Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A few more thoughts on the Wood element

Here are a few more of my thoughts on the Wood element:

I regard one of Wood’s qualities as focusing on the concept of order. A world in which things move in straight, ordered lines, have their allotted place and move forward in their allotted way seems to me to give an image of Wood’s ideal world. And this desire for order is always accompanied by a sense of movement. When I represent Wood graphically to myself, I visualise it as a series of straight lines, which run up and down, from right to left and from back to front, as though forming the squares of a Rubik cube which, when rotated, re-forms itself again into a further small square. If I were to put this feeling into words, I would describe it as someone saying, “And this is so, and that is so, and yet again this other thing is so”, forming a kind of movement at right angles to itself, and in words always spoken with precision and with emphasis.

One of the distinctive characteristics of Wood’s speech is that it could be said to want to “tell” rather than to communicate. To tell somebody something is just as much a way of ordering things, this time through the structure of words. Wood’s telling something can be described more as making a statement, rather than taking the form of a discussion with others. This is where its talking differs from Fire’s whose communications turn into two-sided affairs, moving from one person to another and back again. Wood’s is in one direction only, towards the person spoken to, with far less emphasis upon the need for the words to be returned to it by the person spoken to, or, if Wood is very unbalanced, with no attention at all paid to the need for discussion with the other person, almost as if they are talking to themselves. The image I have of Wood’s speech is to think of it like a tennis player practising alone by hitting a ball against a wall, where I see Fire as taking part in a game of two players, one on each side of the net, hitting a ball of words to one another across the net

When I asked some Wood people what they want of their interaction with others, they all agreed that what they wanted was to “engage” with them. This is an interesting word. My dictionary gives it a very active meaning, which includes the sense of battling and grappling with, and is much used in military terminology. It implies more than just interacting, for there is the sense within it of some kind of a struggle, or, at the very least, pressure from one side to push against the other, which we can see as representing the push behind all that Wood does.

It is by continually adding little snippets of insights like these that I gradually accumulate more and more understanding of what it is like being of a particular element, in this case Wood.

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