Roy’s Sunday Letter for November 12, 2023

** Thank you for your good comments on the Sunday Letter for the Holiday Season. Concerns were shared for younger children facing the US and international violence/war and then the marketing messages of Happy Thanksgiving & Holidays. The same is true for elders wondering is the world they knew is still safe. Maintain your seasonal emotional, economic, and spiritual balance….and continue in your best ways.

  • The City of Ft Worth has new signs being placed at neighborhood intersections. “It is ok to say no to panhandlers.” Brave of the City to do so. I am not hearing any objections.

** Stephen Jenkinson writes of the decline in the use of listening. Too slow, old technology in today’s faster, speed only world. He describes the loss of the sound of someone’s voice and tone, whether the message is urgent, sad, or perhaps celebrative. Thus, one more way we flatten the uniqueness of us.

  • I am paying attention to the ongoing reporting of Blue Zones and the nine sectors of social, exercise, the right tribe, and especially for me Belonging. I am now attempting to interest men peers/friends from different states to join me in an online group with the purpose of reducing isolation, being our best partners and/or an active contributor to family, office, and society. If you are interested let me know.

** Relationship therapist Esther Perel said this in a recent interview: ” We can live without sex. We cannot live without touch.” In the same interview Perel asks the question, “Will AI Chatbots be the future of therapy?”

  • I was on the west freeway at 8:45 am on Friday, Speed zone of 60 MPH. Drivers passed me at 80 to 90, weaving in and out of lanes, I thought of the challenge my friend David, as an experienced bike rider, brought back from Japan. “How slow can you go? Well, on this Friday morning 60 was too slow!

** As a Writer, I agree with this personal view by Dani Shapiro. “We writers spend our days making something out of nothing. “Writing is an act of faith.” This is true for most vocations. Painters move a vision to canvas. Accountants when the accounts balances. Educators when a student achieves, over-coming personal and learning challenges. We are all called to be Believers, in the possible, in what may be.

Roy, going slow


  1. Nancy Tuttle on November 12, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Highway driving is scary not only 18 wheelers passing you but other cars going 70,80 and faster.
    I drive as far as the NCMUSEUM and west to Chapel Hill. This morning to have brunch with my granddaughter at Carolina Coffee shop, She is a junior and will be spending next semester abroad in Florence. I’m giving her my conversational Italian book that I used for my 3 months in Perugia, Italy in 1979.

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:49 am

      What a wonderful contribution to her life and to yours.
      I have a 29 yr old SL reader. She wrote this morning that faster, faster is all she knows and her peers aw well.
      She doesn’t know how to go slow….I asked her to practice “being still” for 3 minutes, then may be 5. “Weird” she said.
      Good to have younger readers.
      I admire and enjoy your canvas, colors, and representations…..your creative parts of you active, alive, and healty.
      And so, we continue….Roy

  2. Dave Steward on November 12, 2023 at 7:37 am

    Here, on the Eastern Shore of VA, the finger of land reaching down toward Virginia Beach, top speed is 55 mph. Many transients learn the hard way that anything above this number gets you pulled over. On the secondary roads it is not unusual for two farmers, watermen or retired folk going in opposite directions to stop and hold a conversation on the road through their driver’s window. Cars behind patiently wait until the discussion has ended and we can all move along. Not one horn sounded. Rural vs urban!

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:44 am

      Thank you for this 1952 memory
      O, you mean like today, 2023?
      Amazing. Healthy.
      In Santa Fe we lived 6 miles from interstate…never used, heard, or saw.
      Not so here. South wind bring freeway hum.
      I have a 29 yr old reader of the SL. She wrote this morning that her fast, faster world is not pleasing or healthy, but this is all she knows and her peers the same.
      I asked my 29 yr old to practicee “being still” for 3 minutes….then maybe 5. “Weird” she said.
      Moving slower perhaps an aging thing….or just a healthier path.
      kind of life Texas power boats and coastal sails
      Sunday I will write about the lessening of the Sacred in our culture and daily life.

  3. Maurine K Wood on November 12, 2023 at 7:43 am

    It is so true Roy, in this world of texting, messaging, Instagram and Twitter we can not tell what the writer is really thinking. We are unable to see their eyes their posture or their true intentions. Let’s get back to talking face to face and I will continue to drive in the right lane at 60 or forgo the freeway all together.

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:37 am

      I have a 29 yr old who reads the responds often. She wrote that slowing down at work or with friends would be unnatural, scary. And yet, she tells she cannot go any faster and that faster is getting her what she wants. I asked her to practice “being still” for 3 minutes, then maybe 5. “Weird” she said.
      Next Sunday Letter will be about the lessening of the Sacred in our lives, and how to regain.
      Always appreciation for you! Roy

  4. Paul Warren on November 12, 2023 at 7:52 am

    As Homo sapiens we need touch and face to face communication. We diminish our humanity when those needs are not met. That was a big part of the stress during COVID. Hug a loved one and have a good conversation today!

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:32 am

      I had comments this morning from a 29 year old. she had never considered going slow….everything is speed up in her professional and personal life.
      In my reply I asked the 29 yr old to practice “being still” for even 3 minutes, then maybe 5.
      Touch … Recognition … Being Present … & they sound of Voice all fitting together for best health.
      Let’s keep at it….maintain our sense of Hope as well. Roy

  5. Brittany Simpson on November 12, 2023 at 8:17 am

    As someone who just entered my 30’s, I find your comment about going slow especially poignant at this season of my life. I spent much of my 20’s enveloped in a technology boom that demanded my constant attention. It became quickly a poor coping skill of distraction, for which I am now having to unlearn due to reduced attention span and heightened anxiety in my day to day life. Going slow feels unnatural and scary because I have to confront my thoughts and feelings, and that is not something my generation was taught to do. But ultimately I know that is the best practice for my spiritual and emotional development. So here’s to learning how to go slow and be mindful. As always I enjoy reading your letter each week!

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:27 am

      We welcome down the street any time,,,We learn together.
      Most of my life was in the fast lane, or what I thought was the fast lane then.
      Perhaps learning slow is an aging thing, or perhaps an attention to healthy living.
      I have learned more about “being stil” which is almost unAmerican.
      We attend a one hour meditation group each Monday….now an important part of how we walk, drive, talk, even read.
      So glad you give my SL thought. We appreciate you and open to your wandering our way….you bring your good neighbor as well. Roy

  6. mike davis on November 12, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Stay slow Roy, touch , write, laugh, cry, let folks see you…. great letter.. Blue Zone good.. standing by for that. Happy Sunday to all. md

    • Roy Bowen on November 12, 2023 at 9:21 am

      When I was teaching golf I often asked players how slow can they swing and still make good contact….this turned out to be a good exercise but often frustrating at first. By slowing the swing until solid contact could be consistent, then increase the swing slowly, retaining solid feel of contact.
      The freeways can teach us, show us the obsession with fast, faster. Not healthy. Practicing slower is a gift of age perhaps. I have had my time in the fast lane (or what I thought at the time as fast lane)…..Always appreciate your words. Roy

  7. FRANK JOHNSON on November 12, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Good letter, and great comments and replies from many of your readers. Our travels along I-20 yesterday, to and from the TWU football game was a great example of the speed necessary to survive in highway travel, and the need to “be still”. We were lucky to have our bumper with all the darting in and out from drivers well over the speed limit, and then the construction slowing us down to a crawl. Unbelievable how much highway construction is going on in the DFW.
    Good luck with your program to bring community and prevent isolation to men across the states. Very much needed!
    Keep up the great work!

    • Roy Bowen on November 13, 2023 at 8:08 am

      I am readng a print book on Elderhood…how wisdom can come, is wanted and valued, and not wanted nor valued.
      I like the word “engaged.” I seem to keep at it, rewarded supported, or not.
      I am writing this Sunday about the loss, the lessening of the Sacred in our life.
      Your comments add to my understanding of my life, our shared world.
      You and Cheryl valued in all ways…..Roy

  8. Linda M on November 12, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    I make a daily practice of avoiding devices for the first 1.5 hours of my day. Sit in the stillness of the morning with my animals, the sky, the sun and God’s creatures. It slows things down. OH, and when you’re here I have time to make you your second cup of coffee. X/O

    • Marcia L Swain on November 12, 2023 at 5:50 pm

      Dear Roy, Linda M, and Everyone. We’re miles apart physically but we’re having an engaged conversation, all of us. Be well, be happy, love and be loved.

      • Roy Bowen on November 13, 2023 at 7:47 am

        “Being engaged” important to me.
        My attempts to interest men in various states and life stages has been interesting. Some run, others a quick yes. Others unsure about openness.
        We are preparing a meal in keeping with the cookbook and writing of our Santa Fe meal. 4 of us will grind, simmer, serve. Reallly, a life changing meal for us.
        Best to you both…..good people who make my world better, more understandable, more sane. Roy

    • Roy Bowen on November 13, 2023 at 7:59 am

      Cup #3 thoughts on a Monday AM. I am a determined AM I reader. My day is easier, more settled by turning pages, giving thought.
      Your out there becomes in here by choice of windows and your unfolding barn, grasses, and breeze.
      You have developed a style, pace, and kindred spirit that is right for you, that feeds you.
      Soon, 1st cup to be shared … this is a true looked forward to. Roy

  9. DeWayne on November 12, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Sadly we have lost the art of communication. No one seems to like just sitting down and enjoying one another’s company. What will it look like when our grandchildren reach our age? I travel frequently for a local car dealership and often find myself driving faster in order to not get run over.

    • Roy Bowen on November 13, 2023 at 7:53 am

      I am reading a print book about Elderhood. The writer says, Why are they so many old people and so few elders?
      I do have iced tea with a few friends who this of value; other men of faster, faster do not. I keep at it, as if openness of sharing is natural.
      This is easier in Santa Fe…harder for Texans.
      I have a 29 yr old reader of the SL. She is finding her faster, faster world of work and peers is not as fulfilling as she was told it would be.
      Your comments valued and are a part of my ongoing learning and understanding of you, our faith, and our troubled world.
      Sunday I will be writing about the loss of the Sacred in our daily life. Roy

  10. Jerry on November 12, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    Roy – couple of concerns – in regard to signs in Ft. Worth that it is okay not to patronize panhandlers – This is an open controversy in the US. First of all, it seems discrimatory to call them “panhandlers” or even “beggars”. Like it or not, these people are not going away and may very well need help. We can turn our backs on them and refuse to contribute, but what if we took an interest in them, helped them access real help and helped them to get out of the crisis they are in. What does it take for a person to demean themselves so low that they must beg for food and necessities? I’ve read stories of people who have made small contributions to street people over a period of time and have earned enough trust so that they are allowed to help.

    Secondly, speed of persons, places and things is natural when young. Remember back to our younger days, when the world was just awakening to us and we had to participate in everything that is going on. We were oblivious to our capacity for energy, consequences and the future. We only knew that we were going to be FIRST. As we get older, our views and priorities change, we look at our energy capacity, the long term ramifications and consequences. This slows us greatly. It’s not bad to be young and energetic or to be old and cautious. but these are factors in our lives. At this point in my life, because of hesitancy about balance, I am somewhat spooked by auditorium seating as in theatres.

    Yes, driving is a challenge as our reflexes diminish. Coming into Ft. Worth from the North a few years ago, I found myself in new territory with traffic lanes that I was not used to. North freeway never bothered me when we lived in Ft. Worth but on this trip, I became concerned, exited on North 28th St., headed for the Stock Yards area and took Main street into town. The added confusion and diminished reflexes took their toll.

    Guess what I’m saying Roy, is that we have to see each person as an individual, be aware of their status and age and not judge them as my Grandmother used to, by saying: “This world is going to hell”.

    • Roy Bowen on November 13, 2023 at 7:42 am

      All good thoughts, well said.
      The network of rescue, of helpfulness are in place. I was one of those for decades.
      My observation: So many of the unwanted, unrecognized now turn away from the helpers.
      So many are standing at the corners with nothing left, spent.
      Santa Fe has chosen not to address their large numbers on corners….maybe when it snows they will go south.
      I have a 29 yr old reader. Her speed of life, and for her peers also, has not brought the improvements she had thought.
      She is rethinkg faster, faster.
      I enjoy and benefit from your taking time to write, to promote my thinking and my caring. Roy

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