Slowing down has been interpreted by many communities as doing what we’re doing but at a slower speed—that is, literally slowing down the pace of who we are. I had a German brother write to me and say that “Slowing down in vocation isn’t working because my bosses are still on my neck.” I responded by saying, “Slowing down is not a function of speed. It is a function of awareness, and I don’t want to make awareness a mental construct. It’s a function of presence.” So, when I invite slowing down, I invite us to research and to perform research into the ancestral tentacularities that precede us. I’m asking us to touch our bodies, and touch our colonial bubbles. I’m asking us to listen, to witness, to ‘with-ness’; to be with land, and community, and ancestor, and progeny, and children in a way that isn’t instrumental. Activism is increasingly instrumental, meaning it’s a form of power that is tied to the logic and algorithm of the status quo. This makes activism, even in the search for justice, a creature of the status quo, which renders hope and justice, as ironic as that sounds, a creature of the things we’re trying to leave behind. To slow down is to hack the machine, like we’re taking on other forms of body that allow us to penetrate into different kinds of realities—other worlds.
We have to learn what we can, but remain mindful that our knowledge not close the circle, closing out the void, so that we forget that what we do not know remains boundless, without limit or bottom, and that what we know may have to share the quality of being known with what denies it.