birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Go Slow!

Just last Monday I met with my supervising analyst to wrap up our work together.

As one trains one has the opportunity, and requirement, to work with at least two different analysts. Often it is suggested that one work with a man and a woman.

The analyst I was saying good-bye to is the man. We have worked together for about 22 months, meeting mostly once weekly. It has been rich and formative, challenging and kind. I felt sad—mournful.

Near the end of the hour he said something that startled me: “Sophie, you’re right on schedule. Don’t be so impatient. Slow down and enjoy it.”

You see I have been very impatient in this last part of the certifying process. My main lament has been, “I’m an old lady now. I need to be done. I can’t stay in this nether space forever!”

I am recalling what I said when I began my own analysis in 2001. The analyst asked, “What brings you here? To me? To this form? Why now?”

My mouth opened and released the words, “I am too old to still be so young!”

The last seventeen years has been the unpacking of that one declaration, along with so much more. And, all the “more” circles and flows around the acknowledgement of that unseemly youthfulness.

I have grown UP a lot during this time. And, there is still some child in me that clings to me, and longs to live through me, and insists on living instead of me. I might even venture to say that she IS me, more me than I—more than I care to know and say.

She, that young one, does want time to slow down—maybe even to stop. Or, perhaps, it is that time does not exist where she is. And, time cannot stop—it just keeps taking us forward toward death. That’s grim—and a fact.

So, anyway, my supervisor said, “Slow down. It’s all right. You’re on track. What’s your rush?”

Yes, Sophie, what is the rush? It IS time and money I suppose. I could be doing other things. But, what? There is little else I want to do. So, why not “slow down and enjoy it”?

What would it look like to go slower? Perhaps, there is another truth: “I’m too young to be so old!”

When I was a girl we lived on a double cul-de-sac. Late-night drivers would often turn into them by mistake trying to get through. When they discovered our dead ends they would speed up, screeching their tires as they caromed impatiently back onto the main drag. My father would yell out from his fitful sleep, “Go Slow! Dammit! Go Slow!”

Perhaps, I am not entrapped by a double cul-de-sac. I am simply old and young. Perhaps, I am experiencing what is meant to be.

Sophie! Slow Down! Enjoy! Dammit! Go Slow!

Baby Luau

High Octane Life