On Recovery and The Slow Down

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I’ve been thinking a lot about different styles, methods, and levels of recovery. One can recover from physical trauma, emotional trauma, disease, illness, addiction; the powerful forces of our own bodies sometimes go unnoticed in our daily activities as we pursue our corresponding agendas and actions.

Paying closer attention to the resilience of the human body and spirit can open many avenues of intellectual interest. I believe these interests are why many people become scholars or scientists, philosophers or artists. Recognizing elements of humanity at its primary level allow us to connect with those primal forces and gain tremendous respect and admiration for them, and allow us to see deeper into ourselves than we ever thought possible. This leads me to start to pay closer attention to things outside of my immune system and physiological state, taking it more into the “macro.”

I’ve been utilizing a practice I call a “slow down.” When I take hikes or walks, have conversations with people, or look out at scenery, I try to focus on a single element of that experience that would otherwise not be focused on. The way someone’s mouth moves when they speak, the articulation of the jaw to pronounce syllables, the way a bird will maneuver and scan its surrounding environment for movement, even down to the way a drop of sap on a pine tree in the sun can slowly change viscosity in the heat, eventually leaving behind a glistening, seemingly slow-motion droplet on a rock below. All of these small things can make that experience unique and actually quite beautiful once you look a level deeper, or closer, depending on how you think about it.

I’ve decided to start carrying around a good point and shoot camera to assist me in framing these moments in one of the ways I can think of, outside of literal articulation: photography. I will post photographs either as single shots or galleries as different entries to share some of what I hopefully can capture in some kind of visual way to archive and display.

The next time you find yourself lost in a boring, uneventful moment, find something to focus on and see if you can find a little piece of beauty or a small shimmer of something that lies beneath in that moment. I’ve found it easier the more I try.

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