Friday, February 22, 2008

My War on Reality

"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality."
Jules de Gaultier

We’re probably all sick and tired of the war on terror. For myself, I’m sick of the endlessly unfolding bread and circuses of the primary election coverage. Lately, I’m finding the political news both tedious and overly dramatic – not a healthy recipe for life, friendship, or soup. The other day, I went out to the backyard between showers to cut some broccoli for broc&cheese soup. I had to put down the scissors and return to the house for the camera. The brighter spots on the broccoli florets are drops of rain, polkadotting the already beautiful flowers.

Perhaps today’s reality is exhausting because it’s a dramatic foreshadowing of my entropic future. All systems – and all people - are winding down, losing heat, cooling off, become quiet – it’s the law. As if to illustrate the third law of thermodynamics with the force of a hammer to my forehead, my body forces me into a slower pace as I age. All my life, I have thought faster than I move. I perpetually struggle to slow my life down to match the pace of my body.

My own impatience is a shadow crouching over these winter days of forced absence from the outdoors. I am reminded more intensely of my - often futile - struggles to accomplish the calm balance where my thoughts slow down to the speed of my real life. I inherited this from my own father who, shortly before he died, told one of his grown children he thought he was making progress in his struggle against his own impatience. He was winning his own war on reality. Like Dad, I’ve always been impatient at people who would do things slowly – hurry up, slow poke!

So, I’m prepared to wage war on the reality of my unbalanced life: swinging between tedious and overly dramatic. The perfect icon for my war on reality is Slo-Poke candy. Remember Slo-Poke? A “delicious caramel” penny candy in a muddy yellow wax paper wrapper, with brown and white letters. It turns out the candy was a very profound message.

Back then, I kept trying to fly into the sun, I was in such a careless hurry to burn. Fortunately, the lesson of Slo Poke is not too late to learn. I still have the time to subvert the reality of my present days, to simply slow down. Being a slow poke is not a bad scary thing. It’s a sweet savory thing. If I manage to slow down enough, perhaps I’ll become as delicious as my broccoli cheese soup on a rainy afternoon. Or perhaps I'll become a delicious caramel. But hurry it up. Time is short!

3 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

At first, I didn't know which way you were going, but then, when you mentioned Slo Poke candy, I got it! Good essay on slowing down, enjoying the ride and not listening to too much hype.~~Dee

Cicero Sings said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. One of my Mom's friends lived in El Cajon ... she recently died just this last November. When I was a wee one, we lived in Escondido and also Capistrano Beach.

We are probably living too slow ... we'd probably drive you nuts! I would find it hard to speed up again ... if I had too.

kate said...

That's one of the good things about living in Canada - we aren't always subjected to the 'war on terror' propaganda.

It's tough when one's body doesn't keep up with one's thoughts. I don't know Slo-Pokes, but it looks like a candy we used to receive at Hallowe'en.

The broccoli photographs are good ... I spend a lot of time just observing these small delights. Slowing down is its own reward.