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The Will to Movement

A reflection on the hardwired call of the physical.

Walking, running and jumping.
Climbing, hauling and lifting.

The action of hunting or farming. Building or making.

Throughout so much of human history our lives have been defined by physical activity. The background of so many steady rhythms against wild moments of intensity.

And indeed our very anatomy has been tempered by the demands to move.
We are remarkably forged to express movement and strength.

We are built to move and in turn movement has built us.

The physical is in our blood.
It is a primary vehicle of expression.

Yet within living memory we have transitioned into a culture of the sedentary. Modern work environments and unimaginative patterns of consumption have largely divorced us from everyday physicality.

We are thinkers now. We subdue the body in elevation of the mind.
The concrete has made way for the abstract.

Who do you know who makes anything with their hands? An artist or mechanic? Chefs? A plumber or builder. Perhaps the baristas at your favourite coffee spot?

I was a map-maker once. The work was digital and joyless. In analogue it would have remained an art-form.

We have escaped toil but the office has made normal the absurd — the total embrace of the sedentary.

In stillness our bodies become dysfunctional and weak.
Our tissues soft. Our breathing shallow.

To spend a day at a desk is to stifle the spirit.
To show no signs of life.

We give the commands, but in doing so it is computers who we have made our masters.

Still, something in you hums quietly. Persisting all the while.
Something innate and savage.

An ancestral will.
Universal and raw;

The Will to Movement