Sunday, July 30, 2006

I may be lost,
But I'm making good time.

I remember a song from my youth that started with the line I'm going to get you on a slow boat to China. Back then, I just liked the song. You know, the melody. I just sang the words because they came with the tune. Back then, I failled to appreciate the true meaning of the words.

The (imaginary) person singing the song wanted to get his/her lover on a slow boat so that they would have time to spend together, time to grow their relationship. Getting to China had nothing to do with it, the song just needed a destination (A slow boat to Sheboygan would not have sold as well. But I digress). The point was that, in order to savor their time together, things needed to be taken slowly.

Since those days, I've seen the speed limits on the highway go from 40 to 60 to 65 and higher. Since those days, I've gone from walking to the park to flying faster than the speed of sound. Since those days, I've lived in a world that is in love with speed.

Do you want it good, or do you want it fast? seems to be the question of our times, and the very fact that we ask it indicates that we know that the two (good and fast) are not necessarily the same.

In Japan I saw Shinto Priests sitting quietly for hours . It was there that I also saw a bullet train streak down the rails. What a study in the past and the present. Today, as I sit here in no hurry to go any where, I get a sense of what the Universe has been trying to tell me. This awareness began, I think, way back when I began my practice. I was in the stress testing lab and noticed a poster with a drawing of a yellow 3-legged stool. It read,

Sometimes, I sits and stares.
Sometimes, I just sits.

Yes, the interstate gets me there faster than the old back roads. Still, one of the best drives I have taken was down the old parts of route 66. It was slow...and that was the point. I saw things and, unlike the interstate where towns go by in a blur and all look the same, I was drawn to the details of the old buildings and the remnants of a time when one could just sits.

I don't know who wrote it (sounds a bit like Ogden Nash), but some guy put his finger on it when he penned,

A poor life this, when full of care, we have no time to sit and stare.

Paddle safely...and slowly.


Buncher said...


What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~~William Henry Davies

Silbs said...

That's my Buncher