Festina lente is a classical adage and oxymoron
meaning "make haste slowly"
(sometimes rendered in English as "more haste, less speed").
This phrase was the word I selected last January to be my mantra, goal, musing etc for the coming 365 days. Little did I know how apropos it would be!
We gave up writing new year's resolutions a while back as each year they seemed more and more familiar and each year we had to admit little thought was given them past the writing. So we elected to chose a word to live by. Then we discovered we tended to forget the word so my husband started tattooing them on his forearm and I took the less drastic step of painting them and hanging where I would see the word first thing every morning.
This was to be a reminder to me to "stop and smell the roses," to slow down and savor the path even if it felt slower than the way I usually moved. I had come to a point in my art that I needed to work more intentionally, taking time to stop, analyze and think before making the next move. By moving slowly I would more likely hasten/see a better outcome.
But I felt it was important to try and make haste slowy in other ways as well. How many times have I rushed to judgement with only a portion of the facts at hand? How often did I miss an interesting mushroom as I was logging miles on a hike not wonders? And please stop me if I rush through a visit, a meal or a phone conversation with someone just so I can get to the next one. It was definitely time to slow the pace and thus improve the progress.
This morning before climbing out of bed I looked up as I always do for my word reminder. And as I sighed loudly I knew that it was especially applicable now that I was rehabbing from knee replacement surgery. There is no way to rush the process of healing, no way to condense the needed therapy into one or two sessions. It is slow, painful but steady progress. And I have to remind myself that the choice to s l o w w a y d o w n and have the surgery was made in an effort to be able to make haste painlessly down the road.
So what does this have to do with art? A lot. If you get frustrated: slow down. Counter intuitive I know. Breath deeply and look closely. Slow. Slow. Slow....is the path to positive forward movement.
And...why not let a piece of art become your trigger for a change? A certain painting might remind you to savor the outdoors, a special mug may be the mediative catalyst of your morning, music might bring on a moment of escape or relaxation. Just as I use my artistic version of a word you might find the reminder in a small mosaic or piece of jewelry.
Sometimes its hard to give up a word that has served me well, but since it is a painting all I have to do is move it over and hang the shiney new one in the place of honor - it works!
Just another way that "art" can serve our lives.
Hoping that this month will see you making haste slowly as you savor the sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday. Back to the studio soon!