Written by Spring 2019 Intern, Carson.
An art form, if you will, that for someone with no traditional medium or means of expressing themselves, is perhaps the most laudable, I believe. From lifting stones and kneading dough to scampering across a wondrous sandstone landscape, all are supremely beautiful, when artfully done. However, expertise is no limiting factor in one’s ability to perform a given act perfectly. Repetition, perhaps, is important, for when is one try ever enough? Masters of anything (and we know one when we see one) spend a lifetime perfecting their craft, although, really, there is no mastery to be attained, only grace. Beauty, or art, on the other hand is feasible. The unfocused-focus that is so critical to running, painting, dancing, etc. cannot be forced. In not-forcing we allow the movement to happen of its own accord and we are merely a vessel for that motion to manifest itself, and thus happens perfectly. And happen it does, always and everywhere. In the beating of an egg or the turning of a page, or hopping across a stream, each equally beautiful or artistic if given proper (not too much) care and attention. And we humans are not so unfortunate as to have this great gift all to ourselves! Snow falling, rock shifting, fish swimming, sun rising. Whether an act performed or beheld by us, it is worthy of our attention.
Walking, as far as I can tell, is the most spectacular of all movements that humans can perform, for to walk freely, not limited by any motive or purpose, is freedom absolute. Free of shoes as well is surely the way to do it (I suppose being dressed as we came would be the most free (but that’d be indecent)). An interesting alternative to this is walking on a slackline, which moves underneath you as you try to step. Or does it? If we learn to only move when/where/how much we need to, then the line is actually just moving with us, the movement is “natural”. How this can translate to the way we live our lives should be quite clear, I think.
As much as I enjoy moving (quite a bit), observing motion is often an equally engrossing experience. For instance, in the mornings before work, all of the bunk-housers to and fro through the kitchen, an unchoreographed dance, spontaneous and new each time, performed for an audience of one/none. For it’s not really performed for anyone, true also of the changing leaves, drifting clouds, or flowing water, which was held in high regard by the ancient Chinese for being exemplary of the rhythm of nature. Through water’s inspiration they conceived the term “tao”, the way that water moves(one of many translations), sans haste; sans delay. Also from the Chinese we have the yin and yang which symbolize the opposite/equal forces that work together/against each other in perfect harmony/chaos, going ever round. But these are just representations of everything that “goes” around us, “don’t take the finger for the moon,” as they say.
I suppose motion has an advantage over other styles of art because it is involved in all of them. Also, it is equally incredible both in being performed and in being witnessed. Movement is art that need not leave anything behind, yet always can. It is temporary and permanent, useless and worthwhile, going and stopped. It is nature itself.