“Centrifugal” is a word (surprise) that was derived from the two Latin words (I Googled it (which, by the way, makes this a completely factual claim)) centrum, “centre” and fugere, “to flee.”
In English (and probably other languages), this makes the very literal and slightly poetic translation to, “to flee from the center.”
I love that. To flee. Not to just be away from the center, but to willingly go there…and quickly. Like it’s going to be some sort of safe-haven of imbalance and freebased ineptitude (because ineptitude and cocaine are obviously synonymous).
In addition (and in relation) to centrifugal, you have centripetal. Centripetal means “to seek the center.”
To flee and to seek; both conscious decisions that require the exertion of energy and depend on the physiological (and metaphorical) promise of movement to get there.
My obsession with these words can be dated back to high school and my compulsive presence in pottery class (when I wasn’t skipping out to eat at Penn Station).
Centering is the most important task in successfully “throwing” a piece of clay into something functional. It’s your foundation. It’s where the promise of a successful outcome lives. And it depends on both of the above forces to successfully become centered. That, a heaping dose of concentration, a bit of patience, steady hands, and time.
Oh, you know where this is going.
If you are impatient, and you don’t invest the time necessary to completely center the clay prior to moving forward, through the processes of opening and pulling and modifying, you will set forth tiny tremors of instability. Those tremors will snowball into wide wobbles, and before you know it, that invested work is suddenly an unsalvageable, mushy heap of time spent.
Messing up is not a bad thing. Mis-stepping is a key element in the cyclical methodology of learning.
The damage is done when you make the conscious decision to not learn. If you continue in impatience, if you continue to build on a slightly unstable and unpredictable base, you are going to experience similar results time and time again.
That in and of itself, is nothing but pure science.
However, the scientific nature of it flows directly down into the metaphorical way in which we move inside of our own lives.
You’re not hurting anybody if you operate a little left of center. Building from there is where the damage is done. You can spin in the same direction your entire life and be completely ineffective.
But recognize it.
And if you do want to build something successful, then identify your forces.
And find the right placement for your hands.
And invest the time.