She's A Brainiac, Altair
Last week, my friend Reya over at Blog Gold Puppy was talking about the luxury of time, and how she often tries to slow things down to enjoy them more. I wrote back, telling her how I try to stay in a "patience" zone and absorb the moment when I am doing those things she described. I always felt my late father was rushing through his life, with each event being hurried along. The first to arrive at a party, (and positively antsy to get there,) then once there, he couldn't wait for it to end.
I told Reya that I listen and watch a lot to what is going on around me, trying to understand what it means and stay sensitive to it; seeing the big picture, as it were. A few years back, I read an article about animal's "rhythms" and how their heartbeats were slower than humans, so it helped to move more slowly around them in every way. I tested it out and I found dogs, cats, horses and squirrels very responsive to it. It even worked on crows who are incredibly wary around humans. They tend to scatter when you are near, and for a few years I was able to study crow behavior--and, I would add, they are highly socialized, community driven birds.
Older people respond to slowness, as well. The only contrary thing I would add is that you have to speak louder, but still slowly. Slow and loud. I've been caregiver to some seniors, and I've been working on the estate of one who died last year. Once again into the fray of emptying out a house and handling once loved possessions, not without it's own sadnesses. I'll be writing an oddball story about one such moment later this week.
The other day I was doing a drop at the library book depository. Recently, they had added medium sized rocks between the curb and the sidewalk, and I had made a note to myself what a treacherous bit of land this had become; especially involving feet, ankles and knees. I had twisted my right ankle the other day (thinking with relief when I did so, "Whew...that was a close one,") only I must have sprained it, because it remains weakened, and I am still wary of it, not giving it full weight, so I was carrying around my own slowness.
There was a minivan parked in front of me with it's side door opened, and I thought "Soccer Mom," only a little old lady was inside, removing her books to return. She was dressed rather nattily in black Bermuda shorts and a pressed cotton top, but her legs were skeletal; that cliché of skin and bone. I watched her cross the rocks and saw how her feet tilted unsteadily, so as she made her way back to her car (and I practiced "stillness" in standing, waiting--wishing not to startle,) I said to her, "These rocks are highly impractical in terms of crossing them to get to the sidewalk."
She looked into my eyes for the longest time. Then she said, "Would you mind repeating what you just said to me?" So I did. Another pause. Another long stare. At this point I had the sense I was gazing into the innards of a dated computer: watching synapses firing, seeing lights bounce. Point A to Point B to Point....then she said, in a very formalized, very slow voice, (but well ennunciated) "I concur with your assessment."
I had to stare back, thinking, "There is your future." I held back while she returned to her car, wondering how she even maneuvered such a heavy vehicle. While I waited, I took out my camera and shot a picture of the shrub next to the book depository. For some reason, it struck me as "brain like" in it's appearance. I shot a close-up of the brain shrub, as well. After all, I was in slow mode and waiting my time through this event. I don't know why, but those branches were like a symbol of what I had just experienced.
A few days ago, once again at the book drop, I got out of the car and saw this: