A Snail’s Pace
I’ve heard, lately, that blogs are dead.
Ah, my usual timeliness. Always on the downhill slope of a trend, or so it feels.
So why write this at all?
For a number of reasons –
1. Writing this blog holds me accountable to some sense of writing. If I want to continue to be a writer, I have to write.
2. At the end of the day, when the moment is quiet and I’m needing something, I sometimes look on the internet for words of inspiration in writings. Not quotes, but stories which leave me feeling a sense of wonder or joy about the world. I wasn’t finding enough of that so I thought I’d attempt my little corner of inspiration.
3. People have told me they enjoy what I write and that fills me up like nothing else. Knowing I have given somebody a moment of clarity or happiness? Truly makes my life fulfilled.
4. Most days the world and its inhabitants are fascinating to me. I am constantly writing about it and them in my head so I figured why not arrange the world on a blog. Others just might understand my viewpoint. Some might, anyway.
And so I will continue to write this blog, without monetary gain or fame or accolades or all that other stuff. Those, potentially, would be nice but my little corner of the world is small.
And I’m okay with that.
Today, I’m reminding myself of a few things about me, things I already know but somehow lose from time to time.
I’ve been feeling off for a few months, as if my brain is on fast forward, as if I can’t slow down enough to enjoy anything. When I try to read my mind wanders, when I sit down to write the words pour out of my brain like a raging river and my fingers, on the keyboard, cannot keep up. My mind can’t or doesn’t want to focus too long on one thing, and then when I do sit, I find I am surfing the internet.
Brain candy. Brain rot. Feels that way, anyway.
I went on vacation in August, a very busy vacation and came home to extra people for two weeks and then work began and then school and softball and karate and, and, and…breathe.
And when I cannot focus I turn to technology to slow me down, only I scroll and scroll and scroll, able to view a few hundred interesting houses I can never afford, read about celebrities I don’t give a damn about, spend a few minutes perusing the news websites, and end by trying to watch a TV show on my computer but even that doesn’t hold my interest.
Do you see the vicious cycle? I’m not entertained or even slightly interested in things I find on the internet yet I continue looking, as if right around the corner, Ah-HA! I’ll find it! That one thing I’ve been yearning to read/see/watch/listen to!!! And when it doesn’t happen, I continue looking, hoping just maybe, I’m almost there. And when it doesn’t happen again, I am filled with disappointment. Yet…
The next day I continue looking…hoping…
It’s like a short story I once read, called, “The Station.” You can read a version of it here.
I learned a long time ago not to apply the station to my life and I feel like I do a pretty good job. But what I didn’t see, what I didn’t anticipate, was the station creeping into my free time.
I know myself well enough. Letting go of technology and finding my way back to nature is my answer. Because nature moves at one pace, it’s own. I cannot scroll ahead, I cannot turn it off, and I cannot open its history to repeat anything.
In nature, I am simply, present.
I have begun my daily morning walks again. Certainly not every day, but when I can. On these walks, I breathe. I pay attention to the wind in the trees, I watch the sun rise, I wave to my neighbors cows. I let go. These walks calm my insides, where they become like the reflective surface of a lake on a sunny day, way more my norm than moving through life at the speed of a scroll on facebook.
So today, at the very least, I made myself walk slowly to our mailbox. I listened to the leaves which crunched under my feet; I noticed the maple is a little more yellow today than yesterday. The pines which line my driveway are dropping their needles, as if shedding them for the coming cold.
“Wrong thing to do before winter,” I tell them.
They don’t respond.
I have a feeling they know what they’re doing.
My life, our lives, are slow, relatively speaking. Softball practice and games, karate two times a week, these are the fun parts of life for my kids. On a rare occasion we race to get to where we need to go, but we seldom schedule two things at one time.
I find ways to slow myself down, when I can, because if I don’t, I fear I’ll go mad. I try to play music while I cook dinner, something jazzy and slow. Sometimes I accompany that with a glass of wine, a mug of beer. Sometimes I don’t. I take walks outside as often as I can, even around the outside of my house, to notice what is happening to my flowers and plants throughout the seasons. I read books. I write. I stop and don’t think, I just see.
A snail’s pace is the name of this blog, because life sometimes can get too busy and I feel it, all the way to my bones, and I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like to wake up in the morning, blink, and the day is gone.
I want to watch the red-shouldered hawk hanging out in the snag in my front yard.
I want to look at the moon through our telescope.
I want to cook delicious food, blending in some love and a little Miles Davis with every stir.
I, my kids included, want to move through life at a snail’s pace in order to savor and enjoy the moments we have, knowing more are around the corner, and not fly through our days, wondering where it all went.
There is a time and place, for me, when social media or the internet, are my muse but lately they have become the King and Queen. Time to give them less attention, to put them on the back burner and find my snail’s pace again.