Someone alerted me to a most fantastic, insurrectionary piece up on the Bowyer’s Edge website about instinctive archery. A glorious bit of prose that demands a careful read. Right here:
It’s not the only solid bit of advice on Dean’s website, either. Have a good nose around.
Left to my instincts, I’m an optimistic person. I think this attitude is essential if one hopes to shoot bows by the strength of his muscle, the force of his will and the purity of his desire. It’s an essential premise, this optimistic, self-reliant faith upon which we loose an arrow while expecting it to hit the mark.
There are a peck of dangers in dividing the world into two camps. Liberal and conservative, hunter/gatherer and farmer, male and female, up and down, black and white, etcetera, and so on. Still, it serves a purpose, so I will risk it: Insofar as the world divides into optimists and pessimists, those with the dark view which focuses upon our inadequacies become mechanists. Their suspicions require them to seek out compensations for human shortcomings, inventing contrivances and devices that fill in where Man falls short physically or emotionally. Their solutions to the problems of human experience find technological expressions that smooth us out…
Nowhere in my life is this war of attitudes more apparent than in archery, which diverges like a fork in the road into traditionalists and mechanists. Plucking the string and getting erratic arrow flight when you loose an arrow? Is practice, to achieve a smooth loose, the answer? Or is the invention of a mechanical string release the solution? Upon such simple choices attitudes are firmed up, and from such attitudes a webwork grows and a coherent cosmos gets built. You end up with a stick and a string and a firm resolve, or a titanium/graphite riser for lightness and strength to compensate for a 3 pound stabilizer which absorbs the shock of cam actuated cables which allow for heavier drawing weights with limbs which, in turn, require … because you didn’t believe that you contained satisfactory solutions to shooting problems within yourself.