Slow Is As Slow Does

From the beginning of the year I’ve been searching high and low for ways to live Slow & Simple. I have not achieved this lofty ideal. And perhaps it is unattainable as an ongoing,  moment by moment reality. I have had, thankfully, some hours, minutes, perhaps even a day here and there where Slow and Simple were tangible states of being. I am ever so grateful for these moments, places to breathe into and gain a sense of equilibrium, even if it is fleeting.

I had no idea at the beginning of this year that I would be delving back into a medium that is even slower in its approach and process than any of my previous ways of creating art. Drawing and painting can be everything from painstaking to dashed off. I seem to like the fairly free and loose approach which is somewhat quick yet thoughtful too. Knitting is always a time-consuming work, but it can also be mindless, fast knit & purl, or a slowed chart-reading affair. But embroidery seems even slower, if that is possible. Needle up through the fabric, needle down through the fabric, pull up, pull down. There are times when I can work down & up in the same motion, thus speeding things up a smidge. But not always. The pre-work (or post, in this case) of creating a collaged fabric upon which to stitch, drawing, tracing, transferring, any machine embroidery, etc…this all adds to a slower method of working. It is one I am currently relishing in all its facets and phases.

The thing about Slow, whether in life or in art, is in the doing of a thing. It’s a matter of doing each task slowly, thoughtfully, mindfully. I sometimes daydream about a monastic life of stitching, knitting, crocheting and artful work. I read somewhere that if you want to live a kind of monastic life right where you are, you must slow down and do one thing at a time. You must eat lunch and only eat lunch. Not eat lunch while working, or while checking Instagram, or while making a grocery list. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

This one-thing-at-a-time way of living would really slow me down. Yet I need very much to obey that inner voice, to actually attend to one thing at a time, to do slow so that I can live slow. It shouldn’t have to require me moving into a monastery. I should be able to live this slower and simplified life right here. Right? But it will cost. It will actually cost me not accomplishing as much as I want and feel I should. Slow will only BE in my life if I am willing to DO slow. Just like my stitches. Down, Up, down, up. One stitch at a time.

6 thoughts on “Slow Is As Slow Does

  1. “Do slow to live slow”. My heart says, “Yes, makes perfect sense”. My body says “Please”. My mind says, “Let me see if I can squeeze that in among the other things I am thinking and doing”. Nevertheless, I’ll try right along with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh,,, forgot to include that I put my away my embroidery project and supplies last week, when. The slowness of it, had me feel a bit frustrated. Every day since, I’ve thought about it, opened my embroidery bag, peeked at the hoop and threads – my heart yearning to pick it up again. I keep the bag close because I know I’ll be pulling it out again soon. I just need to imbibe the “do slow to live slow” and “do one thing at a time” concepts.


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