Time is a subject that is constantly up for discussion and rumination, and it’s rearing its head again. Yesterday, I was reading through my emails and came across a link to an arts project in the UK –
so I went to have a look and 2 hours later, after reading all the posts, I sat back and thought ‘Yes’! An intake of breath, a hiatus in our crazy doing world, a ‘stare at the cows’ time for reflection.
One of the posts about motor bikes got me thinking about walking and cycling as a way of slowing down the pace of our lives. The car definitely puts everything on fast mode. I find it physically hard to restrict myself to 70 on the motorway whilst everyone else (or so it seems) is zooming past, getting to where they want to go quicker than me, yet I know that I need to be economic on my petrol consumption and kind to my car, so I fight my foot’s instincts to press down harder on pedal.
We live on a regular cycle route and these days it’s very common to see strings of lycra-clad riders whistling past at a very smart speed, yet where have those wonderful older people of my childhood gone that used to cycle gently along the road with no apparent need to get anywhere quickly? I remember an old man with a cloth cap and a permanently lighted cigarette hanging from his lip who just slowly cycled down the lane to the shop to pick up his paper everyday who would give you a slow smile and a drawled ‘nice day’ as he passed you just a little quicker than you were walking. And the lady who always wore dresses and skirts and cycled with one hand holding down her skirt, rocking gently from side to side as she pressed down on the pedals. Where have those folk gone?
There just isn’t the room for them on the crazily fast roads we all inhabit these days – they’ve probably been knocked off their bikes by someone in a hurry to get somewhere. Even the deep country roads round here aren’t safe for someone enjoying a gentle pace of life. It seems that unless you’re doing something for the sake of your health (and that must be done to raise your pulse, and your speed) then it’s not worthwhile doing…. Unless it has measurable health or wealth or keeping busy benefits, then its value is denied.
So the project that Craftspace is spearheading is timely and desperately needed. The Slow Movement is a conscious effort of people to go against the prevailing current. Perhaps those of us who are concerned at the increasing speed of life should take more opportunities to slow down ourselves and perhaps to introduce others to the benefits of slowing down – especially to the children who are closeted with their TVs and computers – and weaving is one of those slowing down activities. With less speed comes more appreciation, for our surroundings and for each other. Perhaps the comments like ‘ he/she shows no signs of slowing down’ which are seen as complimentary need to change so that slow becomes a word with connotations of positivity around it as opposed to its current negative feel. How we do that is our challenge….