A Manifesto to Slow Down: November 5 2021

A Manifesto to Slow Down

We are living in an era where every second is worth X amount of money. Every emotion and every feeling is monetised. Nothing is left sacred. Everything is calculated and scientifically measured to an exact level so that nothing goes to waste. But “nothing goes to waste” means that no profit goes to waste. If no profit can be made then it is essentially waste. But slowing down breaks this cycle. Slowing down can disrupt the system as it cannot be monetised. Just like fasting cannot be “sold” so too cannot to slow down be sold.

In this post, I will give three examples of slowing down. More specifically, my day consisted out of three conscious acts of slowing down:

  • (i) baking bread;
  • (ii) looking at flowers (photography); and
  • (iii) having a beer.

Early Morning Bread Baking

How can baking bread help you slow down? The smell of fermentation slows you down. You consciously close your eyes and take in the smell. When you shape the loaf, nothing can rush you. When you place the loaf in the oven, you cannot rush the process along. Taking the loaf out of the oven, you cannot demand time to move faster so that the loaf cools down. You need to savour the time, look at the loaf, smell, and listen. But most importantly, slow down.

(I call this the baker’s breakfast. Freshly baked bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and freshly cracked black pepper. Simple. Isn’t simple food also an act of slowing down? Appreciating the simple tastes?)

Photographing Wild Flowers: Bending Down, Slowing Down

I have posted elsewhere but flowers and nature to me is a forced-slowing-down. Or, nature forces you to slow down. Nature does this by forcing you to look at her beauty. In the wild flower the face of nature is revealed. A beauty like no other. Perfectly crafted as if done by hand, but this is not human made. Slowing down, forcefully, you bend down to appreciate the beauty and the immense intricate detail. How can we not slow down and appreciate this? How can we just move one and let this beauty die unnoticed?

Beer, Burgers, and the View

Not everyone enjoys beer and burgers. Not everyone enjoys the same things. We are human and humans have different likings. But one thing has become apparent: fast food is not good. In contrast to fast food, we have slow food. Not everyone gets slow food. Slow food is cooked food. Cooked food takes time. My local pub has a kitchen. This kitchen provides good food, cooked food, slow food. Your order does not arrive immediately. You drink one beer whilst you wait. You appreciate the view, the cold taste of the bitter hops, and you appreciate that another human being cooks your food for you. Not in a machine like factory environment but in a real kitchen where time moves slowly. A burger is not inherently unhealthy (depending on your view and stance on food). But fast food is inherently bad for you. Think about it. Can you produce it that fast in your kitchen? Slow down. Appreciate your taste buds. Appreciate the taste of salt, of bitter, sweet, umami, and so on. Slow down.

Slow Down

We live in such hectic times. It is something strange to tell people to slow down. We have become accustomed to the fast paced living. Slowing down feels strange. It might even bring up feelings of guilt. Slow down either way. It is only when you slow down that you can reflect on the taste of good food, on the smell of the flower, on the smell of freshly baked bread, and so on. Reflection (fermentation) requires you to slow down.

Stay safe, and slow down.
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05/11/2021
11434
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Slow down either way. It is only when you slow down that you can reflect on the taste of good food, on the smell of the flower, on the smell of freshly baked bread, and so on. Reflection (fermentation) requires you to slow down.

Golden advice in this fast paced, get rich quick, hectic, ever changing world we live in. I contend that the happiest among us are those who have learned to slow down.

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Thanks, my friend! I appreciate your words, but I feel in some sense the opposite. Or let me rephrase. I am a kind of romantic (not the modern sense of the word, more 1800s): I feel saddened that others won't slow down as well. I feel sad to appreciate the world like this alone and that trying to help others result in wasted time more often than not. But in a more modern sense, I fully agree with you. Slowing down and appreciating the mundane and every day leads to a "fuller" life that might lead to happiness.

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Ya I hear what your saying. Sometimes I think people are afraid to slow down. How could they possibly accumulate all of things they are conditioned to think that they need, if they slowed down and saw the beauty in the simple and banal things in life.

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Exactly! It can sometimes be a shock to people's system and daily routine to slow down and think about things they have never really thought about. In art, there is this cool term: ostranenie or defamiliarisation. It is when you take everyday banal things and put it in a new light (literally or figuratively) and in doing so make it look unfamiliar or strange. Very strange but so interesting when you see it. I try to do it with my photography.

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ostranenie or defamiliarisation

Nice.... I love learning new things. And that's new to me... I must give it a go...

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We can never stop learning! Or, I am a student for life. Like a sponge that soaks up water haha

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Same as myself and it's a good way to be I reckon. Every day's a learning day..

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Indeed! Precious time that we can use to soak up so much. And on hive, there is so much to learn. It is a microcosm of information that never stops. Which is awesome! But I wish I had more time.

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