the art of slowing down


I honestly don’t know how to start this blog post. I said I was going to write it and I’ve spent the past week thinking but lacking motivation to write. And where do I begin? How do I reflect on a whole decade?

But I guess, if I haven’t done anything else, I have been reflecting. My thoughts always seem to come back to, “how did I end up here?” And “Where will I be in another 10 years?” I moved to to Sandy, Oregon 10 years ago and I have stayed here, in the same job and town for the entirety of that time. It is hard to see much change when I look back because there is so much that is the same. This has been the source of some angst for a long time. But then I also think that I am really happy where I am at, for the most part, so why change? This has been my koan of late.

Within this little bubble of living in the same small town I have experiened a lot of the same. But I have also experienced a lot of things that have completely changed my life for the better. I have met a lot of people who have made my life amazing and happy.

In the IRL realm, I think the best thing that happened to me was that I found my Zen Buddhist friends, and that I have delved into that philosophy. Zazen, the foundation of Zen Buddhism, is a very slow moving vehicle for change, but it is extremely effective, in a non-effective way. It’s like one day you realize you are reacting differently to that one thing that used to annoy you. Those moments are quiet, world-changing moments. I am super grateful for those moments.

The other big thing that happened to me was connecting with the film photography community. Through the film photography community I found pinhole photography, which has been a passion for me for several years. I have always been drawn to photography, but pinhole photography has been the type of photography that has brought me the greatest joy. After 7 years, I still get giddy when I scan my negatives and see the images that I have produced. Not that what I produce is super amazing, it’s just that the process makes me very happy. It’s a slow process, and the images themselves are a reflection of this.

Slowing down. That is what the past decade boils down to for me. There is magic in those moments when you slow down and notice.