I’m slow

I like it slow, sang Leonard Cohen. The world of today wants everything fast: love, life, work and pleasure. The world of today wants everything faster. That’s why the slow ones don’t fit in. I don’t fit in. I look from the border and try to talk from a distant longing. I try to reach out to you and yet I hide. The bell rings from the belfry of the past. Surely I am not alone in this mist of words, looking down on the valley where slow life awakes. Surely someone else can feel at home in this mist of words.
Lovecraft was a slow writer. From the first idea scribbled down on his commonplace book to the final, polished version of a story there could be a stretch of several years. If you have to write for money you cannot afford such a luxury. That’s why Lovecraft hated writing for money. Stephen King, on the other hand, has written an enormous quantity of books. A book per year is his usual rate.
I want it all and I want it now, sang Freddie Mercury backed by the rising sound of Queen. Maniac songs lift your soul to a heaven of vertigo. We live in a maniac world that thinks of short term results and short term rewards and races through a dizzy road where goals must be furiously attained one after another. We call this productivity. We call this success. It’s madness. That’s why such a huge portion of the world population struggles with mental illness.
Some years ago, there was a story in the local newspapers about a young executive who had been born near the city where I live and was holding a post in London. He had a beautiful wife (also a successful professional) and a child, a small girl. This man broke under the pressure of his prosperous, demanding life. He went through a psychotic episode and killed his daughter because he believed she was possessed by an evil entity. At the trial, the wife declared that he was the most loving husband and father and he would have never done such a thing had he not been completely out of his wits. The court pronounced him innocent.
Sometimes I remember this story, the story of a man who recovers from a spell of maniac paranoia to find out he has killed his only child. This is true horror, not a toy to play with, but the wreckage of several lives through a nightmare that takes place in the real world.
Now and then, bankers jump to their death from the high buildings of the great cities. It’s the only way to stop the whirling of the trap of success, to avoid the most unpardonable sin: not being able to go on.
Come back in a week to see if there is something new here. And if there’s nothing, come back again in another week. I surely will not overload you with reading. You have so many other things to read that I believe it would be a bad idea to do so. And anyway, I am slow and that’s how I like it.

Published by Mary Wolfhouse

Writer and freelance journalist. Mary Wolfhouse is a pen name and also an Internet avatar.

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