There’s a slowing that comes when you’ve reached the end of yourself. Like the last bit of honey, sluggishly seeping down the jar to a reluctant, pooled drip, then a finely webbed drizzle. It’s exaggeratedly pokey, with no way to rush.
Not that anyone would want to hurry up the process of running out, but it’s similar — the hand-cranking effort to keep going when all that’s needed is to stop and see. Be empty. Gone. Spent. It’s the only time I’ve noticed time, and the way it can ooze when you’re at the last of what you have. What you are.
I once thought it was about quantity. Hoarded all the things with hopes to never run dry. I see now it’s about quality. See how a handful of gold is greater than an acre of rock. How a seasonal spring is more than a sea I’d be lost to. How a little stitch of real love is better than yards of flowing flattery.
Reach is best if it is plumbed deep first, not spread thin in the shallow. Growth is best when it pulses like a steady heart, not racing breath. Life is best when it’s lived slowly, with intentionality. Warp speed is warped. That’s just running away from, not into.
I’ve tried to slow time before. For the selfish reason of capturing. I cannot, outside of slowing me. Stop time? Only via trauma, and that still doesn’t stop everything else, just your own heart for a bit. Going slow isn’t such a bad thing, if you can keep from wishing away the dreaded minutes. It’s just that the thing that causes us to slow is usually the devastating drying up of resources. The very end of us, and the beginning of something else.
I’m silly to try to reckon and reason with time. I have no sway with it. I am swayed. I am rushed. I am lulled. When it moves slowly, I am being given a deliberate gift of groundedness. To feel the earth beneath my feet. When it blows by me, I am simply hanging on to whatever held fast. For the days where there is no breeze of passage, be still and notice. Take stock. Reassess. Tend to piles that would be blown about if not for the eerie calm. Go deeper, when the source is not found. Stay steady, when the next beat is measures away. Cultivate quality, when quantity is no longer within reach.
Panic is real fast, but rooted and rested trust is slow-growing. Frantically flipping through the pages won’t get me there quicker. Skimming the words that are meant to be reading me won’t make it happen sooner. Flashing, yellow yielding is how to yield. It gives way to green eventually.
I’ve been a harried hare, I tell you. A bottom-line gal, but sometimes it’s a stout punchline. A sucker punch, lining me right out. Hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait. The irony of time.