Always in a Hurry? Here’s Why You Need To Slow Down

Physics is tricky, but it’s never wrong

Ryan Frawley
7 min readJun 1, 2024

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The cliffs at Leucate, France. Photo by author.

They’re nearly gone before you see them

Fighter jets move ferociously fast. The French Dassault Rafale has a top speed of two thousand kilometers an hour at high-altitude, and even down here where we live, it can reach one thousand four hundred km an hour.

They appeared above me, one after another, iron darts flying from behind the crumbling cliffs, aimed at the heart of the horizon.

In these Mediterranean skies, you can see forever. And that kind of space has a way of slowing down time. Still, the jets — three of them, one after the other, emerging from behind the cover of the Cape like songbirds breaking from a branch — cover the distance from here until the blue haze at the edge of vision with the speed that’s terrifying.

Silent, at first.

And then, a gathering roar.

It seems to rise from the sea beneath me, the water that surrounds the thin hull of my kayak, cytosol in a cell. But it’s not that. It’s just the sea reflecting the sky, like it does on calm days like this. Days when the chalky stratified face of the cliffs can be seen slashed into fragments by the sea’s green wavelets.

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Ryan Frawley

Novelist. Essayist. Former entomologist. Now a full-time writer exploring travel, art, philosophy, psychology, and science. www.ryanfrawley.com