But Slowly, Slowly… Our Path Up the Mountain.
Climb Mt. Fuji
But Slowly, Slowly…”
~ Kobayashi Issa
I don’t climb slowly. I usually run, bounce, trudge, crawl, barrel roll, skip, sprint, gallop, scamper… but never slowly…
My passion can easily light turbo flames under my heels. Before I know it, I am halfway up, scaling the mountain next to Mt. Fuji.
Oops. I missed Fuji. But it’s a nice view from here.
I remember one of my teachers once proclaiming in a Yoga practice:
“Slowness promotes awareness and reduces injury.”
Note to self : This is one of those Yoga lines that translates perfectly into a delicious life metaphor. Forget the pose and my body for a moment, I need this kind of injury reduction in my life.
Scaling the wrong mountains just to keep the perpetual motion moving forward is high risk for injury. I have the heart wounds to prove it. It aches, deeply and piercingly, when you find yourself on top of the wrong mountain.
Has this happened to you also, my darling? Have you run after a path that wasn’t yours? Chased fleeting dreams? Have you rushed into a situation that pulled you away from what you truly ache for?
And I think I may have to read this line by Mr. Issa one thousand and eight times. Perhaps more.
The right mountain (our Mt. Fuji) demands awareness — a life that is reflective, a slow intentional movement and evolution on our own, unique path.
Without such introversion, our life is incomplete, and injury is sure to appear. Without such contemplation and pause, we find ourselves scaling mountains at a fast pace, accumulating recognition, hanging many trophies and plaques on our walls. But none are from Mt. Fuji.
Thank you, Mr. Issa, for reminding us that we are meant to scale mountains. And not just any mountain — the highest one in all of Japan, an almost perfectly shaped volcano that has been worshiped as a sacred mountain for centuries. This is our mountain. Nothing less. And we are meant to climb it.
But thank you also for reminding me of how small I am in relation to that universal energy that holds and moves me. Me, as snail — steady and slow in my persistence, aware of each step and the direction it is leading me. My spiral shell, the symbol of inward movement and expanding consciousness.
Did you know, my darling, fellow snail, that we have antennae which are hugely exploratory? We are able to experience via uncommon sensory perception. And we are a lunar creature — we may both reveal and conceal ourselves to the world.
We are quite magical in our slowness, in our subtle awareness and deep intentionality, in our ability to know when to emerge and when to withdraw.
My descent from neighboring mountains has begun. Soon, I will prepare myself to climb the sacred mountain. But slowly, slowly…
And you? How are you moving, my darling? And where?