Slow Culture, Fast World
The honeymoon is over. The bubble has popped. Reality slammed me in the face at 6 am this morning.
That tender space of suspending thinking, in which you float between the time you return from vacation and the return to the day-to-day, is filled with wonder. Your brain has emptied. Your thoughts are fluid. Your consciousness is elevated. You are on a cloud, feet barely scraping the ground. You wonder how long you can keep up the feeling. You hope it lasts far longer than it will. But you hope nonetheless.
“Maybe it will be different. This time.”
And then Monday morning comes. You wake up before the alarm with a startled thought. It’s nothing really. You made a less than optimal decision about something so banal that it’s not even worth thinking about. But you do. And then you get mad that your bliss has been disrupted by something so meaningless.
Just yesterday I chat with my neighbor, revealing I had just returned from the most life-changing trip to Nepal and India. His eyes lit up and he began his tirade about what’s wrong with Western civilization.
“Why do we keep running? Toward what?”
He summed it up beautifully.
“We are distracting ourselves from the thought of death.”
Perhaps he is right, I thought. But I wasn’t ready to take on those thoughts just yet. I guarded my bubble carefully, going on to my yoga class for a moment of “Om”.
In the evening I wasn’t feeling particularly fearful or distracted or worried or annoyed. I drank lots of water and went to bed early. And then morning came with the reality that I had some even harder decisions to make that might rattle even the most Zen-like person. I watched my age-old fear awaken from its slumber, stilled only for the time it took me to realize it is alive and well.
Stay in your center, stay in your center, I told myself as I brushed my teeth, feeling like Julia Robert’s character, Elizabeth Gilbert, in Eat, Pray, Love.
Momentarily, I have regained ground on myself. Filled with Slow Culture, I cannot deny that it feels strange to be back in a fast, fast world.
The feeling is slipping slightly. I have lost a noticeable grip on the ephemeral sensation of alignment. But I know where to get it when I really need it.
Deep within in the archives of my memory of what has been, what is and what shall be.