During the months we’ve been slowing down in an attempt to decipher and heal an illness, potent writings on the theme of slow have come to us randomly, lending insight into what we’d been discovering but didn’t quite yet know, as well as a kind of guidance.
First, Bob Dylan, in a 1960 interview with Rolling Stone, 28-years-old and already looking back sagely:
Boy, I hurried… I hurried for a long time. I’m sorry I did. All the time you’re hurrying, you’re not really as aware as you should be. You’re trying to make things happen instead of just letting it happen. You follow me?
The guy was some kind of wise man prodigy, understanding that awareness and presence are essential to living, and that hurrying is often an attempt at control. Letting things happen is a much more interesting and satisfying way to go. Though it can take some getting used to.
Yes, Bob, we follow you.
But here’s the point: in ‘hurrying up’ all the time, we often lose sight of the abundance of resources that might help us meet today’s most challenging crises. We rush through into the same patterns we are used to. Of course, there isn’t a single way to respond to crisis; there is no universally correct way. However the call to slow down works to bring us face to face with the invisible, the hidden, the unremarked, the yet-to-be-resolved. Sometimes, what is the appropriate thing to do is not the effective thing to do.
Slowing down is thus about lingering in the places we are not used to. Seeking out new questions. Becoming accountable to more than what rests on the surface. Seeking roots. Slowing down is taking care of ghosts, hugging monsters, sharing silence, embracing the weird….
…The idea of slowing down is not about getting answers, it is about questioning our questions.
Akomolafe goes on to show how slowing can cause radical shifts in how we see ourselves in the world, and provide unexpected answers to urgent questions that face us. It can mightily impact politics, social institutions, the status quo. We especially love the that slow can be a way to rediscover resources and solutions by helping us to stop habitual patterns fueled by the pace at which we once moved.
We’ve come to realize that slow is just going at our own true pace.