For today's spiritual uplift, there is no better way for you to spend 16 minutes than by watching "Slomo."
I loved this documentary about a 69 year old guy, John Kitchin, who gives up his life as a neurologist and becomes a full-time inline skater -- in slow motion, sort of -- on the San Diego boardwalk. The filmmaker says:
I’ve long been fascinated by people who make seismic changes late in life. It goes against the mainstream narrative: Grow up, pick a career, stick it out, retire.
I was also curious about Slomo’s concept of “the zone,” a realm of pure subjectivity and connectedness that he achieves through his skating. The only thing Slomo loves more than being in the zone is talking about the zone, so it wasn’t hard to persuade him to take part in a documentary film.
Slomo’s combination of candor and eloquence made him a natural on camera, and his background as a neurologist legitimized his metaphysical theories about skating, lateral motion and the brain.
But like many of the people who saw him skating by, I couldn’t help wondering: was this guy nuts, or was he onto something? And was his mantra – “Do what you want to” – translatable to those of us without the nest egg of a retired doctor?
But just like the throngs of Slomo fans on Pacific Beach, I couldn’t get enough of him, and was determined to capture the effect he had on people in a cinematic way.
Maybe (well, more than maybe) I liked the film so much because I'm a senior citizen longboarder /skateboarder myself. (Did my thing on the Venice Beach boardwalk recently.) Along with, most recently, an addiction to the StreetStrider, an outdoor elliptical bike.
Hopefully the documentary video is still available when you read this. I had to sit through a short NY Times ad before being able to watch it at the top of the page. Small price to pay. The film made me smile. It inspired me.
"Do what you want to."
Sure, Kitchin's philosophy of life will strike some as too simplistic, too self-centered, too impractical. But, hey, he's doing it. Beautifully.
The Zone is all that is pure subjectivity. The Zone is composed entirely of subjectivity. Subjectivity extends into space right up to the edge of perception and thought, but it does not extend beyond perception into the Non-Zone.
Subjectivity has its own type of relationship with space and time. Subjectivity is the part of the human experience that exists as happening right now to one's self. The Zone is the "inside" part of this realm of pure subjectivity. For practical purposes, the Zone is pure subjectivity itself, and pure subjectivity is the Zone itself.
Part of Kitchin's essay makes sense, part doesn't; but who am I to know the difference, really.
Here's the trailer for the film.