Moving

So I’ve moved on over to WordPress. It was best to do it before I became too committed to Tumblr. WordPress has a feel and ethos that I find much friendlier to the kind of blog I’d like to run: one that focuses primarily on writing, and less so on visual art. I’m still experimenting, and figuring out what I want to do in this space.

Am I creating a character and inhabiting him? Am I being as genuine as I possibly can? Recognizing the fact that trying to write genuinely, or naturally, is about as difficult as trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your arms at a party, I’ll probably exist somewhere between those two states.

I’ll try to be as close and honest with you, the reader, as I would be with a reasonably close acquaintance in polite company after a few beers. There are secrets I will keep, and some topics which will not be breached, but I am willing and excited to have in-depth discussions. I will tend to assume, anyways, that any readers are my actual friends and family. That simplifies things a lot.

On movement, or motion: I mentioned previously that I was focussing on friends as objects of admiration. I specifically mentioned their “motion”. That phrase was a bit of a weasel word; I said something vague and poetic, and left it to the reader to decipher. The meaning may have been fairly clear given the context, but I feel like I may have used it simply because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say.

Certainly one can assume that the movement of a person simply refers to their approaching of their goals. Direction was, after all, part of the broader topic: “No higher power gave me direction in life, so I am choosing my own … It is arbitrary and absurd, but I am wholly committed.” A further clarification can be made, though. I explicitly thank all of my friends and family with no exception for being inspirations. Isn’t there anyone I know whose movement I don’t admire?

I suppose that there are those whom I don’t envy, be it for their physical position in life, or their attitude towards it. They may not be pursuing, actively or passively, their goals. But I’m thinking of a different kind of movement. It is an inevitability for any conscious and living creature. It isn’t about approaching and reaching goals because, finally, the only such “goal” shared by all of us would be death. It is the act being swept along a river.

Calling being swept along a river an “act” seems paradoxical, especially considering that the swimmer never had any choice but to swim. But even letting your body go limp is a choice, and that choice an action. So everyone is both in an identical situation to everyone else (living life), and perceiving and acting and choosing uniquely. That acting and choosing (that motion despite motion (that essence (emotion))) is what I might call style.

Here at UCLA there are big signs all over the place with John Wooden quotes on them. One of them, “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it”, has rubbed me the wrong way. Isn’t what you do defined by how you do it? I think I understand now, though. What may seem both sort of tautological and completely paradoxical (a != a), I find myself reaching the same conclusion as he. Doing is inevitable. Style is soul.

So there you have it. Acting and doing may be universal, but style is unique, and everyone has one. This is what I observe and admire and imitate.

On a side note, I am a big fan of the ambiguous pronoun known as the “singular they” as opposed to the standards “he or she” and “he”. “He or she” feels bulky and childish. “He” is just sexist.

Listening to Stop the Wedding by Etta James.

I really hope I’m using “whom” correctly.

10 Comments

Filed under Navel-gazing

10 responses to “Moving

  1. You were using “whom” correctly. I hope this comment validates your blogging experience.

  2. “Am I being as genuine as I possibly can? Recognizing the fact that trying to write genuinely, or naturally, is about as difficult as trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do with your arms at a party”.

    So, it’s not that hard for you.

  3. And by the way, “It isn’t what you do, but how you do it” is the quote written in front of the Gym, coincidence? I don’t think so.
    And thanks for the “For my friends” topic. (Even if I don’t know if you include me as a friend of you because you didn’t tag me on facebook and I feel really bad about that 😀 ).

    • Yeah, it’s from the gym. But I don’t think I’m about to start quoting the entire Wooden Pyramid of Success. That thing isn’t even made out of wood, it’s painted on.

      I didn’t tag you because you can’t read English so you wouldn’t appreciate my words. Alas.

  4. Magali

    My dear Vincent,
    I think it’s brave from you to reveal yourself writing as you do, giving us your thoughts and your reflexions.
    Your post is named Moving… You moved to WordPress but also you wrote about moving. So I listen to my impulse of posting a reply and I just ask you to forgive me my incorrect english and maybe my shifted reply…
    Here it is: about choice and movement, I’d just like to share with you what I experimented myself about them (I thank Google that widely helped me for the translation!):
    “Choosing is positioning myself, and I discovered that the body is totally implied in this story. When one says “body”, one says “movement” and so “will” also, our will being closely linked to our body. Thus, the choice induces an immediate set in motion, an act. (…)
    We can say and reiterate our desire or our intention to change, announce our dreams, and even howl our love, if we do not pose a concrete act that goes in the same way, actually, we just do not mean it.”

    I loved reading “style is soul” 🙂 I agree with you.
    I like “singular they” too.

    I wish the best for your blog! And for you too ❤
    Fondly,
    Magali

  5. The choice to sink, swim or go limp is determined by your genetics and environment. In this sense, choice is illusory. Crucially, if we could see the future, nothing would change.

    • I’m looking for the relevant SMBC. Something about humans being too big to be effected by quantum randomness or something, so something something determinism. But I can’t find it.

      On the other hand, I completely disagree with you. Even if choice is an illusion, there is no difference between completely convincing illusion and the real thing. I always return to the great philosophical precept, “If it quacks like a duck … “. I think Descartes said it.

  6. snails

    you have used “whom” brilliantly. fyi. on another grammatical note, does your “singular they” take a singular verb? there’s a case to be made for its not having to do so…

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