R is for being in a Rush

“Each thing I do, I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass—a blend of stock car racing and the never ending building of a gothic cathedral. Through the windows of my speeding car I see all that I love falling away: books unread, jokes untold, landscapes unvisited…”

Stephen Dobyns, “Pursuit”

I thought of this poem today when I was in traffic and someone zoomed around me, only to get caught behind the car that had been in front of me. I’ve always thought that poem was sad and a little scary — and perfectly descriptive of the 21st Century in the Western world.

Where are we all going in such a hurry?  Everything’s fast, or promised to be fast or intended to be, from our food to the roads to the self-improvement promised by website after website and advertisement after advertisement.

“How to Feng Shui your Home for Quick Results”

“Lose 20 lbs in 30 days without exercise”

“How to read 300% faster in 20 minutes”

Whatever happened to savoring things, to taking your time and enjoying food, a book, a leisurely drive in the country on Sunday after church? I would give so much to have a lazy summer afternoon where I could lay in a hammock and not do ANYTHING. No internet, no cell phone, no radio or Nook or whatever. The art of taking it show and doing the kind of productive ‘nothing’ that clears your mind and heart of stress seems to be gone forever, at least from the world I lived in.

What did you do the last time you didn’t do anything? When you put aside the rush and hurry of modern life and just let go?

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