V. S. Naipaul said, “The world is always in movement,” and whether I look around me at the pulsating streets of the city I call home, or travel thousands of kilometers to the southernmost tip of Africa and lose myself in a mountain desert – the evidence supporting this statement surrounds me, reminding me that movement is an inevitable part of life. Allan Cohen puts it beautifully, “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
Certain adventures fill us with awe and wonder and leaving them behind can be so painful that the pursuit of something new seems pointless. These adventures continue in us long after movement in time and space have ceased, becoming part of who we are and leaving their fingerprints on our identity to the extent that we can, as Marcel Marceau says, show the reflection of ourselves in our silences and movements.
Sometimes I think that we live in the tension between knowing that, in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement; and seeking to keep stillness inside of us in the midst of all the movement and chaos that characterise this beautiful life.
As I write this people, bicycles and cars pass in the street below adding their movements to the city’s symphony. I watch and listen and it slowly dawns on me what Plato may have meant when he said, “Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue,” because the art of everyday life is (to appropriate Karl Marx’s words) always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.