The Art of Saunter

Most of my life has been carried out in a dead run, dashing from point A to point B as fast as I possibly could. I’d rather a hare than a tortoise be. That’s the way of life isn’t it?

In my 70th year a very wise man, Dr. William Tullis ( of blessed memory), challenged me to “learn to saunter.” He challenged me to take my dogs on a slow walk — without a jogging app in my hand. No heartbeat monitors, no pedometer.

Learn to enjoy the journey, outcome be damned.

I thought to myself–slow down? That will be no challenge at all. Well I was wrong. But let me digress.

In a book of daily meditations, one that I’ve been reading for well over 40 years, I stumbled upon a small passage that suggested I learn to “go slowly from room to room.”

The similarity of those two commands? They gave me something to do, rather than some way to be. Bill instructed me to walk with no pedometer. Challenged me to wear no heartbeat monitor. My meditation guide suggested I move slowly from room to room. In both cases I’d been asked to take a positive measure that would lead to a calmer state. How do you perfect a difficult guitar passage? Move slowly on the fretboard. Very slowly.

And finally, clichés are clichéd because they’re most often true: haste makes waste, the tortoise beats the hare, easy does it, a stitch in time saves nine, measure twice cut once.