I’ve been doing more microblogging on Instagram. This week I wrote about how I feel like I’m pored in a cocktail shaker and shaken vigorously. I’m not sure what will come out, but from experience, I know that it will be something delicious. I also spoke about upcycling as a way of living, something that from time to time needs to apply to values and aspects of the self in addition to things. I feel that this time has led me to look at the values I have and see how they need to be updated so they reflect all the lessons I have learned during the past several months.
One ingredient that I know for sure will be in the cocktail coming out of my shaker is living slow. I’ve developed the habit of taking my time to do just about everything. As the city and digital work emerge like a sleepy giant, I’m not finding myself thrilled to run out and meet it. Except for not being able to physically see my mother, I love a lot of the way I’ve been living. As I wrote about in another post, taking my time has now had enough practice to become a habit. This is one habit I really don’t want to break.
Given my love of research and reading, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of the slow living movement. When I’m first interested in something, I consume everything I can find out about it. There are tributary movements like slow food, slow homes, slow parenting, slow fashion, slow travel, and one that caught my attention; slow media. Slow Media is a movement focusing on the pace of media production and consumption in the digital age. It advocates for alternative ways of making and using media that are more intentional, more enjoyable, longer-lasting, better researched/written/designed, more ethical, and of higher quality overall. Thank you, Wikipedia. A splendid example is a slow journalism magazine called Delayed Gratification. The premise is that our news has become a series of sound bites that leave our consciousness in minutes as the next story follows quickly on its heels. In their view, this is both shoddy journalism and gives superficial treatments of what are arguably important stories and issues. So this magazine, published quarterly, reports on news events that occurred during the prior three months of publication. Journalists follow and report on the stories with the benefit of what used to signify good journalism; time-consuming in-depth interviews, research, and on the ground reporting. Aren’t we curious about what ended up happening? This cultural memory problem is probably a big contributor to why there is no outrage and shock at repeated lies and criminal behavior in those who hold the highest positions in society.
In some ways, I feel this is what I’ve been doing with my regular blogging and Instagram microblogging. I am not pushing myself to produce more, though I frequently have this sense of urgency that I should. It’s fraught with anxiety and it feels good to recognize it and say I’ll pass. I’ve been thinking and reading more about what I’m posting. What I like about the slow media movement is that it is not anti-technology (only in that you recognize all the toxic impact of how your devices are made and designed for obsolescence) but that your digital consumption and production becomes more thoughtful, keeps ethical issues at the forefront and gets consumed more in the manner of a slow series of gourmet courses at a farm to table restaurant than fast, not healthy food at your local McDonalds.
The Slow Living Movement is much like intersectional environmentalism where people and planet are the priority and local and community are the values and the vision for the establishment of new economies. This is part of our motivation to move upstate and out of the city. We want to grow our own vegetables and herbs. I want to have an enormous flower garden so I can have fresh flowers all over my house. I want to know my neighbors and support local businesses. I want to be thoughtful and ethical. To fill my house with recycled furniture, have a sewing machine, and upcycle the clothes already hanging in my closet. To write more and make more things with my hands.
Although I really need a manicure right now as I look down at my hands they still look strong and like they have a lot more to do, Because of no manicure my nails are healthier and stronger, because of frequent hand washing I’ve been using moisturizer on my hands (something I never used to have time for) so the skin is supple. As my fingers are running over this keyboard, they are telling me they want to dance with a needle, do some sewing and maybe even learn how to weave. I give them a nod but also let them know all in good time. At this moment we are writing a post. That is more than enough for right now.
What kinds of “slow” are you doing?