Wednesday 16 April 2008

Go slowly

Not a photograph from the 1920s,
but a painting by Juan de Flandes
in the Vienna
K√ľnsthistorisches Museum
from about 1500.

It's taken me ten days to sort my photos from Vienna into an album - here. I don't deal well with a lot of anything: multiplicity floors me. Five or six hundred photos, more than I can view on-screen at one time - how do I sort those? I couldn't, it turned out, not in one go. I could only sort and ponder them bit by bit, draw out themes and slowly filter them down. And slowly does get there. In fact, it has huge advantages. I've not only sorted out my photos, but got my head around Vienna, put it in place and begun to walk away.

A favourite meditation teacher, Martine Batchelor, is much wont to say: "The more you have to do, the more slowly you need to do it." This may seem counter-intuitive, but it's not, if you think about it. Faced with tasks of potentially overwhelming magnitude, what you most need may well be calm and endurance.

This has also been my approach, therefore, to the many hundreds of emails, files and queries awaiting me on return from holiday, and it has worked quite well. I'm getting through it. It's hard, though. To slow down a mind that panics and zones out in the face of multiple demands is a challenge for a lifetime. A disastrous hare, perhaps I may aspire to be a viable, effective tortoise.


Zhoen said...

I knew a library aide like that, he never seemed to move very fast, but he never stopped moving. He got tucks of material away as soon as any of us, but stayed relaxed and cheerful.

MB said...

"a disastrous hare" made me chuckle. I'll have to remember that -- for my own sanity.

Rosie said...

thanks for that Jean. I am feeling submerged by demands for my time at the moment. I will take it slowly and breathe away that stress

Peter Clothier said...

Loved the Vienna pictures. I was there myself last year, for the first time in close to fifty years! A great city--and obviously very photogenic.

Anonymous said...

Such lovely pictures. Thanks so much - I rather feel as though I've been there myself.