I can't remember how long ago I read "Slowness" by Milan Kundera nor most of the plot. I'm pretty sure I didn't own a cell phone yet. I do remember that the contrast of pace between the lives of the 18th century courtesans and the contemporary characters. Now more than a decade after the book was published, the question "Why has the pleasure of slowness disappeared?" posed by the narrator seems even more apt. The 15 year old book seems prophetic of our ever accelerating lives in a digitally driven world.
There's lots I love about technology, like being able to talk to friends on the long train ride home or track down long lost friends who should have never fallen out of my life. On the other hand, I don't like the 24/7 connectedness, the platform for stupidity (I will not name political movements here), or seeing how engrossed people are with their various devices. There's something chilling about watching people text. Is this what we were given opposable thumbs for?
I don't think I would be happy in living in a horse drawn world where getting to the next town is a major effort. I would not like to wait weeks for a message to arrive from a friend. I do however wonder what happened to the world where Sunday dinners were not rushed. Where activities like taking a loaf of bread to the duck pond to feed the ducks was more likely than rushing around to stock up at Mega Stores.
I fondly remember Sunday afternoons where there was time to read or take a nap while football played on the TV in the other room. It was normal to just take a ride in the car with no real purpose other than to take a look around while the roast was cooking. Then the whole family would sit down at my Grandmother's dinning room table and enjoy a meal together. There was no sense of rushing.
This month I'm planning on lots of posts that celebrate Slowness.