The question is, do we want parkour to be a thing that is a casual part of more people’s lifestyles, like walking a dog or riding a bike? Or do we want it to be a pursuit only the able and passionate need bother even try?
As we get older, failure is not so inconsequential anymore. What’s at stake is not some arbitrary grade or intramural sports trophy, but the quality of your life and your abiity to deal with the world around you.
Don’t let that intimidate you, though. You have the best teachers in the world: the wisest philosophers who ever lived. And not only are you capable, the professor is asking for something very simple: just begin the work. The rest follows.
But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
(Part 63 of 63 in ~ My Journey in Parkour)
I’m working on a crazy idea as a side project. Totally unrelated, I’m reading Julie’s CinéParkour. I’m just reading along this evening, and I get to this paragraph. This is so apropos of my train of thought these past few weeks.
Julie Angel, from CinéParkour, pg 152:
Traceurs are active subjects within dominant power relations who use parkour as a technology of the self; an active transformative tool, to create and understand themselves and move away from fixed notions of identity and behaviour. Through a process of critical thinking and self-awereness traceurs problemitise and set ethics by which they adhere to. Parkour becomes a ‘practice of libery’, where traceurs practice freedom as a lifestyle, based on inventions and styles, that create ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections, to reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle, away from the dominant notion of ‘bio-power’ and other dominant discourses.
‘technology of the self’
‘freedom as a lifestyle’
‘ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections’
‘reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle’
(Part 18 of 19 in ~ Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
I’ve now read the entire book several times, and Chapter 6 never ceases to inspire!
I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I’ll be damned if I’m not trying my hardest.
It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success. It may contain in its debris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities.
Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels. It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.
~ Chapter 14, “Failure as a Success”, from Self Control, Its Kingship and Majesty, by William George Jordan, 1907
The application in the Ways is to falls in life. To be able to take a disaster or a great failure, with the whole personality, without shrinking back from it, like the big smack with which the judo man hits the ground. Then to rise at once.
Not to be appalled at a moral fall. Yet it is not that it does not matter. The judo man tries by every means not to be thrown, but when he is thrown it does not hurt him and in a sense it does not matter. It matters immensely, and yet it does not matter.
‘Falling seven times, and getting up eight.’
~ “Falling”, from Zen and the Ways, by Trevor Leggett, 1978
In one spot in the part of the universe we can see—and probably in an infinite number of spots in the part of the universe we can’t—there’s a small blue-green planet with thin film of bio-matter on it. Among other things, this film supports some bipedal mammals who like building things they can set on fire.
Douglas Adams meets irreverent atheist. Many smiles. Much like.
A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.
(Part 13 of 19 in ~ Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)
Over the last few years it seems I have — finally! — learned some key lesson about pace; the idea of enjoying the journey. The idea of focusing on what I can control. The truth that some of these projects I will not finish, some places I will not see, and some people I will not manage to spend enough time with. These ideas are patently obvious and unequivocal, but learning the Lesson, and deeply and truly making it part of your work-a-day life and personal philosophy takes effort.
(Part 36 of 63 in ~ My Journey in Parkour)
Nevertheless I shall brave this danger and be bold enough to show [Marcellinus] his faults. He will act in his usual way; he will have recourse to his wit, – the wit that can call forth smiles even from mourners. He will turn the jest, first against himself, and then against me. He will forestall every word which I am about to utter.
Many of Seneca’s letters are pretty obtuse after all this time. But this one… this one jumped out at me as being really apropos of modern life. And, uh, painfully on point for myself.