… but before I continue,
I should point out that I am fully aware what this makes me sound like, okay?
But there I was, reading a little thing by Ronald Blythe (or 'Ronnie', as those of us in the know like to call him), who was musing over the need to be slow – or at least to be less concerned about the ticking clock and the pre-prepared schedule; especially in relation to the daydreaming which can only successfully accomplished when time is not in a hurry.
He made a point which I'm not sure he meant to make. He was talking about Thomas Hardy, asking whether he would have become 'our greatest rural novelist' if he hadn't been stuck in church without much to do except look at the girls and imagine the lives of those people named on memorials.
He was meaning, "Keep things slow; it gives you time to reflect," but the message I received was, "Church needs to be boring, because it stimulates our imagination."
I've just been reading a book about the Beatles, which mentions that, as a choirboy, John Lennon would regularly count and recount the panes of glass in the church windows, so tedious and long-winded was his vicar. Man, I've done that so many times! But now, when bored in church, I rarely even realise that I am, since I'm so well-trained in releasing the whims of my imagination.
Church trained me to be an artist, when it thought it was doing its job worst.
So today, in response, I've been attempting to do things slowly, if I have to do them at all: I've walked a good 4 or 5 miles, played with my niece, had lunch, napped, read a bit, walked in the garden. I can't say that I'm having some kind of great revelation, but maybe I'm training myself to.