Slow Pace Living

My film Slowly Ascending was the starting point for a discussion on Slow Pace Life at the John Gray Centre. It was great to see the film on a big screen after months of looking at it on my laptop. It really benefits from being in a darkened space. The audience had more of an immersive experience and some, having rushed to come straight from work, commented on how they felt themselves become calmer just watching the slow rhythmic movement onscreen.



Some of the walk participants spoke of their experience in walking slowly and how it was necessary to surrender their own will and become part of the group, moving at someone else’s pace. Once they let go they relaxed and noticed the smell of the grass or the sound of the birds. For Anna, it sparked her creativity and, without her camera, she was able to begin taking mental snapshots that evolved into a haibun.

There are moments in the film where we are swaying and rocking as we walk, moving seemingly as one. From a distance, in our high-viz jackets and black leggings, looking like a caterpillar inching its way across the landscape. For Pam, it felt as if the rest of the world was moving too quickly and we were the only ones who had the pace right. Other walkers passed by, most hardly bothering to look but the children stopped and stared and we could hear one asking “Are they hypnotised, Mum?”

It does seem strange to do things slowly in the world today. Our lives are governed by the clock, by the need to get things done and not miss out on all the opportunities we have presented to us. Yet in rushing we miss out on so much anyway, loosing contact with ourselves and getting caught in the “options paralysis” that too much choice brings. “‘Tis a gift to be simple” as the words of the old song go.

I was reflecting on this earlier today as I was making hot cross buns for the Easter weekend. It is a slow process, you can’t hurry the rising dough. You have to shut the kitchen door and give your full attention to what you’re doing. It’s a lovely ritual, like making the mince pies at Christmas or jam in the summer and it’s a ritual that provides a break in the frenetic and constant pace of contemporary life and brings us back to the moment.













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