Hitting "Pause"

Being seven and starved for adventure, my grandmother's house in Northern Argentina seemed a mix between paradise and a candy store the first time I visited.  The house was poverty-line modest but it had sunshine coming in through impossible shapes. The walls were girly-pink in the kitchen and baby-boy-blue in the dinning room. They were filled with images of a languid-eyed Virgin Mary and Jesus.

Having mom and this institution of a woman around made me feel powerful, I was protected, the earth was my territory and I run around wild just like the chickens did outside, never stopping.    But one day, something made me come to a halt.

Santa Fe in Northern Argentina
It came to my attention this weekend that one of the best reminders I can have is one word: "pause".

Before saying something, pause, before rushing into a new venture, hold on a minute, before reacting, count to ten, before agreeing to something send an email saying I need a few hours to respond, or a few days.

It is the halt that may allow me the opportunity to think to myself the following questions:
  • Does it need to be said? 
  • Is it my place to say it? 
  • Does it need to be said now? 
  • Why do I want to say it? Is it because it will really add value? Or do I want to hear my own voice?
  • Will it hurt anyone?
But Is it Enough to Just Pause?

Painful and unfair situations happen often and a pause may sometimes backfire and add more fuel to an argument.  We might very well return to it with more things to say, more things that perhaps would be better left alone until a cool down.

When moments like these surprise me I go back to my grandmother's house where one day I discovered  a little framed picture near the almanac, and among those Jesus' images, hanging on the wall.  I re-read it several times and it had a prfound effect on me, at 7.  It said:

As an adult it almost feels un-cool to read it out loud, but when I do, something positive does happen to me.  As a child it was a revelation, something reaching out from the depths of the wisdom of the earth.


  1. Great post! I love it when a person pauses to contemplate after I ask a question. I feel like they are really giving me their most sincere answer and have actually thought about it. They are not giving me their first fleeting thought but something more valuable.
    Thank you for this!

    1. Me too, it makes a world of difference

  2. Please write more posts like this. I enjoy the insight. Even more, I appreciate the artfully recounted memories. "A mix between paradise and a candy store"? "Sunshine in impossible shapes"? The world needs to know how to recollect like this.


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