Slow Love: Dominique Browning Visits Seattle


Signed Copy of Slow Love

It is a rare treat to meet an author that has greatly affected how one shapes their views of the world. Though I only discovered Dominique Browning last November, her words have struck a chord and influenced my perspective on life. On Saturday night, I had the pleasure of sitting in the basement of Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and joining fellow readers and admirers of Ms. Browning. Browning wrote Slow Love – a book just released in paperback and the reason behind Browning’s visit to Seattle – in which she chronicles life after House and Garden, the magazine she edited, is abruptly shut down. After the magazine folded, she struggled not only to get out of her pajamas every day, but also to find her place in the world as an unemployed person. Forced to discover a new sense of self after decades spent as influential member of the literary cognoscenti in Manhattan.

Browning is even more lovely in person than what comes across in photos and in her witty, generous prose that she shares on her blog. She looks happy and rested. Her clear, youthful skin glows and her demeanor is that of a person that wants to get to know you and befriend you, not talk from a celebrity pulpit. The people gathered in a circle around Browning had all arranged schedules to see her in person with last-minute notice as her appearance was coordinated, upon the request of her Seattle audience and with cooperation from Elliott Bay, only a week prior. Many of the members of the audience were readers of Browning’s blog and wasted no time chatting with one another while waiting for Ms. Browning to arrive.

Notable that night, was not only Ms. Browning’s down-to-earth demeanor and willingness to stay longer than the prescriptive author reading of one hour, but also the transition from virtual to real life for those in attendance. Ms. Browning often answers questions from her blog audience and readers interact with one another via her platform. On Saturday night, many of us had journeyed away from our computers and were shaking hands and putting faces to the names we see the Comments section of her site. This, a rare treat in the virtual world many of us can fall deeper and deeper into if we don’t check ourselves on occasion.

When asked the role the blog has in relation to her literary pursuits to which she is compensated for, Ms. Browning described the site as her “marketing department.” In her line of thinking, she could be paying someone to promote her work or she could write on the blog, gratis, as she currently does on average of three times a week. She lets the editors find her. And they do, in droves. Browning currently contributes to the New York Times, the magazine Whole Living, and the Global Defense Fund website to which she writes articles on pollution and climate change. She will soon be appearing on

As she described it, after her stint being unemployed, she was “tired of banging on doors at places that didn’t want her” and realized she no longer had an interest in being at the helm of a magazine. Her forays into the Web had shown her that a freelance living via writing was viable and with the publication and accolades from Slow Love, people were connecting with the words she had to offer. She had donned a new cap and liked the way it fit.

In one of my favorite blog entries of late from Ms. Browning’s site, she mentions the former life she led and offers her version of daily mindfulness practice: “sitting on the other side of the desk.” An exercise in reconciling beliefs from the past with the humility and wisdom garnered since. She writes, “Now that I’ve passed my prime earning years, I’d like to apologize to my bank account for all the unnecessary stuff I thought I needed.” Just after she published this in late August, I cruised the back-to-school sales with my brothers and wandered the malls and thrift stores chock full of goods, her piece resonating in the back of my mind. When contemplating a purchase, that sentence made me put things back on the shelves.

In person, Browning exudes a featherweight calm and sense that life will unfold organically, exactly as its intended to. People who have weathered crisis in life often recognize fellow travelers to hell and back who never plan to return to ‘that place.’ Browning has lived in the depths of her lows and woes and has moved on – hopefully, never to return. When asked if she will stay in her Rhode Island home (a prominent feature in her book) she shrugs her shoulders and says she’s not sure. I got the sense that she’s okay with that and ready to devour whatever opportunities and challenges that life throws her way. I look forward to her taking us, her audience, along for the ride via her inspiring words and gorgeous pictures.

As always, thanks for reading.




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