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I am a small bit of the universe that is able to look upon itself and wonder.
I'll spend my life on a quest for knowledge and if I'm fortunate, before I die, I'll gain some glimmer of what it's all about. Realizing I'm one part in a play of billions of actors I see that there are many paths available, only a few of which I will be able to take, others of which will be taken by different actors wending their way thru their lives.
Aikido, as it has become evident over the years, is one path I have chosen to further my knowledge of myself and how I fit into the larger scheme of all things. Aikido has enabled me to study aspects of the universe on a personal, visceral level that no amount of book knowledge could replicate. Aikido is like "do-ing" Newtonian mechanics. Practicing Aikido brings Newton's laws of motion to life in ways his equations can only hint at (irimi).
On another level, it's relating to people, once strangers, who have gone on to become close friends; friends who have chosen to join me on this quest, at least for a while. Aikido training and teaching has provided me with the tools and a venue that have allowed me to start to overcome my innate shyness around other people and begin to see the world thru their eyes (tenkan).