April 29, 2014

Why Slow Going?

Why "Slow Going"?  Let me 'splain.  No, ees too much; let me sum up.  Obviously, I was influenced by the cult classic film, "Princess Bride", quotes from which rattle through the minds of multitudes of my generation - and beyond.  But there are so many more reasons this little phrase (Slow Going) captures my lifestyle, my temperament and my worldview.  And, too often, the smallness of the success I've achieved.  But, no matter; I am who I am.

I began to format this page ages ago, not really knowing how to do it, but kind of wanting a little venue for spouting off my strong, unfounded opinions and charming anecdotes that accumulate and are mulled over, ad nauseam, in my choleric/melancholic mind.  "If I just had a place to write, I'm sure I'll do it!" I told myself - a few years ago.  "I'll need to get an external keyboard for the iPad, though, because typing one-fingered is painfully slow and tedious." I said repeatedly, stalling.  Meanwhile, the ideas come and go.  I compose clever little posts in my mind and they flow out into the ether (not Ethernet) and disappear.  So, you see how it goes for me.  It's slow going.  I still haven't obtained a real keyboard.  But the upside is I can blame my typos on autocorrect and laborious finger pecking!

But it's not just me and my rotten temperament and inefficiency that make the phrase "slow going" fitting.  It captures the stepping aside from the seeming break neck speed of life "out there", in the chaotic world.  It's a healthy way to attune one's self to living by the season, the natural rhythm of life.  I find myself attracted to the "Slow Food" movement of traditional and nourishing foods, the allure of farming, though limited experience has shown that I lack the natural talent of even making a thriving small garden.  But the good of it is so great that it is worth trying and failing . . . over and over.  I find growth and peace in the worldview of my Catholic Faith, recapitulating salvation history in the liturgical seasons, in my daily struggles, in the Mass, in the relationship I have with my God who is Personal and requires a personal response - from me.  From Me!  Not just as a mass of Christianity, nor of mere rule following and amassing grace points, but of following The rule of Love.  I have seen that suffering is not a scandal, and God can be trusted.

A lot of things slow me down involuntarily, too.  Becoming a mother.  Who knew days could go so slowly and so quickly at the same time?!  It's like they claw a hole in the space-time continuum.  "Enjoy every minute; they grow so quickly!" Grandmothers say, as I wallow in the tedium of another day being servant to unempathetic tyrants.  Cute tyrants.  Tyrants I love.  Tyrants I'd rather be serving than any other thing my mind longs for on the ever-so-slow days.  One of my children has special needs that slows me down - and enables me to focus on what is really important.  It isn't the latest trend, music or fashion.  Infertility and loss have put a damper on achieving the life I imagined, too.  I've had my share of health stuff, special diets and low energy - but also the joys of lowering my standards in the non-essentials!  Maybe I'm just gaining wisdom with age.  That would be handy!  It's nice to get some compensation for ever-slackening skin!  (Are you under thirty?  Oh, just you wait!).

I am not one of those people who makes things look easy.  So, "slow going" is my way to make the most of it.  For your part, you may just have to wait.

To sum up, I quote for your pleasure "Princess Bride" from the scene where Wesley, as the Man in Black, clings precariously near the top of The Cliffs of Insanity!

Inigo:  Hello there!  Waves.  Slow going? 
Man In Black:Climbing cliff.  Look, I don't mean to be rude, but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.
Inigo:  Sorry.
Man In Black:Tersely. Thank you.
Inigo:  I do not suppose you could-a speed things up?
Man In Black:  If you're in such a hurry, you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do.
Inigo:  I could do that. I've got some rope up here, but I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.
Man In Black:Nods. That does put a damper on our relationship.
Inigo:  But, I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top. 

Man In Black:  That's very comforting, but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait.

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