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skin and bone
bring on the dancing horses Echo and the Bunnymen, Bring on the Dancing Horses
I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind N Scott Momaday, The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee
somewhere up there he's waiting for me
and he knows that I'm coming' for him
and I just can't rest till I find
that raven black stallion that wears no man's brand
with a wild restless spirit like mine Chris Ledoux, Caballo Diablo
Because the pleasure-bird whistles after the hot wires,
Shall the blind horse sing sweeter?
Convenient bird and beast lie lodged to suffer
The supper and knives of a mood. Dylan Thomas, Because The Pleasure-bird Whistles
Sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has; but I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit. William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, act 1, scene 3
wild wild horses
we'll ride them
someday Rolling Stones, Wild Horses
My first aikido teacher Kinjo Asoh sensei liked art. His father was an artist. Asoh sensei had some pictures of horses. You could feel their power.
There is a kind of concise Japanese proverb called yojijukugo 四字熟語 よじじゅ&
Thanks to the morning light,
Thanks to the foaming sea,
To the uplands of New Hampshire,
To the green-haired forest free. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The World-Soul
If we meet someone who owes us thanks, we right away remember that. But how often do we meet someone to whom we owe thanks without remembering that? Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Elective Affinities
To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. Victor Hugo, L'Homme qui rit
i thank you god for this most amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes e e cummings, I thank you god for this most amazing
Thank you. You are a very pleasant person.
Thank you. You are too. John Ashbery, My Erotic Double
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. T S Eliot, The Waste Land
I thank you. I am not of many words, but I thank you. William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, act 1, scene 1
My desk, most loyal friend
thank you. You've been with me on
every road I've taken.
My scar and my protection. Marina T
The other day someone asked me how you remember the number of days in the months in English. We use this little rhyme. It sounds very old. The rhyme one with alone could come from Shakespeare.
Thirty days has September
April, June and November
All the rest have thirty-one
Except February alone
I found that there is a mnemonic using knuckles too. When you count out all the months though there are a couple of knuckles left over so - no. There has to be a more satisfactory solution.
In Japan they use a very short sentence:
nishi muku samurai
2 4 6 9 11
Ni shi mu and ku are ways of pronouncing 2 4 6 and 9. That's called goroawase. I talked about it briefly in tokyo sky tree.
Samurai is not the usual kanji for samurai 侍. It's the shi 士 from bushi 武士, another word for samurai. It's also used as a suffix meaning scholar in words for professions like bengoshi - lawyer - and keirishi - accountant. The Japanese letter 士 looks like the letters for ten 十 plus one 一. Or eleven.
So Japanese people remember that all the months have 31 days except the second, fourth, sixth, ninth and eleventh.
So wow. I look at it in admiration. Short, elegant and cool. Perfect. You probably won't forget it now either.
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Edgar Allan Poe, The Bells
On a roof stand the swallows ranged in wistful waiting rows,
Till they arrow off and drop like stones
Thomas Hardy, On Sturminster Foot-bridge
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days
John Masefield, Cargoes
And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman
A sound in my head that I can't describe
It's sort of whack, whir, wheeze, whine
Sputter, splat, squirt, scrape
Clink, clank, clunk, clatter
Crash, bang, beep, buzz
Ring, rip, roar, retch
Twang, toot, tinkle, thud
Pop, plop, plunk, pow
Snort, snuk, sniff, smack
Screech, splash, squish, squeek
Jingle, rattle, squeel, boing
Honk, hoot, hack, belch
Todd Rundgren, Onomatopoeia
This pop-art painting by Roy Lichtenstein is done like a panel of a DC comic. The word Crak! sounds like its meaning - a rifle firing. That is called onomatopoeia.
In English we use onomatopoeia in music lyrics - like in Splish Splash (I was taking a bath) by Bobby Darin. And in poetry. From Shakespeare to e e cummings. And of course in comics!
But onomatopoeia, ideophones and mimetic words - including words for more abstract concepts that don't have a sound - are very, very important in normal Japanese speaking and writing. Many of these words are made by reduplication -
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts.
Naming of Parts by Henry Reed
I heard on the BBC that the most advanced nuclear submarine in the world, HMS Astute, ran aground off the coast of Scotland؟ Way to go with the naming. By the way that's the first time I've used an irony mark (check out the thread about Omotokyo http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18832).
So I was thinking about naming. Judo is a great name. It's short and powerful and it contains the essence of the art itself: the way of softness. Of course a lot of people who do judo forget that. Kendo is a simple clear name: the way of the sword. Karate on its own - empty hand - is a cool and succinct name but when -do - the way - is added it seems like an afterthought: karatedo. In kobudo - old martial arts - a name I always liked is kage-ryu kenjutsu - shadow style of the sword. It became shinkage-ryu - new shadow style - in the sixteenth century but that doesn't have quite the same ring.
The naming of aikido is a little vague. I don't think I've ever seen a good translation of it. Blending + Energy + Way. In Wikipedia it says: Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Well, not often. I've never heard them. It is sometimes called the way of harmony but that doesn't mention the ki part. I have seen the way of harmonizing en
After training we say thank you to our teachers and to our partners and to our students.
In Japanese there are a few ways to say thank you. By the way often the u is omitted in writing Japanese into English - Tokyo is normal, not Toukyou, and of course so is judo, not juudou, but I have put it in to make the words easier to pronounce. Here are seven different ways to say thank you. It's no wonder we get confused. For budo you can usually forget the first five. And please say thank you the way your teacher tells you or you'll get me into trouble.
"Arigatou," is quite casual.
"Doumo," is even more casual.
"Doumo arigatou" is casual too but a little stronger.
"Arigatou gozaimasu" is "Thank you" in the present tense. So it has a kind of implied feeling of a continuing connection or relationship. And if you add Doumo at the beginning "Doumo arigatou gozaimasu" roughly means "Thank you very much."
"Arigatou gozaimashita" is "Thank you" in the past tense. So we use it for something that's finished or when a result has become clear. So in normal social interaction it is rarer than Arigatou gozaimasu. But it is the one that is appropriate for keiko. It was difficult for me to catch the nuance of difference between these two.
"Doumo arigatou gozaimashita" is a little more polite maybe and is only used to people (so not to the dojo) to say "Thank you very much" for something that is over.
In budo after training even though of course we do have ongoing connections b