A project

I love this scene from the movie Smoke (1995). What would you see in your world if you slowed down for just one minute everyday and looked at what is always there, but you don’t usually see?

Augie: It’s my project. What you’d call my “life’s work””.

It’s my corner, after all. I mean, it’s just one litle part of the world, but things take place there too, just like everywhere else. It’s a record of my little spot.

You’ll never get it if you don’t slow down, my friend.

Paul: What do you mean?

Augie: I mean you’re going too fast. You’re hardly looking at the pictures.

Paul: They’re all the same!

Augie: They’re all the same but each one is different from the other ones. You’ve got your bright mornings, and your dark mornings. You got your summer light and your autumn light. You got your weekdays and weekends. You got your people in overcoat and goloshes and you got your people in tee shirts and shorts. Sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones. Sometimes the different ones become the same ones and the same ones disappear. The earth revolves around the sun and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.

Paul: Slow down, huh?

Augie: That’s what I recommend. You know how it is. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, time creeps on its petty pace.

And, since it’s the Christmas season, you can read Paul Auster’s Augie Wren’s Christmas Story, which is included in the movie Smoke, here. Or, you can listen to Auster read the story here.


2 responses to “A project

  1. I totally agree with you on the importance of slowness, myself being an advocate of ‘slow blogging’, and as a slow reader myself. I’m afraid being slow is more a handicap rather than an asset nowadays. In this busy Christmas Season, we see all the more the healing effects of a slower pace, a quiet respite. Thanks for sharing the video clip.

    • I’m a slow reader too, but if I really like a book, I don’t want to read more quickly than I do: I like to make the work last as long as possible, lingering over the beauty of the words and ideas.