Slow blogging seems to be an oxymoron. The computer is the poster child of the modern age, ‘bigger, better, newer, smarter’ (Donald Swan) and of course, with computers, rather than the status symbols in general Swan was talking about, FASTER!
Blogging itself is an interesting modern phononemon. A window into other peoples lives, a kind of legitimized peep show, where both ‘peeper’ and ‘peepe’ enter willingly into the relationship.
Friendships pop up on a daily basis, but these are friends you have never met and never will meet. These friends you know only through their comments on your blog, or via your Facebook page. Facebook. Another interesting thought, a friendship group where people do everything BUT interact face to face. The page has come between them. The page has become the face.
So where does blogging come into slow living? Is it possible for the two to meet, and why would one wish to bother? If one is happily slow living, why open the window for others to view? What is gained? And for whom?
To answer this in relation to my life, and one cannot answer for any other, I have to go back a little. I am a woman without a career, a trade, a role that is acceptable in modern society. This is by choice, luck and grace.
The choice was mine, and was birthed with my children. A choice to stay home and raise them rather than further my career.
Luck has followed me throughout my life, and has enabled us to weather the storms of life; the frantic plunging of global and local economies, the daily grind of baby and toddlerhood, the joys and despair of parenting teenagers, heath crises, housing crises, the roller coaster of emigration and the daily joys and pin pricks that make up a life. Throughout it all I have largely remained outside the paid job market, only entering occasionally to tide the family over a particularly hard time.
And grace. It is by the hard work and grace of my husband that I have had the freedom to remain career free, available for my family, free to follow my own interests and pursuits, to arrange my own time and my own life. Throughout our long marriage my husband has worked steadily to support the family financially. It is the joy of our family to support him in other ways, and staying outside the rat race gives us time and space to do it.
As I have watched the world go by from outside the race, I have embraced the slow movement. Like many people, we were doing slow food long before it had a name. Having the time to prepare meals from scratch, and realising the cost savings in doing so, we baked bread, made jam, bottled fruit and made cookies with the best of them.
When the slow food movement arose in defiance of fast food, we applauded. Not because we particularly dislike fast food, it’s jolly useful on occasion, but because we love well prepared and cooked slow food much much more!
Slow food led to the slow movement, and now includes slow schools, slow books, slow finance and even slow cities.
So where does slow blogging fit into all this? Despite its web presence, books and articles, its adoption by various sustainability groups, slow living is still on the fringes of society. The vast majority of our peers still want to get there sooner, faster, they want their goods delivered now, their food fast, faster, fastest. Those of us who choose to step outside all of this find it hard to find other like minded people. Our peers are scattered around the world, we are isolated by time and distance. And this is where the computer comes into its own. It allows us to keep in touch, to metaphorically drop in for a cup of tea when it is impossible to do so in reality. Is it as good as meeting in reality? No, of course it is not! Yet in the absence of this possibility, the computer holds out choices. I choose to reach out and connect with others who enjoy the same things I do.
Even if this is via a page, rather than via a face.