on not being a ninja


me hanging out sideways, with a controversially unpointed foot

Here’s a text I was asked to write for T3, a performance by Transitions Dance Company for choreographer Miguel Pereira, which was toured across the UK and Europe this year…

Lack of clarity is not being a ninja. It’s not a straight line, or a perfect arabesque. It’s an unfinished thing. If you were an artist, you might call it ‘in process’.

It’s probably not knowing what the little finger on your left hand is doing at all times, like my old teacher always said we should.

It’s imperfection and lazy legs and bordering on madness (sometimes).

Lack of clarity isn’t really an emotion, but if it was, its nearest one might be confused – all depending on the context or your perspective of course.

As a stand-alone thing, lack of clarity is not really a good thing, or a bad thing, it’s just… a thing.

It could be resistance, but it could also be lack of understanding, or a simple inability to do the thing, or see the thing, or know what the thing is, or think your way out of the thing.

Lack of clarity is only really a problem if you’re aware that you’re lacking in clarity.

It’s likely to ramble on for ages and never really get to the point…

But just because you can’t see clarity doesn’t always mean it’s lacking in clarity.

Sometimes it’s simply easier to find clarity by approaching it more from the lacking clarity end of the spectrum.

In this sense, lack of clarity is pretty wise in its uncertainty…

Although, you probably still won’t usually choose to show it to everyone.

Then again you never can tell, because lack of clarity is the kind of thing that likes to do things differently.

You might even one day learn to like  lack of clarity. But realistically, probably only when you’re not personally experiencing it.

It’s the way you feel when something is not quite right, but you don’t know exactly what yet.

It often comes with a heightened sense of its own ridiculousness, and this is not for the faint hearted.

The saving grace is that lack of clarity never lasts forever. Nothing does. Like muddy waters sings, even clarity fades like charity does.

When I lack clarity, I sometimes google the word on the tip of my tongue.

This time the word was ridiculous, because I’ve got to finish this ramble somewhere.

Here are what some famous people said:

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring”.

(That one was Marilyn Monroe).

And here’s something a bit more ‘highbrow’ from DH Lawrence,

“It is quite true, as some poets said, that the God who created man must have a sinister sense of humour, creating him a reasonable being, yet forcing him to take this ridiculous posture, and driving him with blind craving for this ridiculous performance”.


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