Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Many of you will recognise the lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)’.
The song also features some dialogue with a lamppost, but it was written in the 1960s, and there was a lot of that sort of thing going on back then.
The message, however, is a good one and has been much on my mind of late. If anything, the lyric is too moderate: why just the morning? You should make the afternoon and evening last too.
The version I sing to myself is: “Slow doon, Rab, yir gawn too quick. An’ the reason for that is because you’re right thick, ken?” I’ve ruined the rhyme somewhat, though I cannot see how. But the sentiment is similar and hints at something I need to do in my life.
I’m always rushing. Part of the blame lies with my to-do lists, which always have too much on them, including projects that remain undone for months. When I’m busy not doing these, I’m sweating the small stuff. Washing the dishes. Feeding the birds. Making the bed. All done in a great rush.
Tragically, there are also newspaper columns but, while deadlines come with an implication of rushing, the act of writing always slows me down and even relaxes me a little. The time-scales are stamped on my DNA, and I only feel rushed if I’ve become distracted by a kitten cuddling a Rottweiler on YouTube, and suddenly look up to find I’ve only six minutes left.
But, generally, it’s the rest of my life that’s imbued with panic. The other day, I was putting my hub password into something on the telly and found myself rushing in case it cut me off for being too slow (as, to be fair, some things do). It didn’t help that the application demanding the password was called Now TV. I interpreted the Now as a shouted instruction.
When I was trying to learn tai chi from YouTube videos, I found myself speeding them up (which you can do through the settings) as, frankly, I was far too busy for that sort of thing.
I do the same with a Norwegian forest vlogger who speaks really slowly and has a habit, as many such amateurs have, of telling you he’s not sure what he’s doing or that his camera’s wonky or, “We’ll get started in a few minutes once I’ve brewed this cup of tea.” Cut to the chase, buddy!
Norwegians pioneered slow videos of train journeys, sea-ports, and so forth. The French are said to go aboot life slowly, savouring it like they do food, instead of drowning it in broon sauce and bolting it doon.
In Britain, there’s a new pasta out that takes just 30 seconds to cook. Will I give it a go? Maybe. I am, after all, a busy man. Or am I? In all honesty? Nope. Anyone with a hoose and gairdin can draw up a lengthy to-do list. The tasks are never-ending.
Maybe one thing that would help me to slow down would be to get my little notepad, underline a heading “To-do list” and, beneath that, write the word… “Nothing.” Wouldn’t that be grand? That would make the morning last.