Notes from San Miguel Island

I think it’s about pushing the brakes. Slow-paced and intentional, it’s a motion I’ve been going after all along. That slow-paced life is what I got from Christianity when I was younger--which is similar to the meditation books I read, and the nature-writers I read sometimes, but Christianity has more baggage. 
    Stop. Look. Listen. Look. Listen, you do not know what you hear.
The pace of life, I guess, running between that naïveté telling you that you have all the time in the world, and that sinking feeling that it could all be over so soon. A pace stretching long enough for patience, but short enough for passion sketches a life moving step by step, breath by breath, slowed enough to watch and listen to it all pass by.
    Pace? Life? What??
I went to the Channel Islands again last week, thinking of community and isolation. But I didn’t need the isolation, really. What I needed (what we all need, I think) was the chance to slow down. Sometimes I’m surrounded by people who seem to demand more and more, constructing a world of fast-paced transactions and conversations of sound-bites. I haven’t put too much effort into many other ways of relating, because I think isolation generally helps relativize that fast-paced constructed world. But so does a community practiced with intentionality, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness. I’m starting to lean into the second, admitting that sometimes I need help, and sometimes I have no idea what’s going on. I guess it creates space to explore the world with curiosity and with others, maybe on a hike or two.