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I trod my path and the journey is long, no end in sight. Not that it matters for the journey is, and not the end which brings to a close that which is worth traveling. And enjoying it so much why would I want to hurry it along? Is it the promise of attainment; the acquisition of mastery? Or perhaps power only just dreamed of, quickly gained at the expense of… what, if anything? If I could cut it short, gain in a year what otherwise would take most of a lifetime, would I want to; would I be crazy not to? What of my students? Do I short change them because I realize the value of the road long traveled?
I think not. My students are free to seek their ends wherever they desire. They aren't bound to me or forced to stay with me on my road. There are alternatives available to them. Many of them, over the years, have availed themselves of those alternatives. Some have returned, some not. It's the way of the world.
Besides, I see myself more storyteller than teacher. My Aikido is my story, my practice the telling. I'm continually amazed when I see people still interested in the tale, still showing up after 10, 15, 20 years and more. I realize that the story is no longer my own, but ours. Together we weave a tapestry that contains a part of all our lives. And of what importance is mere power in light of such shared experience?