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After my piece about recovery someone reminded me of the phrase ‘make haste slowly’ that features in a poem called Haste in Arriving in Magic; my most recent collection. It is obviously an oxymoron to the rational and calculative consciousness but I like to think of it as a medieval Zen Koan, a paradox that you come back to many times until you physically assimilate its deep honesty.

My shadow immediately rises up in the face of all this piety and asks me ‘when have you actually done this?’ and I have to answer ‘not often’. I have so much mental furniture all made of task lists, filing cabinets full of them!   But I thought I would post the poem as a kind of desperate petition or prayer for more slow haste in these fast lives we charge through.

Haste

You want to rush, get to the end
work it out and have it solved.
Who wouldn’t? But the cost,
who pays the price of all this haste?

A friend of mine knew Mirabehn
Gandhi’s English companion.
Her story; when the Mahatma
found himself without a pencil
she tore off to find it, returning
breathless with the prize and
was rewarded with the words:
‘Mirabehn all haste is violence’.

Carl Jung was fond of this adage,
‘all haste is of the devil’,
he would sit and pause after
every sentence of his writing.
Those gaps, informed his genius,
as he mapped our psychic topography,
escaping the diabolical lie
that time is always running away.

Even the Roman Emperor, Augustus,
deploring rashness, for a logo had
a crab and a butterfly with the motto;
Festina Lente—make haste slowly.
Later the Tuscan Medici’s Tortoise
with a sail on its back reminded them
of those vineyards slowly maturing
followed by a measured harvest
yielding their waiting’s ripeness.

How much pain could we
save ourselves by recalling
every journey ends in rest:
death’s sacramental comma,
why hurry towards it when
there is such bounty in the
lives of those we rush past?

from Arriving in Magic – Adrian G R Scott available at Buy the Book~

 

Written by Adrian G R Scott

Adrian G R Scott lives in the Rivelin Valley, Sheffield, he is a poet , writer and amateur photographer. For more www.adriangrscott.com He has studied theology, organisation development and is now working on a PhD in English and Creative Writing at Sheffield University. He has written two books of poetry, one of prose and edited a collection of Poetry by the two writing groups he facilitates. After suffering a breakdown in 2014 he has undergone Jungian Analysis for the last two years. He also facilitates Rites of Passage for men and is fascinated by the stories and poetry that come from holy scriptures, fairy tales and other major world religions. He is especially interested in how we find our way through the world with the help of such stories and poems. ​ His books are available at Buy Books

2 comments

  1. Excellent dear friend. I am reminded of the Tortoise and the Hare fable of Aesop. My Professor always used to tell his patients that he preferred the orthopaedic tortoises to the hares who often had to have their hips replaced again because they went out logging on a new hip!

    PS You don’t have to be a full Master to see the truth on the journey is enough, go gentle with your own. xx

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