The Wrestle

David Erasmus
5 min readSep 29, 2020

The file named ‘wrestle’ in my mind has been collecting a few notes recently…

Facebook is serving me up UFC fighting content like there is no tomorrow! Taking me into its wormhole and spitting me out about 4 videos and 45 minutes later!!!

I am also finding great joy in roughhousing with my 10 year old nephew: teasing, squashing, poking him, letting him ride on my back like a bucking bronco, giving him donkey bites and trying not to reveal just how ticklish I am on my neck!

I first found inspiration to voice some of these notes on ‘wrestling’ in a conversation over dinner. We were asking questions, about the systems in place to educate small children. What environments are best? Which skills need instilling through order and which should be left to develop naturally? What does it mean that children need structure? And what on earth are we going to tell our kids about the way the world works and the reality that lays beneath it?

I am reminded that Jacob wrestled with God in the Hebrew Old Testament, — he wrestled all bloody night, and, in that place, he saw the face of God but he paid a price for it.

In the tension between creativity and governance, what is the right balance of each? I think it changes throughout our lives. What is the optimum amount of structure? What level of law and rules, guides and patterns, is optimal?

Initially In the woods I was breaking free of structure but, after a year, I asked for a contract, this was my choice. I was an active participant, not a passive recipient. Therefore, my experience of these boundaries, structures and ‘rules’, was empowering, not suffocating. Structure in this way brought freedom, not limitation as I believed they were authentic expressions from me and my relationship with this environment and helped me feel at home.

It seems to me that crystallised structure, rules and procedures are second rate to pure relationship. If the governor were closer they might make a more nuanced decision that would support the person better but, in lieu of that, we use structure and laws to ensure some standards when presence can’t be achieved. Like a musician — if you could listen live, with your ear close to the sound of the musician, you would but instead we record, and now digitalise, to ensure more can hear when not privileged in pure presence to sit in Santana’s front room!

In the woods, I began asking, what is the minimum viable structure for here, in…

David Erasmus

making a swiss army knife to explore a state of mind beyond nations, flowing with beauty & justice