Sunday, February 17, 2008

s l o w

I was supposed to be meeting some friends to go to an exhibition this afternoon followed by Dim Sum. One friend cancelled due to being ill so we put the outing on hold.

Instead I sauntered across to the supermarket walking along the park and admired the spring crocuses which are blooming. I bought a kitchen timer at Woolworths and then browsed in a clothes shop. Finally I did some food shopping bought a sunday paper as I had an article on my filmmaker hero Derek Jarman.

Back home I got out the timer set it for 15 mins and did some of the washing up and cleaned the grill. Then I hung out the washing in the cold clean February air. I sat for a bit and sewed up squares, drank coffee and read the newspaper. Then I went outside and planted the snow drops and foxgloves I'd brought back from the country last weekend. Finally I started a batch of bagels. I haven't made any for at least 6 months.

I would have thought this a very unproductive day about 5 years ago but I'm slowly learning that I need time, time to mull over things, time for creativity to grow slow roots underground, time to center myself, time for noticing. I think more of the pleasures of slow than I used to. I'm less admiring of people who perhaps 'achieve' a lot but skate past on the surface of life. I have to re-learn the pleasures of slow over and over again. Occasionally I start thinking I'm too 'slow' I 'should' be doing this or that but as soon as I get onto a timetable that is not right for me I can feel that giddly out of control unconnectedness that dominated my life for far too long.

On a related note we never give ourselves the leaway for processing life changes - a student will appologise for not writing in many months, then will elaborate on a job change, a family situation and a third stressful event. Regaining our equilibrium takes time.

On a related note slow & idle parenting by Tom Hodgkinson

I'm off to check on the status of my bagels.


helena said...

Yes, we do need time for slow...that is one of the big lessons I learned this year.

Great minds think alike. I cleaned my oven this weekend too and discovered that the most hassle way to clean off the brown stains on the metal shelves is to pop them in the bath (or a bucket) with hot water and a tab of biological washing powder, leave them to soak for a couple of hours and then just wipe clean! They come up all silver and shiny again! (you can put your fridge shelves in too as I also discovered!)

Kay Pere said...

Yum! Bagels. Good slow food. Do you have a recipe you can share?

m said...

Kay here is a link to when I posted the recipe. from Claudia Rodin's Complete Jewish Cookery. One has to make them by hand here as the nearest decent bagel will probably be manchester or London (there is a 24 h our bagel bakery in Brick Lane)