Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let's hurry up and be still . . .





It was a Saturday afternoon and I was having some kind of trouble with my computer, for which I can't even remember, and my husband came upstairs to rescue me. I wasn't sure how long it was going to take and so rather than go on to something else I just decided to get comfy in a chair and wait. There on the table next to me was a small book that much to my surprise I had never seen before . . . I picked it up and it happened to be a book from an author of some of my very favorite quotes. The title of the book was, Walden * Henry David Thoreau and is a re-count of his experiences living in a small house in the woods on Walden Pond.

As I randomly opened the book I fell upon the middle of the chapter, "Where I lived and what I lived for", and he was talking about life living too fast.

I began to read . . .

" Life lives too fast. Men think that it is essential that the nation have commerce, and talk through a telegraph, and export ice, and ride thirty miles per hour, and without a doubt, whether they do or not; but whether we should live like baboons or like men is a little uncertain."

The time frame for which he spent at Walden Pond was July 4, 1845- September 6, 1847 . . . and I find it interesting that through time every century of people have had the same concerns about time and as he said, living with such hurry and waste. Can you just imagine what Henry would think now if he only saw how fast we go through life today. And never mind the telegraph, we now have a plethora of social media; twitter, facebook, instagram, flickr, pinterest and blogging etc., all accessed on wireless boxes called computers, cell phones and ipads.

And as we get more and more of these technological advances, our world seems to get smaller and smaller. Our connection to people, places and things seemingly grows closer and closer and we now have the illusion that we can do or get things done faster and faster. But everything comes at a cost, and I believe the price we are paying is the exchange of quality for quantity.

We have become a society addicted to technology and to speed in the name of being connected. But are we really connecting? Because it seems with every new step of technology we seem to forget our true connections to each other, let alone the living of life. Sometimes we live so fast I'm not sure we even notice, and I often wonder, do we even know where we are going anymore, or why we don't stop to smell the roses along the way.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not against technology. It can be a good thing when used in moderation and allows us a glimpse into the snippets of others lives, family and friends who live so far away.  It has allowed me on my blog and here with my life sisters and all of you, to connect with strangers who have become friends. To share stories and life and help one another and give encouragement through difficult times. But if we aren't careful it can become the very obstacle in our ability to live life fully. If we aren't careful we can lose our internal selves to the external expectations of society.

"Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop
every motor and halt all activity for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder
for a few minutes on what it is all about, why they are living and what they really want."

- James Truslow Adams





Now that school is back in session, (I have two teenagers in high school), life lives on the faster side for sure. My son is in football, my daughter is in choir. We absolutely love supporting them in their endeavors, in what they love, but it does mean that something else somewhere has to give because I quite like driving the speed limit, it's about all I can handle these days. I am no longer an adrenaline junky and enjoy the quieter, softer side of life. I enjoy that one hour of time . . . to make an intentional effort to listen the real sounds of silence, where I can truly think about things and re-connect with those deeper parts of myself. 

You know, Henry went to live at Walden pond to continue his writing at the suggestion of Ellery Channing. He needed a quieter place than his household to write (I get that, lol), but in the same chapter he describes another motive . . .

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only
the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

-Henry David Thoreau

This quote is probably one of my all time favorite quotes and I probably shouldn't admit this, but I had no idea it came from this little book.

All I know is that the faster we go, the more likely we are to miss out on the true meaning of life. That we need to slow down or chance missing the real connections that are meant for each of us along the way. Because when we are in a hurry we sacrifice patience, with ourselves, our relationships and in our empathy towards others.



 I don't want to lose the sense of urgency in my hurriedness to find stillness.

AND,

 I don't want to come to the end of my life and find that I've been in a rush to nowhere.

So my challenge to you today, this week, is to find that hour and show us in our Flickr group what it looks like when you take time out from the frantic pace of life and the connections you make.

P.S. Join me today on my blog Picking Poppies .... I'm sharing a blog connection I made and my just received "Harvest Nest" from that talented blogger.

Happy Tuesday!








25 comments:

Danielle said...

Very well said. I have been trying these past few years to take the 'road less traveled'...I leave my cell in the car when I shop...have lunch with friends cell phone free...leave my laptop at home...no music is on in the car when I drive somewhere...and I go slow...much to the consternation of people behind me...after all...I have my camera in the passenger seat and I never know when I will have to 'brake'. This is a wonderful post....may have to 'borrow' your quotes...they are great. Nice job.

Dotti said...

Wow, Kim, such a timely ... and beautiful post. I'm on vacation and yesterday was a day of frantic road tripping. Today, we're going to stop and smell ... well whatever good things there are to smell.

Thank you!!

:-D

Deanna said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful and well-written post about a subject that is near and dear to my heart...the loss of true connections. Hurrah for Thoreau and his choice to leave the hectic world and live "fully" at Walden Pond for 2 years. I love your choice of quotes, your photos and especially your thoughts. Kudo's my friend.

heyjudephotography said...

Such a good message, and sometimes so hard to follow. Like one of my favorite quotations says, "Live not only the length of your life, but the width of it too."

terriporter said...

Ahhhh, slowing down! Something we ALL need to do. Living in the city, it's hard to not get caught up in all the hurry, hurry and I have to force myself to just slow down. While my kids were growing up, I felt like if I weren't doing at least two things at once I was wasting time. But now that they are grown and I can live at my own pace I have discovered how much I enjoy it. Whenever I'm feeling like I'm in need of some stillness, I grab my camera and go for a walk. Even in the city there is nature and stillness to be found if you're looking for it. Fantastic photos, Kim, and I love the Thoreau quotes!

Kim Stevens said...

Ahhh yes Judy, the width of it - I like that - the places where we are supposed to smell the roses! I'm finding it harder lately not to slow down at some point during the day to just catch up with myself - it's as necessary as my coffee! haha

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you Danielle - the road less traveled, good because it's quiet there and we can carve our own path through it! And I'm laughing with you at the camera being in the front seat and never knowing when you will have to 'brake', because I do the same thing. lol

Kim Stevens said...

Thanks Dotti, hope you are having a grand time, and that your nose will be happy!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Love the post, Kim. I've never read his book, but I'm going to purchase hardbound version not an e-book so I can pick it up from time to time, as you will surely do now. In starting an online business I searched out all ways to get connected and be seen. Last year I realized that in doing so I had little time for "real" life - the life that has a time limit. Hence my pulling back and making sure I'm not missing the sounds, scents and sights as well well as the touch, laughs and hugs of all that is real around me. I watch my sweet dogs and know that when they're napping they're waiting for me to take them on their next adventure.

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you my friend, the book being where it was and this month was quite timely! Going to have to read the rest, it's a bit of a deep read the way he writes but so thought pondering!! I would love to live "fully" at Galveston beach for a couple of years! ; )

Kim Stevens said...

Living near the water it really is hard, for me, NOT to slow down and I'm always amazed at the people around me that never take advantage of what we have here. I honestly would be quite happy if I never had to step foot in a mall again...I know I'm weird! ; ) And yes, the camera helps me forget all my woes....

Kathy said...

Isn't it the truth!!!!!! Personally, I have been making it my goal the past couple of years to slow down and appreciate more. It's hard...but totally worth the effort. It just shouldn't be that hard to stop and smell the roses, should it??!!??

Kim Stevens said...

I completely understand Janet, it's one reason why I still haven't opened my etsy store....and yes I will probably re-read that chapter again and again. Thanks for stopping by Janet!

Kim Stevens said...

Yes completely worth the effort especially when there is almost always a connection of some kind made when we do. And I find that slowing down is a little bit addicting...

Leigh said...

Beautiful words and images Kim! I especially love the first photo of the open gate just inviting you in. I remember reading Walden when I was a sophomore in high school. It struck such a chord with me then and I think now it would be even more enlightening. Thank you for reminding me to slow down, savor the moments and maybe even pick up a book that i read years ago to reread.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

First of all, let me say how beautiful this post is! Each photo is a wonderful example of you taking your time to find the beautiful and peaceful image. This is the work that inspires others. Your home blog is such a great example of creativity and honesty. In living life with kids we can’t help be feel tired too often, however it is with such joy I look back on those days of support and family unity.

You are doing such a lovely job! thanks for inspiring us all.
Hugs

Susan said...

This is so true, sad but still true. In this fast paced world of rush, rush, rush so many are losing their "focus on life." I myself have to be reminded to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of everydays blessings and just relish in the moment. Great post, and as usual awesome photography! Thanks for sharing:)

Janet said...

Awesome post, Kim! ...and one of my favourite books & authors by the way! Beautifully written and illustrated with your awesome photos! Simplicity rules!! I now take as many 'hours' as I can snatch in life...and plan to use one for your challenge this week...

terriporter said...

No, you're not weird at all, or if you are, I am too! I used to be known as a shopper but since discovering my love of photography, I would much rather save my money for camera gear or just be out using it rather than inside in a mall. Can't believe there are actually people who live where you do and don't appreciate it!

sherrygaley said...

Kim, I think you've tapped into a deep yearning on the part of many to slow down and live more authentically. I think the illnesses and depressions of our time are more linked to the stress from the ridiculous pace at which we live and the raging desire for more and bigger and better everything than a lot of people realize. Often, people haven't stopped to figure out why they're unhappy, they just have a sense that something is deeply wrong. Some, like you, and many of your readers, are blessed with an awareness that, as Gandhi said: "There is more to life than increasing its speed." Thoreau's books (and Emerson's too) are just packed with wisdom about living a meaningful life. They seem to have fallen out of favour in recent times, so I am so pleased to see these quotes here. Great post and beautiful photos to illustrate.

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you so much Claudia, and yes so much joy among the heavy eyelids! haha

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you Susan, and thank you for stopping by!

Kim Stevens said...

Thanks Janet, I look forward to seeing what you post in the flickr group!

Kim Stevens said...

Thanks so much Sherry!

Kim Stevens said...

Thank you Leigh!!

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