Busy and tired - themes of the moment. Paycheck though - so I am able to survive another day. That's the feeling, that I am everywhere and doing everything and that I'm a little low on the resources required. I need MORE. That's the sense right now - of not having enough of all the requisite elements of life. Not enough money (never enough). Not enough love (never enough). Not enough time (usually, I'm alright here). Not enough sleep (never enough). Not enough strength, attention, focus or skill - the big ones, the ones that fall on me to rectify. So skill is earned through practice, attention is gained through concentration, focus is gained through the abolition of distractions and strength flows from all of these. Probably.
I went to run my game yesterday and on the train across the river I was corresponding about magic and practice. So I was thinking about Intention and it's role in the practice of the magician (me) and how I can explain and how it can be understood. Really -the only people I've heard talking persuasively about intention with any real knowledge that meant anything were the Tango instructors. Surprising to no-one I'm very good at Tango.
Just too tall to be doing it often.
So here's intention as it occurs to you on the daily. You're walking down the street and there's a little kid with you. She's just going along because she lacks intention- she's distracted and notices every little bug and every flower on the path around her, she's fixated and gets lost, wanders off the path - or would if you didn't hold her hand and try to keep her on task. You though, you're walking. You're aware of the moment during a footfall. The bottom of your shoe strikes the sidewalk, you feel it as a moment, an instant that you consider briefly as NOW - and then it passes, the other foot falls, there's the swing in your gait - the foot falls and you are again at NOW. Now keeps happening, increments of time - irrelevant if they are heartbeats or seconds or footfalls - NOW - NOW - NOW there's a definite rythym. You are looking forward, you are on this path and you are walking you have a forward motivation- animation in the limbs and you are acutely aware NOW of the mind driving the body, there is a purpose to your going and you are engaged in purpose. You are looking ahead and see a sign, you can't read it but it is on your path, part of the trip you see the sign and are going toward it and it comes into view NOW as your foot strikes the pavement, you are aware of it NOW as it goes past your right shoulder, you are aware NOW that you've passed the sign and it's out of relevance - there's a next milestone and a next, ahead- you are intent on those pieces and there is a NOW and a NOW a cadence of experiences in sequence each of which you are aware of.
And then you get to where you were going. You aren't thinking of where you've been all the steps you've taken. You aren't narrating each moment of your walk down Rocky-River, someone asks - "How'd you get here?" You say: "I just walked from the train station." It's all of a piece - the walk each step, you unbind the steps and sights, the signs and the sequence and relate the whole thing as a scene - a single element. There's this power in you to aim at a thing and to consume all the moments and efforts that lead to that thing - to devise them all into a single episode though it's composed of a billion invisible things and a hundred visible. There's a narration that's spoken this little one-sentence story you tell about it. "I walked from the train station." That describes every step and that says nothing about any of the steps, the detail is lost because there is only one detail that matters. "I am here. This is now." The trance of the sequential is over and now you're into a different type of scene, a new one where intention isn't significant, collaborative or what-have-you, you're reacting and lacking intention you're addressing statements, interacting with others - there's no work here, but there is activity. You may spend hours where you go - at work or at the game or wherever and there's not an intention, so there's no end-point, and so there's no steps taken to achieve it. You are simply doing.
And then you leave, see the thing ahead of you you are aiming at, the words flashing up on the screen a letter at a time - a sentence you concieve and compose so that there is nothing between the thought in your mind and the actuality of the thought composed as words but these steps TYPE-TYPE-TYPE - the words flash up, a sentence is formed, but the sentence existed it only needed to be worked on to be transformed. The place on the path ahead exists, but it takes these steps the sequence of STEP-STEP-STEP to get there. All the undetectable NOW-NOW-NOW that gets you to the place you know to exist but which doesn't exist without effort.
You take your partner in your arms, you feel yourself projected to a place just beyond them, 20 inches through them, you feel yourself in that spot and you are moving into it- Intention. You do not push, shove or drive but wait for your partner to accept and then the intention is joined and you are moving into that spot.
And Astor Piazzolla plays his accordion