February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
I ran yesterday, last night, first time since December. I put on Max Richter’s recomposed Four Seasons and I ran slow and I realised: I could go on, and on. Thought checked across my head: read: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami. I thought: the age has dawned and I could run marathons maybe now. Time has grown shorter. When I was a kid I was a sprinter. Hard and fast. Now I can draw it out.
from message to Krista
February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment
Tell me how it makes you feel. Why you like it.
Nobody has asked me this question before, and I must admit I’m not too sure how to articulate the answer, but I’ll have a go.
I think, maybe, it’s where I’ve been shooting for so long, and it sounds a bit clichéd, but to say “it’s a part of me” is probably an understatement. Throughout my life I have subjected myself to certain torments (you may recall the conversation we had when we last met? yeah, the one about ‘the state of the world’, that’s a typical example). There are two activities that I can definitely say mute all the noise and distraction in my head, one of which is archery (the other is Tea). For the past two years or so the activity has been more of a challenge; change of technique requires an acute inward focus, as I have been learning to use muscle groups I had previously not used. This has made it quite strenuous, both physically and mentally. But I have made progress, and I look forward to the summer; long days of peaceful, calm, mostly effortless shooting, and hopefully with good results!
I quite like the dynamic contrast too:
Drawing and shooting the bow, from the archers perspective, is quite calm with fairly little motion. It is also, time-wise, a fairly slow process: making a shot takes 6-8 seconds. It’s important the shooter should remain calm and as motionless as possible until the arrow strikes the target. In summary, the archer: play-dough/modeling clay; easily distorted, and effected by the elements/external influences, even with a flawless appearance.
Upon releasing the string the arrow accelerates to around 200 feet-per-second (136-ish miles-per-hour) faster than you can blink. It will cover 70m in approximately 1.5 seconds. The bow can perform this action for countless shots, as reliably as you can make them. In summary, the bow: tooling steel/a ceramic; solid, and flawless in performance.
Any fault will be from you, and the only thing you can question is yourself (most of the time). So, you have to think hard, with inward focus, and control your actions, but not try too hard. No fear, no desire, just peace, calm, strength….. and uncontrolled, free, explosive power.
Archery: Quenches the thirst in my soul, and gives me peace of mind.
January 20, 2014 § 2 Comments
Jackson Pollock, I have been told, was an idiot, a monkey. I hear his IQ hit somewhere around the 80 mark. He was practically disabled: hypersensitive, an alcoholic, always crying.
I don’t know about the monkey business, but I understand the crying and I get the hypersensitivity. We watched Au Revoir Les Enfants last night and I spent the rest of the night shook-up and fearful with the distinct feeling that nothing was safe and a craving for children’s literature. It’s a shame to simplify it so, but I will merely say that the film re-sensitized me to the extent that I at least partially wished to black everything out again / for some sort of temporary tranquilizer. Whilst I am sure that Au Revoir Les Enfants contained a great deal more of value that might be taken away and remarked upon, the film served to remind me last night of the human capacity for cruelty.
How do we as human beings cope with our knowledge, our memory as a race, of the human history of cruelty? Or warfare and bloodshed?
After watching, T did his utmost to entertain and distract my haunted mind. He introduced me properly to Zlatan Ibrahimović, great Swedish footballer and hero. He showed me the video in my last post — and I was enraptured. What a marvel. What beauty. Incredible. Lovely.
Sport, I thought to myself, is a nice place for a battle to play out. Two teams, opposed. A great deal of training undergone. Wonderful freaks such as Zlatan (edit: there is only one Zlatan). Here we may focus our animalistic natures, the violent, warring parts — in sport. And hope that fans will not go too far … (Not a novel idea, by any means, but not one that had played out so very simply and clearly along my mind’s reel before now.)
How should we cope with our knowledge of human history?
A cop out might be through drugs — taken for all sorts of purposes, indeed. Simple stupefaction (yes, I realise that drugs may do other things besides*).
The proper answer might be: to take action. For the protection of people and the greater good. For the avoidance of cruelty and violence. For safety and security. Hence politics and law. Hence society. Hence civilisation. (And thus I am currently reading On Liberty by John Stuart Mill.)
We have a responsibility to address our ignorance, to educate ourselves, to develop discerning minds and to apply our knowledge.
*Some may argue indeed for the peace-promoting and conscious-making properties of certain drugs and that such substances might act positively upon a user in quite a contrary manner to, for example, alcohol (which, dull and heavy, is likely to cause greater violence in the consumer or to make a person more likely to act upon a violent impulse). See: Terence McKenna. See: The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley.