My domestic chores have always been accompanied by the radio. But a few years ago I became fond of podcasts, and somehow I ended up having a specific podcast for each of the tasks around the house…
The matter is that I was cleaning the bathroom in our little Lilliput (the name Xan and I have given to the space where we live in New York), and for that I played the TED conferences podcast by NPR. The British zoologist Lucy Cooke was speaking about those beautiful little animals, sloths, the slowest mammals in the world, and about the lessons she learned from them while she documented their deliberate, slow lives. And at a moment in the interview, the host, Manoush Zomodori, speaking about those lessons and applying them to the moment in which we are living today, observed: «We live in an era of instant gratification, a culture that prizes efficiency over patience. But some things, to reach their full potential, they simply cannot be rushed».
I put down the wiping cloth and hit rewind. I wanted to listen to her attentively because I have spent all year thinking about that subject. In truth, I have spent almost a decade on it, but nowadays, that haste with which I went about certain things before the pandemic, that non-stop pace, no longer has any sense to me, and I think I don’t want to go back to that.
In the episode, the two continued chatting about the sloths and about the idea that perhaps this may be the moment to learn to value the rhythm of time, without forcing it. And I, once I finished cleaning the bathroom, began preparing that class that I like teaching so much, and I suddenly felt the beauty of the most necessary tools in our lives: patience.