I have not been well for the last week or so. Just a cold, nothing serious but I have be wiped out with some pretty heavy handed fatigue. So I have not been able to do very much, other than cut a few paper flowers. My brain is still a bit foggy this morning, as I write this from bed. I have been thinking quite a lot about patience and taking the slow road recently and I think being ill this last week has only reinforced that thought track.
I have felt quite ‘slow’ recently. Current western culture appears to move very fast to me, as if we are always seeking out the next thing, and then the next, without quite processing the things that came before. Sometimes this makes me feel like I’m not getting anywhere, like I’m stuck, because I’m still working on the thing before the last thing. I have plenty of juicy ideas, so I end up with a stack projects up for myself like other people stack up pancakes and maple syrup. This can be very frustrating, sometimes I see no progress at all.
This week I’ve had plenty of time to just sit with things, as I’ve not been able to do much. I was able to look a bit more carefully at the slow creep of my arts projects and see some progress. I seem to have deliberately chosen process and techniques that take time and require patience. I use hundreds of paper flowers in my art, each one cut by hand. I chose to animate parts of my documentary, rather than just cut film shots together. I am curious as to why I seem to choose the slow road so often.
Recently I swam 2 miles in the serpentine lake in London during the Swim Serpentine swimming festival. I chose breaststroke, a slower but sturdier stroke, than the majority of other swimmers. With each stroke I could see I was ever so slightly closer to the finish line. I saw many swimmers charged past in a splashy front crawl to begin with, only to find myself swimming past them later in the swim (not that I came anywhere near the front, I’m not athlete!). I guess the lesson for me in all of this is to value my slowness, and trust that the careful, creeping accumulation of work will eventually bloom in to something a bit more exciting.