Sometimes I imagine the personalities behind the ancient statues, like of Hatshepsut. Commanding the space around them. Like when someone enters a room, and the room stops, out of respect. We ought to own our space: as we are already in life, we have a right to the place where we stand. To stand where we are: without dispersed thoughts or invisible toes.
Today the mind is often divided up over physical space, through the internet, cast out to faraway relatives, or lost in the dizzying vortex of possibility, which can spin into one dull colour. Nursing on information that is like solid food.
Or we start the ripple effect of people nervous in their spaces: jostling elbows. Or we become carelessly blind to our own jagged movements, learning to skirt around the edges, before darting from A to B like lower creatures. The person in us staggers.
Bad habits are formed - which is what Frederick Matthias Alexander observed when he created his eponymous technique, bringing to our attention to how we hold ourselves when we are not paying attention. "Like a sack of potatoes." The C-shaped man.
There is a Chinese saying that compares people to "Clay Buddha crossing the river" (can't even protect yourself) - the clay Buddha dissolves in water, so cannot be of help.
Once, a long time ago, I decided to be the person I wanted in others. This process is ongoing. Like in pass-the-parcel, each layer of newspaper is peeled away each time the music stops - but still, no main prize: either nothing, or a disappointing sweet.
You see, in my zeal to uncover my imperfections to peel them off, I forgot most people instead cover theirs with especial vigour - often beneath layers of hypocrisy, so much darker than my laughable weakness. Take the half-truth from told to Brutus (I,i) - it may be true that man bears responsibility for his life, but that is no reason to become a cut-throat moneylender.
By contrast, Hatshepsut - despite inevitable imperfections and opponents who scratched out her hieroglyphs - succeeded in being remembered for building and trading, bringing her people the food needed if people are to be ethical. To command is to be entrusted with - and that requires lending care beyond oneself.
Even that primal archaic torso, a mere fragment of a sculpture, is "like a star", bursting "from all the borders of itself". There are stars, and there are stars. One of the two fellow-walkers is the example of what not to emulate (31). Once, a street-sweeper with particularly elegant motions so impressed a celebrity I knew, that the latter claims to have questioned his own worth and calling.