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04-28-2004, 09:47 PM
Jack's sensei once could sense a disturbance in him and told him after class, "A soul is both invigorated and purified where two kinds of saltwater meet ten thousand gallons of fresh water."

Jack meditated on these words many times, but could never decipher the riddle. Was Sensei talking about an estuary? he thought. Two kinds of saltwater?

One day, Jack was looking through the book, The Secrets of Aikido and saw a drawing of a man standing under a waterfall. He had nothing to do that day so he searched the internet and found a waterfall 19 miles away. He went to "Falls of the High Noon Sun" State Park. He parked his car and took his jo with him to use as a walking stick. It was a hot day, but Jack marched onward. He followed the path for five miles and finally got to the waterfall. He set down his jo and stood under the waterfall. The water was freezing cold and Jack felt as if someone was pouring numberless buckets of ice cubes on his head. All the repressed memories of his ex-girlfriend surfaced. He began crying from the physical and emotional pain. He sensed his sweat from the hike washing downstream. Suddenly, he stopped crying and began laughing hysterically. Of course! he thought. My sweat and my tears! Two kinds of saltwater meet ten thousand gallons of freshwater!

--Loosely quoted from my novel "Sand in the Chambers."