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I was reading around in Aiki Web. then I went outside to enjoy the weather and maybe tidy up some in the yard. There was some old stuff from the basement that we had put outside to make room for the tools from the woodshop we couldn't afford to rent anymore.
Never got around to dealing with it, covered it with leaves. We all know about the two sides of: become obsessive about a project, and then give up and cover it over, out of sight and in the back of the mind somewhere low key, though still there....
So what the heck I started raking the leaves away, there was some stuff that the new recycle laws permit to go in the newer larger bins... gradually I spaced out and a start was made to spring cleaning. Painlessly, without effort.
I came back in and remembered my cat is old and needs to eat more, Rather than planning or scheduling, just listen to the cat.
To get him back in his room where the dish for cat kibble is, I answered him in his own language. I had learned, I realized, to talk "cat."
This applies in the dojo, Aikido is a language, it's various techniques and styles are dialects.... might be one way of looking at open mindedness and learning from others, and not forcing one's own progress. What do you think?
This may sound like a strange title for a blog entry, and the grammar is a bit eccentric, as it refers to one person, me. I had no idea until a few minutes ago that I was going to use it. It is from many years ago, advice my teacher gave me.
I don't want to give the idea that sharing knowledge is a bad idea. On the other hand, I think it is revealing of our teachers as people, to see what kinds of advice they give. At the time I was a bit overenthusiastic, kind of like a St. Bernard or the collie that helped raise me as a kid. (My parents got a puppy and a kitten when I was 5, they had always had one dog and one cat...)
Yamada Sensei one day gave me a bit of advice, probably not asked for, either, "Just try to be the regular people." At the time he had what you could call cute English, and the dojo secretary at the time, the late sixties, was helping edit his first book (the one with the red cover one of my first students still wants to get...) and the secretary said it was too bad she had to make any corrections, because his English was so much clearer as to the meaning than the grammatically corrected version.
Francis Takahashi is very kind in answering comments on his columns, and once asked me which teacher had the most influence, I can't remember the exact words right now. It's a difficult question, but one way to look at it can be, if you spend years in the first dojo you attend regularly (in my case I had three months intro at college then
(I thought of a different title for this entry, but decided to go for the more general. The second title is a Japanese folk song, but that comes later in this entry.)
Can you call a school your alma mater if you were only there a year and a half? Was it okay in the last blog entry that I referred to Watanabe Sensei as Papa Bear even though he thought it was kinda cute years ago in regular three o clock class when he kind of made a face to see if we would slow down and ask for his opinion and correction .....?
If Alma Mater really means Foster Mother in Latin, were we really adopted while we were there? I honestly think so. I returned home to my own parents and my own town, and I had lived in nearby New York many years, but teaching Aikido in a local Y, something that just happened due to their getting a brand new building.... gave me a way to learn about a city, by offering something, you get back a lot, and I did. But that's for other entries, if you like....
The crisis in Northern Japan forced me to ask myself who I am and what can I do .... I remember Francis writing something like do something today, it was just a general wisdom comment weeks ago.....Yesterday in church one of the most enthusiastic and choir singing parishioners suddently in the middle of the announcements mentioned Japan and bluntly that we'd better not wait any longer to DO SOMETHING.
Then I knew I was right in waiting for someone else to speak first and bein