love letter from 101 year-old me

by erika

good morning, kid.

A good day to be up early. With the birds, as they say.

But why so early today, you? That strange dream? That anxious push? That fear you won’t get it all done? Which bird are you trying to beat to the worm? Remember that time in your 40s when you hated podcasts because you couldn’t slow down enough to listen? You wanted the transcript–something to speed read in your own tempo. Be bop you. 126 BPM that brain of yours…

Now I’m not suggesting you need to change the channel to smooth jazz…but you could slow down enough to feel someone else’s tempo for a minute. (You actually enjoy it when you do) Yes, the water and the kayaks help–and so do those first moments when you lie in bed and feel the water’s residue inside your body–the gentle sloshing of your own sea.

I’m also not inferring that you need to change all your reading to books on tape, but why not? From here, where my eyes are as tired as my hips, I see audiobooks as storytime for adults. I love listening to the way the author or the actor hangs on a moment, dog-earing pages with their inflection, underling the poetry the way your mom used to do when reading anything (the books she gave you from her library looked as if they’d been read by a serial killer or swabbed for clues, so heavy was the highlighting and underlining, so thick the margin stars).

I just want you to slow down a minute. Especially when listening to something new and uncomfortable…don’t think you “got it” on first pass. Let someone else “tell you how it is”–and when. Oh my little hummingbird heart, taste the sugar water, recognize the feeder from the flower. Take it all in. It goes so fast. Even now, as I move my tired fingers over these letters, I remember their old pace and relish the memories of how they flew and smoked the keys. But I also savor my now-slowness. The time it takes from wooden table to soft chair just.. over… there…It’s not about more time (never enough, that), but more space within the ticking moments of the time you have. I’ve learned that doesn’t mean cramming extra in, but actually doing less. That’s the magic trick. Try to learn it before…

oops, I dozed off and forgot what I was saying…oh well, you get my drift.

I sure do love you, me little speedracer.

Yours,

101 year-old e