Tuesday, May 12, 2009

La Lenteur

Strand is 18 miles of new and used happiness and one of my favorite stops in this city, where stopping is almost unheard of--not for stop lights, ambulances, pedestrians, not to sleep, not to smell roses (but maybe to smell the yellow bordered pages of basement books :D ).

Tonight's happy find was a first edition of Kundera's Slowness:
"Why has the pleasure of slowness disappeared? Ah, where have they gone, the amblers of yesteryear? Where have they gone, those loafing heroes of folk song, those vagabonds who roam from one mill to another and bed down under the stars? Have they vanished along with footpaths, with grasslands and clearings, with nature? There is a Czech proverb that describes their easy indolence by a metaphor: 'They are gazing at God's windows.' A person gazing at God's windows is not bored; he is happy. In our world, indolence has turned into having nothing to do, which is a completely different thing: a person with nothing to do is frustrated, bored, is constantly searching for the activity he lacks" (3).
The heart constantly, restlessly in search stops to catch her breath
   in musty used bookstores
   in lots and lots of food
   in new music, new clothes, new things
The good stuff of boredom and frustration.

Maybe the rest is sweeter, closer for the busier & tireder
   joining the ranks of corporate America via Slavebucks
   bloating the mind and body to compensate for the heart
   chasing down flying 175g objects
The stuff of restlessness and exhaustion.

"Restless till they rest in Thee" says Augustine in Confessions (another Strand acquisition). Looking to lesser rest for the cure. This my idolatry these days.

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