Returning to Centre

Posted: February 24, 2015 in Spiritual Journey

There’s a song I quite like. It’s actually quite a bleak and depressing song but something about it strikes me as fundamentally uplifting. It’s this song:

It’s a song that focuses on those moments when everything falls to pieces. We’ve all had times where the world ceases to be what we thought it was and we’re sent tumbling through a mass of sensation and despair, losing reference to anything we thought we knew. My first time experiencing sub-drop was so similar to this I could almost put this song as the soundtrack to a montage of me working through a mass of previously unprocessed emotions.

So what the hell do I find uplifting about it? I think it’s that, having been through this experience a few times (fortunately never on a particularly drastic scale, just the kind of mini-tragedies everyone faces at some time or other) I know what I tend to do.

I do things that are familiar, even if they don’t feel that way. Some of the worst experiences of my life have been followed by me forcing myself into training. Dogmatically, ritualistically putting my body through familiar motions in a familiar space with familiar people. Making a sort of exoskeleton of something that’s physical and simple and means I am actively being even if I feel like I’m being torn into lumps inside.

A friend of mine who studied Kendo to a high level once chatted to me about his sensei and summed up the key to his skill in that he simply returned to centre, whatever actions or moves he made, he always quickly, smoothly, naturally remained centred, making it almost impossible for an opponent to strike him.

Martial arts and, increasingly, rope are tools that I find incredibly useful for doing a similar thing. Writing, too, is a powerful tool in this regard. All of these are things that involve doing, they are all active and, what’s more, they are all, in a very real sense, creative. I find this very therapeutic and it doesn;t seem too hard to figure out that, when everything is falling apart, doing something that asserts your existence, something selfishly narcissistic, something that screams to the universe that you are here is, for me, the best way of regaining a feeling of control, a feeling of self. Returning to centre.

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