Magic, rhythm, and flow

By | August 14, 2021

Today has been set aside to read a book written by the Oxford professor of Archeology, Chris Gosden, called the History of Magic. My thoughts on the book will remain unwritten until I am able to do justice to a book review. In the meantime, I want to capture, in words, the inherent magic I am feeling, still under the surface. The words which will give song to this sensing, are not yet formed. But the rhythm of the keyboard offers me hints of future music, now beginning to be discerned, faintly.

In turbulent times, attempting to live nimbly and flexibly, responsive to air currents and trends, like an untethered hot air balloon, could inadvertently become more destabilizing than empowering. The rapidity of shifts in direction, due to the increased volatility of changes – rate of change, direction of change, even factors of change – meant that one could not conceive of oneself as “dancing in between” without being blown off course, to mix my metaphors with impunity.

One cannot even maintain dynamic equilibrium – the effort and resources required far outweigh any benefits –  in the swirling ever changing flows of a storm. One will never arrive at a stable state of feeling grounded or centered. Instead, the goal should be to continue maintenance of stability of orientation – a sense of direction that does not change hither and yon in response to the fluctuations in flows and currents.

Antony Gormley’s sculpture

Orientation, then, becomes the key to systems stability, rather than equilibrium. Volatility of conditions imply moving in and out of balance, in an effort to navigate through the turbulence. Focusing on equilibrium is a distraction. Were we able to arrive at our destination? I wonder then, if the concept of being grounded in such conditions then implies standing steadily in turbulent waters, able to walk through them, or whether stability is a point to point goal in the direction of movement akin to stepping stones in a raging river?

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