My suspicion is that, in our convenient society, we don’t need to be acutely aware of our balance and body positions vis a vis the ground because many of us don’t do much physical labor anymore, or play freely as kids outdoors now that we have so many enticing computer games to entertain us.

~ Wayne Muromoto, from The base: close to the ground

More than a year ago, I wrote that parkour is about freedom (and much more.) There is also a visceral component that I’m finding is playing a greater and greater role.

Visceral, adj.
characterized by, or proceeding from, instinct rather than intellect: a visceral reaction; characterized by, or dealing with, coarse or base emotions.

When you treat your body like a Cadillac meat vehicle – that is, when it’s just a mode of conveyance from one creature-comfort to the next – you soon cease to be intimately aware of what your body is feeling. A large part of the allure of parkour is the immediate and clear, honesty and reality of the experience of training. It’s obvious that your body and mind are not readily separable, but in normal daily life, one mostly ignores the body. In parkour, the body and mind have to work in harmony.

I have a lot more to say about this harmony (my personal interpretation, and explanation, thereof.) But for the moment, I’m just going to start with the above.

The weight of the past

This is not to say that nostalgia is our inescapable fate. The lesson I am trying to draw from reflecting on the examples of Snowden and the N.F.L. is not that the thrill ends early. Rather, in their extremity these examples bring out something else. For most of us, as our lives unfold we simply do not, we cannot, know whether we have peaked in an area of our lives — or in our lives themselves — in ways that are most important to us. The past weighs upon us, not because it must cancel the future, but because it is of uncertain heft.

~ Todd May, from The Weight of the Past

No inconvenience whatever

benjamin_franklinI have perused your piece, and find it to be scurrilous and defamatory. To determine whether I should publish it or not, I went home in the evening, purchased a two penny loaf at the baker’s, and with water from the pump made my supper; I then wrapped myself up in my great coat, and laid down on the floor and slept till morning, when, on another loaf and a mug of water, I made my breakfast. From this regimen I feel no inconvenience whatever. Finding I can live in this manner, I have formed a determination never to prostitute my press to the purposes of corruption, and abuse of this kind, for the sake of gaining a more comfortable susistence.

~ Benjamin Franklin