Feeling Frantic? Disconnected? Isolated? Take A Moment To Learn About The Slow Movement

In "In Praise of Slow," Honore made the case that the Slow Movement doesn't mean "doing everything at a snail's pace," but rather finding the right speed at which to do something.

"The movement is made up of people who want to live better in a fast-paced, modern world," he wrote. In other words: Find the balance. "Be fast when it makes sense to be fast, and be slow when slowness is called for. Seek to live at what musicians call the tempo giusto, the right speed."

Balance is something that Britt Udesen thinks about as executive director of the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Because words help make thoughtful sense of a rapidly changing world, there's a need to be both fast and slow.

"One of the things that's so great about literature is that it's fast and responsive," Udesen said, "but also gives us the opportunity to sit with ideas and our thoughts."

A few years ago, the Loft was name-checked along with its neighbors, the Minnesota Center for Books Arts and Milkweed Editions, in a blog about the Slow Movement. A New York Times article told of how Washington Avenue, once primed be to a technology corridor, instead became home to these booky groups that revitalized what had been a sketchy stretch of street. By the blogger's definition, slow won!

While Udesen doesn't align the Loft with the Slow Movement, she sees its value.

"We're all trying to figure this out," she said of reconciling routines with reflection. "While it's true that when we're in line at Target half of us are on phones looking at pictures, there's also a huge movement toward meditation.

"I mean, I'm a knitter, and it's interesting that that's become a trendy thing to do, a way to engage with materials," she said. She's right: Slow knitting is huge.

So maybe there's something to sitting down with a ball of yarn and a cup of pour-over coffee on a wintry blue night.

What could it hurt?

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