Thursday, September 08, 2005

Looking for the Skeleton

I've been working on a book. It grew out of some lectures and a pamphlet on the difference between martial arts and violence. It is the hardest thing I've ever tried to write. Not because of prose or subject matter or dedication or research or knowledge. It's because violence is still a natural history, not a science.

Once upon a time, 'natural history' was a collection of facts and observations and specimens. It was a body of literature gathered by amateurs and professionals all over the world. Then Darwin came along and found the underlying theme to all life and biology was born as a science.

At one time there was a loose collection of facts, processes and experiments with various far-fetched but detailed theories on what each thing meant... then Dalton postulated the atomic theory and philosophy of alchemy became the science of chemistry.

This manuscript deals with what I have learned about violence and it is a collection of observations, a few theories of small parts, systems that have worked for me and my students. It is very, very hard to format.

Normally I'm good at finding underlying patterns and connections. Finding the key that makes entire classes of technique work. Tying everything together so it is easy to learn and remember and extrapolate from... not with this. I see big pieces, such as the effects of adrenaline, where control must be learned as a technique, but it affects perception and affects both threat and victim but in different ways as well as men and women and professionals and everyone else. It is also a big piece of the aftermath and that is different for single events versus sustained exposure...

And I see small pieces that affect these big pieces and may, if I come to understand them, be bigger than I ever realized. Breathing. The touch of a palm on your face.

Grrrr. So I come up with a framework that works hopefully for the reader and with luck, stuff won't fall between the cracks. My attempt to organize the soul of chaos.

We'll see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rory, your blog is freaking cool, and by cool I mean totally sweet!

Crap, I forgot class was today. I apologize. I will punish myself severely. I will be there Saturday.. if I am not too injured from the punishment.