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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,690,348


In Miscellaneous Sliding Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #36 New 12-31-2010 04:26 AM
Sliding Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Simon and Garfunkel

Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow): "I - I'm not - I'm not very good at - at, you know..."
James (John Hannah): "Constructing sentences?"

Sliding Doors

In Germany they say "Guten Rutsch!" or "Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!" - have a good slide into the new year. I like this image of sliding into something new.

In budo we use suri ashi - sliding our feet on the ground. The movement should always be free.

My first aikido teacher Kinjo Asoh Sensei did judo and some boxing when he was young. But maybe it was in speed ice skating that he first really learned to move his hips freely and how to use the power of his back pushing leg. One of the most important lessons for budo from ice skating was that if you turn your face in the direction you want to move your body will follow naturally.

At the end of the year in Japan it's time for osoji - the big, special cleaning. Then you can start the new year with a clean place and a fresh spirit and the year will bring luck. In Scotland they have the same custom. Many dojos do this end of year cleaning.

There are different ways to clean the dojo. A traditional way in Japan is to sweep the dojo with a broom and then wipe the floor with wet cloths. I was taught to clean two tatami mats together - moving my hand in a big arc by swinging my hips and then to change hands for each new set of two mats. In some places you clean the dojo in lines - pushing the cloth the length of the dojo. There are lots of ways to do it but one secret is not to let the cloth get too dry (or you fall over - to everyone's amusement) so keep rinsing it out. And you can also hold the cloth in a very slight crescent shape with the points leading. And slide it over the tatami.

I'm going to have toshikoshi soba tonight. That's buckwheat noodles to go from the old year into the new. They are supposed to bring you luck and happiness. Because they are long you will have a long life too. But in my mind I'm sliding into the new year like the slippery noodles - and with a clean house…

Article about toshikoshi soba from the Japan Times: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0101224f1.html

Wikipedia article about soba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soba

Vegetable soba recipe from Tales from a Tokyo Kitchen food blog: http://tokyokitchentales.wordpress.c...egetable-fans/

stunning photo of speed skaters: Olympique de Vancouver 2 by Fotophilius http://www.flickr.com/photos/30254220@N04/4360457194/ photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/30254220@N04/ used under creative commons licence

I appreciate all the great photos and illustrations I use in my blog and I'm grateful to all the kind and generous artists. Fotophilius's photos are amazing.

© niall matthews 2010
Views: 4428 | Comments: 11 (1 Private)

RSS Feed 11 Responses to "Sliding"
#11 01-17-2011 03:07 AM
niall Says:
I've never thought about how a model walks. There's a head turn and a spin too at the end of the runway! Walking deserves a separate post I think.
#10 01-16-2011 09:59 AM
guest1234567 Says:
My son is just watching the movie Miss Congeniality, and the part where Michael Caine shows Sandra Bullock how she must walk as a model, he says you must slide, that made me think in this post "sliding"
#9 01-03-2011 10:28 AM
niall Says:
Thanks so much for your comments, Diana! Clarity is always a great and positive thing to aim for.
#8 01-03-2011 07:46 AM
Diana Frese Says:
A lot of stuff accumulates in the family home over the years. What we don't need we can recycle, especially no longer relevant papers, then we can find what is important. My brothers and my husband and I will be aiming, maybe not emptiness yet, but a lot more clarity. I think that makes people kind, to appreciate the best in each other. Thanks so much, Niall, Billy and Carina
#7 01-03-2011 07:27 AM
Diana Frese Says:
Sliding into the New Year, I was surprised at how it happened. Suddenly a lot of activity, saw many friends Jimmy and Chuck with the chain saw for firewood, and Jimmy's dog, and other friends in North Stamford. And, yes, Aikido movement always reminded me of skating though I never learned to ice skate. I used to tell my students at the local Y, "Skate!" Thanks, Niall for the inspirational writing and photos.
#6 01-01-2011 09:14 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Billy. Yes, you are right! In budo sometimes it feels like we don't make progress. Or even slip slide back. And sometimes we just hit a wall. We have to find a way to climb it. Or maybe crash through...? Then looking back later we wonder what the problem was - twenty twenty hindsight!
#5 01-01-2011 06:53 AM
Makochan Says:
Dear Niall, great blog as always. The words to "slip sliding away" are so appropriate for our Aikido training. You think you are getting somewhere and then you realise just how far you still have to go. This is so true all them time. Enjoy your soba. Best, Billy
#4 12-31-2010 09:15 AM
niall Says:
You mentioned the chimes of the clock, Carina. Another interesting custom in Japan on the night of the new year is that the bells of Buddhist temples ring 108 times for the 108 desires of humankind. I can hear one from my house. It's a wonderful sound. We have to overcome them all if we want to reach enlightenment...
#3 12-31-2010 08:57 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. I'm always very impressed by your excellent and careful translations. That link is http://brainstorm3.blogspot.com/2008...emptiness.html. You can write [ url ]http address[ /url ] with no spaces and it shows the actual http address in the link or you can write [ url= htp address ]any title here[ /url ] The idea of emptiness is very interesting and deep. Thanks for the link.
#1 12-31-2010 07:57 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Great post again Niall, thank you very much also to allow me to translate your writings. In Spain we eat 12 grapes when the clock gives the 12 rings of sliding in the new year, one grape for each month, it will bring good luck, if you are able to eat one grape in each ring. About the cleaning I like to add a link of the principle of emptiness for reflection http://brainstorm3.blogspot.com/2008/09/prinnciple-of-emptiness.html

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