Friday, July 23, 2010

SPEEDING

Speeding along, things blur.

Do you speed -- do you hurry along when you read, walk, exercise, eat? Do you do your chores quickly -- household chores, and all the other things you do when you're doing your job?

I was taught speed reading -- glance at a paragraph, take it in with my camera-like eyes, blink -- SEE the words, the shape of sentences, a few words near the dot, (the period) and blink-blink and go on -- blink, blink, blink and I can almost grasp a half page, or the page. The gist.

I am going faster and faster with almost everything I do, including getting started -- doing whatever (dishes or writing), and getting it done.

This habit is a way of life. Yes, I Googled. I grabbed some facts. There is, actually, a Day of Slowness -- it's on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Also, I saw quite a few references to the fact that slow readers actually learn more, and know more, because they've put more of themselves into the process of taking in new information.

I remember at the University of Chicago (I went there for about 8 weeks, hated it, took a train to New York) -- a lecturer talked about Nietzsche -- a philosopher, philologist (1844-1900), who dug into, studied, and absorbed the origins of religion, civilization, morality, and told/taught his students, his devotees, other philosophers, and ultimately the world -- why we think the way we think, about right and wrong, good and bad.

Nietzche not only read carefully, slowly, and sold that idea -- he exemplified it back in mid 19th century, before the turn of the century into the age of Whiz/Zoom, Go-go-ery, (my term for the 20th century), which we, speeding along in the 21st century, have definitely gone way, way, way beyond.

(Okay, I am not a scholar, and therefore, what I am sort of talking about is stuff I've more or less absorbed by osmosis (love that word) -- not specifically studying, or speed-reading, but breathing in, hearing, blinking -- gathered into my mind, um ... well, it's knowledge dust.

We've got computers, and all sorts of speedy, amazing hand-toys, Websites, knowledge engines that get you information, get you anywhere/everywhere and beyond, if you crave infinity, which is what, these days -- a black hole beyond the black holes?

Ouch! I can't help but bump into my own mind-wall. And wonder fast, mile-a-minute, before I discard this confusing thought -- why not try slow. Read slowly? Walk, talk slower, do all my chores slowly? There would be fewer chores, because I'd have less time, maybe no time to do more and more!

I'll sing that silly nice song Frank Loesser wrote --

Two and two are four
Four and four are eight
Eight and eight are sixteen
Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two

Inchworm, inchworm
Measuring the marigolds
You and your arithmetic
You'll probably go far ...

Hey, it's OK to go
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . s - l
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .o - w
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .l -
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .y

Hm-m-m ...
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