At last summer’s writing workshop in the Wrangell Mountains, one of the leaders recounted a story about a Buddhist retreat she’d attended.
She lowered her voice to mimic the deeper tones of the Buddhist monk leading the retreat. “Patiently and persistently. Persistently and patiently. Patiently and persistently.”
She brought us back to those words throughout our workshop. At early morning writers’ circle. Patiently and persistently. During free-writes at the Root Glacier. Persistently and patiently. As she wandered among us late in the week, while each of us scribbled or typed frantically to finish our work. Patiently and persistently.
This afternoon Brady and I stopped by the hangar to show Liesl the Christmas wreath we’d purchased at the Girdwood Holiday Bazaar. The snow outside the hangar was deep and slushy, half-way up the car’s wheels. When I headed home, I thought the Subaru might get stuck.
Gently and slowly, I told myself. Slowly and gently. I heard the echo: patiently and persistently, persistently and patiently.
Slowly, gently, patiently, persistently I depressed the gas pedal. Applying consistent, steady pressure, I didn’t get stuck, not even in the uphill, car-swallowing slush pits on Mt. Hood Drive.
I can do it. Yes, I can. Slowly and gently, patiently and persistently, I can do it.