When I was younger I used to wobble like a top off its axis. I thought that the way I veered and jerked about meant that I was “passionate,” that I was alive.
But it takes the same amount of energy to make a top spin properly. From a short distance, the top looks like a stationary object. But if you look closely, it is spinning more intensely than the one that wobbles. There is more life, more “passion” in the well-balanced top.
Also, the top off it’s access will soon spiral out of control and end motionless and dead on the ground, drained of all impetus, while the well-centered top spins on with its lovely blurring colors.
There’s a certain gravity that some people have, that has nothing to do with their physical stature and often even nothing to do with their age (though it’s very rare in the quite young).
I’m not talking about simply being calm. I’m talking about being centered on your axis. People who are centered on their axes can still laugh and dance exert themselves with intense energy when the job calls for it. Indeed their laughter is more joyous, their dancing more solemn and lovely, and their energy at work more powerful.
No, it’s not calm in and of itself. It’s purpose, it’s quiet discipline (the kind of discipline that happens when no one else is looking), and it’s deep happiness accompanied with an wise sadness that never despairs.
The question then becomes: what is it that’s going to center the axis? Career? Money? Entertainments? Status?