18 June 2006

New yorkers walk too fast

New yorkers walk too fast. every time i get stuck in midtown after rush hour, which is everyday since i work there, i lament. either you give in to slowness--which feels like paralysis--or you start clipping through streets like a lunatic, playing dodge-a-pedestrian as you weave in and out of temporary lanes of human traffic. i admit i'm intrigued the way people still blaze through 5th avenue, even when work is done, even when they can afford to take deep breaths and consider life on the other side of the universe. but part of me, a large part of me, feels like the only real response to this pressure to speedwalk through the city, which is surely symptomatic of our anxiety of the future, is to walk aburdly slow. in a society where the future is an obsession, where time is elusive, in a culture where mortality is the real glitch in our own matrix, the only thing that makes sense is to slow down and breath. sure we might gain five minutes by arriving someplace faster, but what we lose is placement, the ability to feel like our mind is actually anchored in a tangible reality. what we lose is a present tense, the simplest and most important tense in the english language. slowness is worth every word in our language, it's worth every momentatry lapse of fear. when we live in slowness for little moments, we are embracing the only part of our life where we can play an active and vital part of.