies the time and trust to smile with their hearts everytime you walk through the door and see how everybody talks about how everything these days is instant- everything from coffee to communication- but what i want to know is what about compassion? what about closeness? what about conversations sitting on the steps of the verandah and watching the clouds for the shape of a familiar face? i like slow things things that take more than an instant and allow you to blink without missing too much things that let you tilt your head to one side and look at them from different angles without disappearing on you and childhood is a slow thing- especially if you were a child in India summers of such spectacular sameness stretching before you like a small eternity dreaming through sultry summer nights waking to sultrier summer days where Time is a cast-off toy no longer important or interesting each day a measure of cheerful monotony and other slow things are buffalos who walk with unhurried magnificence gleaming black from the water they walk along the red ridge of earth next to the mainroad and have a way of looking down their distinguished noses at you and your workaday haste a leisurely long-lashed gaze that makes your breathlessness seem suddenly Undignified (because you see there is nothing more bafflingly dignified then a freshly bathed buffalo) bullock carts are slow too but they always make you a little sad such patient white faces with beautiful blackrimmed eyes nodding side to side in choiceless agreement under the heavy wooden yoke no body should have to work that hard without knowing why no body should be hit like that made to hurt like that with such impossibly high mountains of hay it makes a scratchy sweetsmelling sound and in the shade underneath the wooden cart a dirty hammock that would seem more fun if you weren't so worried about the bullock (someone's asleep inside) what else is slow is the lotus blooming because when i wake up she is shut and still sleeping- and there is no way i say to myself- there is simply no way that flower is going to get up and get ready in time for the day and i still haven't figured out how she does it so slowly that I can't see it happening and so fast that she's on time every time and if anyone's late it's flowergazing me and then there is too the slow of wisdom that comes sometimes not in a bright flash but in measured out moments strung together- wisdom that travels on foot and arrives much the same way- oh and the slow of silence the slow of companionship and the slow of the milkman who while he waits for you on the doorstep with his frothfilled bucket will spill a little milk on the ground for a small brown dog i like slow things things that bravely insist on living at the speed-of-life and not a split second faster though as the years grow you older that speed can seem to increase and there comes that imprecise moment when Time who for as long as you've known him has run on his hands (one hand shorter than the other but somehow he's managed to trundle along) Time gets up off his hands dusts off his palms shoots you such a challenging look of pity-and starts to run Catch-Me-If-You-Can such a sly thief- Time- and poets down the ages have hurled at him their graceful accusations but the guilty remains largely unabashed and decidely unrepentant and does it really matter- because- what do you want with so many possessions anyway? (no you don't have to answer that...yet) and lullabys are slow slowsung through the centuries under countless skies and in them all the loving poignancy pointed out by a man who might have been peter pan who once said little boys should never to be sent to bed because they always wake up a day older (and this you'll have to admit is true) and what else is slow is peeling pomegranates that eventually will give up their hoarde edible rubies in small whiteseeded heaps and slow too is the paperboat that doesn't pretend to have any purpose or place to go and the person who fashions it anyway for a child to hold in both hands and set free on slow waves with the wonder of one who has not yet learned to ask of this world- yes but what is your Point? there is a slow slowdawning realization that comes to a chosen few in this world that there is after all a brilliant point to pointlessness that belongs to the rainbow and the logic of the rose and speaking of roses there once was a boy called The Little Prince who once told a haughty rose that she was 'Beautiful but empty' and maybe what he was trying to get at was that beauty cannot hold anything on its own and that nothing means anything until it is cupped between the palms of love and yes he was an unusual boy The Little Prince what else is slow is writing a letter to some one who is far-away and thought-of writing it with black penstroke on white paper that carries the particular way you dot your i curve your c circle your o cross your t on paper unlined as the brow of a child so your sentences are an unsteady caravan making their way like uncertain nomads across a vast desert of fresh page meandering towards the palmtreed oasis of perfection in the quiet understanding of another -much like this.



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