Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When apprehensiveness is a Virtue (and a Moir)

I seem to be on some sort of roll today, maybe because of that wonderful ice dance last night won by "Canada," a concept momentarily inhabited by the wonderful young ice dance couple, Moir and Virtue, who in their unbelievably fabulous performance managed to successfully downregulate any negative nervousness and upregulate every particle of their well-honed strength and grace to take the gold in a most transcendent manner. I think they managed to navigate "even keel" through several different potential realities, toward victory. I think their sturdy sea-going vessel was "apprehensiveness." Let me explain:

If there was ever a word to describe human primates in general (perhaps me in particular), I think it would be the adjective "apprehensive." It ordinarily conjures up a sense of suspicion, nervousness, or anxiety, which I think is a negative social meaning that has accrued to it because of how extroverted people like to downplay sensible precaution; in fact, there is way deeper meaning to it than that.

"Apprehensive" means many different things: let's take a look:
1. quick to understand
2. mentally upset over possible misfortune or danger or consequences
3. in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
4. anticipating something with anxiety or fear
5. quick to learn, intelligent, capable of grasping with mind or intellect
6. the cognitive condition of one who understands
7. from Lat. (ad, "to"; prehendere, "to seize"), a term applied to a model of consciousness in which nothing is affirmed or denied of the object in question, but the mind is merely aware of ("seizes") it
8. (as verb) to legally seize or arrest

It was wonderful to hear Tessa Virtue thank her physiotherapist during a post-win interview. She's had injuries, for sure.

Well done, you two. You have made us (Canadians) proud and have entertained us all (wherever we are on the planet) absolutely beautifully and dazzlingly. So pleased you were able to "apprehend" the possibility, "apprehend" each other sufficiently to get the job done, let your combined brains "apprehend" gravity and other physical forces, "apprehend" correct responsiveness in each nanosecond in perfect poise, then "apprehend" the opportunity, and that medal, with all weight of its attached symbolism, graciously smile the whole time, and allow a sense of relief, joy, pride and connectedness to race throughout Canada and likely all round the world. Well done. Well apprehended.

Thank you (as a Canadian) also to the coaches (one from Russia) and the host rink (in the US, I think). It was a great moment to "apprehend" while putting in time in this Big Waiting Room called "life."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Referring to this life as a waiting room works for me. I am surprised to hear you use that metaphor. A waiting room is the place just outside a room that we are generally eager to get to, but at the same time apprehensive about what may happen there.

On second thought, I am not content to see this life as merely waiting. I believe there are things to do and things to learn. People to love. Beauty to appreciate. But when the pain and suffering start, waiting is just what it feels like.