My son asked me, “Can someone be in slow motion for so long that they could get stuck there?” I told my son that sometimes someone can take a very long time to get something done and that taking so long for them to finish their task can make them feel like they are stuck. As I answered him, I thought about times when I felt that I was stuck in slow motion, waiting in traffic, waiting in line, even waiting for water to boil. The very act of waiting can feel like eternity. Then, there are those moments when the waiting ends. We find ourselves in that place where we feel content and nothing else seems to matter. We long to make the moment last. We want to fill our space with this moment and nothing else.
I often long for that quiet space where I can hear my own breath, where it can actually feel as if I were stuck in slow motion. These spaces can help give us focus and clarity of mind. They help us feel whole when we may be broken. We can make these places our refuge and us their willing captive. I, too, sometimes long to find myself in those places. I find myself noticing this longing when I see an old dilapidated structure, such as, an old barn or shed. The aging state of these structures against the backdrop of a new day make them look as if they are frozen in time. I wonder when they were built. I wonder who or what they once housed. I admire them for their resiliency.
However, if we stand in this space for too long, we can run the risk of becoming a solitary dilapidated structure ourselves. We may find ourselves to be no longer hospitable, no longer open to new experiences. We can run the risk of finding ourselves still standing, but alone. In life as in on a road trip, it can sometimes feel like it takes a very long time to get to a new place whereas the return trip can sometimes feel rather short and quick. If we never made that return trip, we would never discover that next wonderful new place we were bound to cherish, revisit and miss. Perhaps, this is why the return trip can often feel so rushed; because deep down inside, we may secretly want to get back, to feel that longing for that place that makes us want to live and to feel that longing that itself makes us feel alive. I would rather come to realize that I am moving forward, however slowly, than to realize that I am stuck in slow motion.