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Even at escape velocity, we move so slowly, and having escaped, we walk, run if it suits the moment, always return to walk, a chair, a bed. So slowly, whether on a park trail or a space station treadmill or from the room having kissed a child goodnight. We cannot outpace the sun or moon, the wave that steals over us, the bullet, the adder, the awful intent of the wicked. Who can flee the home a quake fells in five seconds? Or having escaped, return to save the child in bed? We move so slowly in these lovely, supple skins that collision with our kind while walking is not fatal. Embarrassing, perhaps, or humorous and, yes, even sexy, suddenly generative, now and then, of gratitude that we move as we do—so slowly—the sweet, stubborn pace of love and sorrow.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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