Sunday, June 30, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee: Form / Fame


Recent time has been spent watching both tennis - Wimbledon - and cycling - the Tour de France.
Wimbledon represents tradition from clothing - white - to surface -lawn grass. While winning is rewarded, it is the opportunity to play that really matters. There can only be a single winner, but the reward of being "in the tournament" and playing on the grass courts, lasts long beyond the winning/losing of a match. Wimbledon is form.

The Tour de France is, and has always been about winning. In it's early years riders used a variety of chemical aids to increase their performance which caused the death of at least one rider. This chemical use of drugs and blood supplements has continued in recent times. Need only recall the recent Lance Armstrong confessions. The Tour de France is fame.
An early personal encounter with form/fame.
When starting to play tennis, a peer player approached and suggested that it was much more important to have correct strokes and play gracefully, rather then simply striving - at all costs - to win. Seemed to be a "crazy" suggestion. After all, wasn't the purpose to achieve victory over an opponent?
Wasn't until years later as cycling replaced my interest in and ability to play tennis, that the wisdom of this suggestion became apparent. Long distant biking allowed movement thru the landscape without regard to time. Simply ride from a starting location and return. Enjoy the landscape and the folks - if any - riding along with you.  No need to win. No striving for victory. It's the form not the fame.

The last eighteen months have been physically and mentally difficult. Many are the hours in which "victory" - no matter the means - over the physical and mental problems was the only goal.
As in tennis and later cycling, the mental and physical problems are being slowly resolved without winning. Once again it's the form that matters not the fame.

These days photography is slowly replacing cycling. Again it would be easy to select subjects and moments that would assure "winning" images. In sports, we say "let the game come to you". Don't impose yourself, rather allow the subject present itself.
Learn to think about the subject and how it relates to the space around it, how to use that relation to present it the way that suits it best. Once again it's the taking/making  form that matters not the  fame of the result.
Form is an long lasting inner belief/feeling within yourself of correctness. Fame is a short lived outer response/belief of others.


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