One thing that it seems I’m always trying to do is s l o w d o w n. It’s one of the reasons I write, so I can capture life and linger in the moments that are rushing past.
Recently I realized I even eat fast. Gobble. Gobble. Done.
This, I told myself, this I can control. I can chose to slow down meal times. I don’t have to shovel bite after bite after bite into my mouth, finishing the task of eating quickly and efficiently. I can chew and taste.
It’s something I’ve been working on for about a month. I still catch myself eating quickly. I still tell myself to slow down. I still make myself pause and breathe and stop rushing at the start of a meal. Like so many other moments of the day, there is a routine to meals. I’m learning to not get swept up by the routine. I focus on the food, on the people around me, on the time to relax. I’m learning to taste.
Through eating, I’m reminded how hard it is to not rush on to the next thing. It’s a lesson I’m living out in my writing life too. I’ve learned I can’t rush my writing. There is no substitute for time. Recently I read three YA books, and at the end of each book I felt the writer rushed the process. The characters didn’t live up to themselves; the plot was a little mangled; in general, they didn’t read true.
If I’m going to the effort to write, then I want it to feel true. I want it to be genuine and real. I want the writing to linger. As I’m remembering how to taste my food, I’m also learning how to taste the words I put on the page. I will patiently wait for everything to come together in order to savor life.