Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Praise for Slowness

I've been thinking about speed lately. I've never been known to be perky or speedy. It's true, I have a deep need for routine, peace, and quiet introspect, and for what I like to refer to as a healthy dose of purposeful laziness.

According to some eminent Ayurveda Doctors, there's an explanation for that. It turns out that I have quite a bit of the Kapha girl in me. So my meatiness, doe eyes and methodical walk are all qualities nature intended for me. For those of you who don't know too much about Ayurveda and Vata, Pitta and Kapha, Kapha is the slow quality or "genie" of the three basic elements in nature. Kapha makes you want to do things slowly, take it easy, and say, "what's the rush??"

My Kapha nature has me beaming with interest in the Slow City Movement. I want to live in this city. It sounds like a refreshing and romantic place to kick off my shoes and stay a while. Slow Cities make a whole lot of sense to the well being of our whole planet. Eventually, we will have to get the point anyway. Fast doesn't work. It doesn't work well. It creates thoughtlessness and selfishness; breeds greed and grunge, and maybe even scarier things than we can even imagine. Oil mongers, big corporate agriculture and quick change artists; you all need to graciously get out of the way. Earth is going to go into low gear.

Why? Because speeding up doesn't always make sense. To the unfortunate alien visiting our planet it could just label us as plain stupid. Take drive-thru liquor stores, for example, and Italian cars with unlimited speedometers?? Does the existence of those things make sense? Heck no! Granted, I like some racy things, like high speed Internet, and nifty Boeing 747's; they will always have a place in my heart, but drive-thru liquor stores? fast Italian cars? genetically engineered tomatoes? instant coffee? road rage? microwaves? What are we thinking???

Life in a slow city: "The main thing is that you do not become obsessed with time. Instead you enjoy each moment as it comes. In a slow city you have the license to relax, to think, to reflect on the big existential questions. Rather than get caught up in the storm and speed of the modern world, where all you do is get in the car, go to work, then hurry home, you take time to walk and meet people in the street. It's a little bit like living in a fairy tale."
Quote from the book: In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
By Carl Honore

"...like living in a fairy tale." Sounds good to me.


La Belette Rouge said...

As a fellow Kapha, I say, slow and study wins the race. The fast paced Vatas and Pitas are burned out and distracted before they reach the finish line. This is what I make myself believe.

Thea said...

Hi bellette rouge! I've even been told by a former boyfriend "gee, you sure need a lot of down time!" :) I think we Kapha girls are a BIG benefit to society. Keep believing!

Carmela LaVigna Coyle said...

(I wrote a comment and it went POOOF... so here's another one.)

Nicely put, Thea. I love the sloooooooow movement. And eagerly await it's impact for us all.

But...a Kapha girl, I am not. I hail from the Vata side of the planet where our mantra remains Yipppeeee for Zippy!! (It's all in the wrist.) We put the "oooo" in zoooom! The "if" in swift! The "eeeee" in speeeed! The "ick" in quick- wait, that's not right....
I think it comes down to-- we all need each other to have that lovely place of balance!

To vata, pitta, kaphas all!!

Thea said...

Hi Carmel!...Yes, balance is ALWAYS the key. The SENSIBLE gifts of science and 'the art of living' need to merge; the slow movement provides some hope for that to happen. It's time for us to relax...our world has had 'hectic' and 'frantic' at the center of it for all too long!


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