You just put things on and take things off until it starts to look about right. Then try and hang on for dear life.
Just like a traditional weighing scale.
I’m tempted to argue that everything in life is about balance, but even that seems a bit contradictorily absolutist. I think there’s a danger in broadness and generalisations. Yet I spend my life making them.
I think there’s a possibility that I have yet to find the balance, so perhaps I’m not the best person to ask, although that’s clearly true of everything that’s been asked so far, so I don’t know why I’m bringing that up now.
A lack of balance, is the answer.
I think there’s a difference between stability and balance though. I can’t decide which way to pitch it, but for arguments sake lets say that balance is the ability to bring a semblance of stability to your world.
The key here is that a stable life can be represented by a constant swinging from one end to the other, if that’s being done steadily enough to represent a constant attempt to recreate balance.
I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live though. Which I guess is why my life feels like a constant movement towards smaller shifts from one to the other.
Which I guess means more balance. And definitely means more stability.
I’m reminded of the imagery of lorenz attractors.
It’s a pretty picture, and a demonstration of a non-repeating chaotic output from a simple instruction. The fact that it looks ordered (hence pretty) to us is because we see a simple balance to the overall structure. This perception doesn’t make the thing itself any less chaotic. It is constant non-repeating movement. It has structure but is complex, in the richest sense of the word.
Balance doesn’t have a simple set of structures, but you should recognise movement towards it.
Think of clowning around.
When juggling, you don’t run forward to catch the balls, you keep them bouncing in a roughly vertical plane, so you can stay relatively static.
When unicycling, you don’t go too fast and don’t go too far forward at any given moment. In fact, the image I have in my mind of learning to unicycle is of a gentle rocking back and forth motion. It’s a constant movement, to enable stability and balance. It’s back and forth, to constantly retain correction.
And of course, once you get good at it, you try and make yourself look as unstable as possible, whilst keeping yourself from utter failure.
Of course, despite what I say when I’m arrogant and full of myself, life is not a performance. There’s no need to ride to extremes unless that’s really what feeds you.
When you’re dancing, you don’t always have to fling yourself as wildly as you can, sometimes it’s the subtle movements that express you the best.
Life might be like that sometimes.
Illustration by Adam.