Slow down, you move too fast

Got to make the mornin’ last

Just kickin’ down the cobblestones

Lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy…

Earlier tonight I was tearing around the kitchen in my usual mad dash to get dinner – putting dishes away, feeding the dogs, preparing a marinade for the salmon, cleaning and chopping some carrots.  I was stymied by the lid on the Dijon mustard – despite my best efforts, I could not budge it. 

My husband, hearing the sound of my aggravated mutterings, got up from his “desk” at the dining room table, gently relieved me of the jar and popped the lid on the first try.

“If you’d just slow down a little bit things would work out better,” he advised me.

I know he’s right – and he certainly practices what he preaches, for he is a man who moves very slowly and deliberately through life.  His attention to detail is legend, and when he finally finishes a project it is perfect to every nuance.

Last week as we talked about writing in detail, several of you mentioned the necessity of “slowing down” in order to be aware and attuned to the details that make our writing come alive.  Brenda Ueland, one of my favorite “writers on writing,” calls it “moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering.”  It is only through taking time to let the mind and spirit wander free that our imagination goes to work generating and gestating ideas.  Because it’s not enough to just get an idea, is it?  The idea has to develop and grow, and actually turn into something that words can express.

How hard is it in your busy day to slow down?  We definitely “move too fast,” don’t we?  I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve even been in more of a hurry than I am these days.  Perhaps it’s because there is genuinely more to do, or perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and feeling the pull of life’s time clock.  Whatever the reason,  I believe the pace of life is much too harried for most of us.  And it’s a lifestyle that is not conducive to creativity.

“Our idea that we must be energetic and active is all wrong,” Ueland continues.  “Presently your soul gets frightfully sterile and dry because you are so quick, snappy and efficient about doing one thing after another that you have not time for your own ideas to come in and develop and gently shine.”  (If You Want To Write)

Interestingly enough, Ueland wrote those words in 1938.  So it isn’t just a 21st century dilemma after all! 

The lyrics of Paul Simon’s song have always made me smile, ever since I first heard them back in 1968 (or thereabouts). I think they perfectly describe the concept of “moodling”…tripping down a cobblestone road, looking for fun on an endless sunny morning…what could be more “groovy?” 

And what better way to let the imagination rejuvenate, so it can fill with wonderul ideas.

How about you?  Do you find yourself moving too fast through life?  What’s your favorite way to moodle and make the mornin’ last?   How does slowing down affect your creativity?

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