February 16, 2022

New Newsletter: What's The Hurry?

Sitting in a sunbaked square in Tenerife two weeks ago had me in a people-watching mood.

A man, bent over from years of dragging his body up volcanic hills, sat by a bakery selling lottery tickets. People would amble over to him, purchase a ticket, then sit beside him as they scratched the ticket. Following a moment of disappointment, they would exchange a few words and move on.

Pedestrians passing the local sandwich store would yell obscenities at the owner, a large woman with aggressively spiky blonde hair. "Ey! Cabróna!", "Que tal Gordita?" The exchange would be concluded by a burst of laughter before both would go about their day.

The man serving me my orange juice and coffee, with a thick Canarian accent not helped by his equally thick facemask, came back after my third visit with a piece of paper and pen. On it, he had written in Spanish, "My name is Vincente Augustin, what are your names?" Myself and Saskia, a friend I was sitting with, wrote our names and introduced ourselves, then quickly lost it at how quaint the interaction had been.

It might be a trite observation to find island village life to be slower than that found in the city, but it put me in the perfect mood to begin something I've been planning for a while.

A cumulation of much of my writing, conversing, listening and observing over the past year, perhaps even since the beginning of the pandemic, has been that the increasing speed at which we expect the world to move is closely correlated to our growing disconnection from the things that make us content. Our brains need us to be present and attentive, but we force feed them information and activity at such a rate that they can't cope. Our body needs food and drink that is full of nutrition and carefully prepared, yet all too often we produce and opt for food that is the opposite of this. Our relationships require time to develop, and a mix of commitment and excitement to sprout into something that lasts a lifetime, and yet dating apps and our fractured tech-dominated communication somehow prevents this. Our environment, the world in which we live, is pleading for us to slow down our activites and be more mindful and grateful for what it is giving us, and yet we plow ahead under the assumption that if we go up a gear, we will discover a solution just over the horizon.

I aim to delve into these issues and many more in this slow, monthly newsletter.

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