There hasn’t been much to write about for a couple of months. Been in lockdown mode so no casting practice. No practice means I’ve had nothing to preach about. Here in Oz the restrictions have eased enough that the optics of throwing some loops have greatly improved and I’ve managed a couple of park sessions.
With the aid of a structured practice routine the first session was about discovering how much had been lost and the second was about picking up where I left off in the last post. The key point there was making a delivery without any conscious attempt at oomph, a delivery that I went easy on all the way through, right to the very end.
The obvious place to resume was at a medium casting distance, the point where no effort or restraint from effort is required. Physically, this is biomechanical easy street. From a sensory motor perspective little conscious thought is involved and movement is largely automatic. Technique is sound. Mentally it’s a composed and confident space. I really enjoy this place; it’s where learning is relatively clutter free because available attention is high. If you haven’t visited this clearing in the casting jungle I urge you to seek and explore it. Yes, I know, I’ve said most of this before but for now, consider it context establishment.
So, there I am, casting to a target at medium distance and then to the next one ten feet further away and then back again and then ten feet short of medium distance and then progress as before. Something importantly different starts to happen. Instead of an external focus on technique (eg tracking, tracing, translation, rotation, loop width, full and straight turnover) I am now experiencing the movement internally. Rhythm and tempo are matched and in balance between forward and back casts. Minor changes in trajectory can be made at will. I’m fully in the movement of my body rather than trying to observe it and its results from the outside. Not only can I do it correctly I can do it expressively. Then the question becomes for how long and how far can the experience be extended. Space, time and distance.
As I write this I’m doubting it will hit the spot with many of my fellow casting pilgrims but each and all the journeys are simultaneously shared and personal. A tag line I have taken from Emerson is that “The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy.” Graceful movement then, is economic. It is not surprising that Joan Wulff and Chris Rownes were both professional dancers. Their casting is pretty easy on the eye.