Friday, December 12, 2008

A Slower Pace

These days everyone is in a hurry; a tizzy, if you will. In my business, journalism, there are so few of us doing so much that it seems incumbent upon me to hurry, get the job done and move on to the next project.

It’s a mistake.

I have to slow down. I cannot be in such a hurry. I cannot rush my life, lest I miss the details.

The beauty is in the details; you know? Those little moments which shine in that instant when you’re probably not paying attention because, well, you’re in a hurry to get the job done.

I awoke early one morning recently. I am not the earliest of risers, yet I was awake after a weekend of being ill. Of course, being ill is usually my cue that I’ve been in too much of a hurry. It’s also my cure, forcing me to slow down and nurse myself back to health.

So I awakened and the house was quiet. The sun had barely made itself known, a sheath of light frost glistening atop the hood of my old red pickup truck.

I brewed a cup of coffee and, determined not to wake the rest of the house, sat at the kitchen table with a book. It was a book of poetry, Robert Frost. There’s little that starts a day off at such a pleasant pace than Frost’s prose describing walks in the woods, or snowy evenings when a man is stranded at the home of a friend.

And so I sat there reading Frost and my mind slowed to a reasonable pace. Words no longer hurried through my brain like a frantic rush-hour expressway, telling me that I have this to do, or that. And I took notice of the world around me.

Taking notice of the world around me is paramount to what I do; write. I cannot successfully convey to you the thoughts of others, the trends of the world, the concerns or the missives unless I have taken that deep, satisfying breath that sets me on a slower pace, allowing me to see for myself, through contemplative eyes, that there is a grand patchwork quilt out there, prime for the picking of someone who makes his way through the day with words.

Later in the morning I walked to work. My old truck is intuitive and knows when I need to walk. Her radiator busted once more, so I strolled the mile in the cool morning air, the sun coming down on me just enough to warm my shoulders.

It was an uneventful walk, saying hello to this person and that. Yet it meant more to me, perhaps, than the quicker drive with the radio blaring nothing but commercials that crowd my thinking.

And then here, at my desk, I run across so much more than the lists I have left for myself, telling me I’d best be in a hurry. Don’t waste time, you know, because there is so much on your plate.

And I slow down long enough to see so much more than the list and things unfold; words like these that gush from my mind, through my fingertips to a piece of virtual paper on a screen.

No, I cannot be in such a hurry, because although there is much to do, there is far too much to miss. And if I miss something, I’m really not doing my job anyhow; I’m just in a tizzy, missing the details of my life.

By Robert Kelly-Goss
Albemarle Life Editor
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Original Article HERE