Seeing Things in Slow Motion

Once, I was driving down the street not far from my house, and I witnessed the car in front of me rear-end the car in front of it. I was far enough back to avoid being involved in this accident, but I remember it very vividly. I saw the whole thing in slow motion.

I watched the driver’s head lurch forward, and I remember thinking, “That’s going to hurt. But at least she had her seatbelt on.” And then I saw the entire vehicle fill up with this thick, billowing  grey cloud.

No, it hadn’t caught on fire. It turned out that her ashtray was open and she hadn’t cleaned it out in many, many, MANY months. Well, now she wouldn’t have to.

That’s not the first or the last time I’ve seen something in slow motion. I have no idea why this happens. It’s rare enough that it always fascinates me.

Last night I was trying to dispatch a housefly with a swatter, and the little devil was just too quick for me. He had been driving me nuts all evening. Then, for some reason, time just seemed to stop. He was hovering right in front of me. I could see his motionless wings and each little leg hanging down. So…THWACK! Got him! And I then saw his little corpse fly across the room and hit the wall.

I’m probably going straight to hell for that, but still… surreal.

Do snails see everything in fast motion?

8 thoughts on “Seeing Things in Slow Motion

  1. Angiportus

    Don’t fear anyone’s talk about hell. –I’ve never experienced the effect you describe, but I do like watching slo-mo stuff on the screen–moving items often seem more graceful when slowed down. I once commented on this to someone and they said “Maybe that means we should all slow down a little…” As for flies, one time in my teens I tried to swat one with my hand…but it was on a glass window…the fly lived…the window didn’t.

  2. Swatting at flies aside who are then wounded and crash into a wall…are you okay with being reincarnated as a fly or mosquito? If you answered yes, let’s move on to the visual painted so well by you of seeing in slow motion and that intensely focused for a moment. I experienced a flashback after reading this post. In early August 2004 at 8:30am in the morning I was driving down 90 East in the far right lane toward Issaquah and just about to enter the exit lane when “life slowed down.” A big white truck for a split second was a wall of white in my rear view mirror. Then, it was gone and I was spinning in slow motion across four lanes of road. I remember thinking and knowing, “It’s going to be okay.” And, when my car came to a stop I was nose down in the grassy ditch on the left side of the highway. I remember looking down at the diagonal line of the seatbelt strap across chest…grateful. The weird thing was that when I was spinning across that road I felt like I was on a carnival ride, you know the ones that employ centrifugal force to stick you to the inside of the pod you are in or the big wheel you are strapped into?

    As for being someone in the few cars far behind me that got to watch and slowed down enough, so as not to get hit themselves–who then drove on to their destination–I haven’t had that experience. It is possible though to cultivate the slowing down when and where we want. It’s called being the flow and living in the gap. So, you my dear, clearly are in touch with the flow and being in the gap. I have to wonder if watching the water, the houseboats, the boats, the walkers, the runners, the bikers, the ducks, the peregrine falcons, the dragon and damsel flies that love skimming water…hasn’t been a bit of a master class for you. We can all learn from reading your blog day by day. I know I do.

    Funny how your blog brings back significant memories for me. I wonder if that is the case for other loyal readers. 🙂

  3. lyn sutton

    The universe giving you time to think before committing insecticide… or a drone spy fly capable of slo-mo? No, it’s just another power developing as Super Barb continues to evolve. 🙂

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