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I've gone from the Uke who isn't physical enough to the Uke from HELL..
Ugh.. We'll call him .. Dave, Dave is too rough on beginners , tossing people like me around. The audible grinding of my wrists and the tears in my eyes weren't enough to convey he was being too bloody rough on me. I sat out the entire Jo section because of the pain in my right wrist and shoulder-- that and I don't trust him not to strike me with the Jo. I'm terrified to work with him and angry that someone could be so blatently rough. I'm not out to start a fight or to be the better practitioner at all. I just want to learn in an enviroment when I won't have to worry about being carelessly hurt.
I expressed my concerns to Sensei, and he basically told me that I was not the first person to get a little roughed up. He said I needed to be more direct, and with this I agree( the the grinding and popping of my wrists should have been enough for him to stop applying pressure). Next practice I'm going to talk to him and Sensei-- however at this point I refuse to work the jo. He moves too fast for a beginner like me, which is not fair for either of us…
Enough ranting for one evening…
I've got to nurse my shoulder and wrist and set up an appointment to see my physical therapist/ specialist.. I believe my shoulder is a little more then bruised. Cross your fingers for me okay?
Tonight has been a night of mixed feelings. Both frustration and brief triumph. Next week is the last week of our Aikido Module, and I feel like I'm leaving a huge gap in the path that I've progressed into. I'm going to see if I can come on Tuesdays and Thursdays to do a basic maintenance of what I've learned already-- that is of course with Sensei's permission .
Jo practice was distressing over all. I couldn't see the jo's against the beige walls, floor, mats and vinyl backdrop. I tried very hard but I started to shake and flinch every time we started the exercises with the Jo's. "I'm not going to hit you…" He had to have said that at lease four times, along with "Trust me." I came so close to crying because I was so frustrated. I hate to let my class mates down, or to make them think I don't trust them.
Somehow I feel… separated. On all of the Jo techniques I worked with two senior students and my instructor. Am I really that much of threat to my class mates? I do not mean to say that their instruction was bad-- not in any sense. I just feel… detached. Do my classmates really fear me? No one approached me when it came time to switch partners… and as I was heading to find a new partner I was caught by the senior students. I noticed, when working with my peers that I am being treated like something very fragile. No one would hold on during the techniques, merely letting go of my wrists when I started to turn to pin and the likes. I don't know what to do. Our instru
Where exactly does "spirit" lie within Aikido? This is something that has been on my mind since the early hours of the morning. It is , by ones very nature, easy to separate ones spirituality from most activities that we perceive in our daily lives.
A new awakening , you could say, has come over me. Like having my eyes opened to something I had forgotten , or over looked. A great part of my being goes into Aikido. I may not be graceful, or be the "spinning" top that many people think of when watching accomplished aikidoka. However, everything I have is there. I treat aikido like I do my music. Everything has a melody to it, moving lines that transverse over many scales .
There is color, hidden in the field of black and white. I see it in those quiet moments, when no one knows I'm looking. The slow and gentle counter melody that is weaved between two people, who in making mistakes, are the wiser for it. There is nothing so bright as seeing ones face light up when an oh so illusive technique or principle works. That is spirit.
Spirit is the strength to go on , to shed our tears and step away from the nagging subconscious. Spirit is knowledge that the road is long and may be hard, but is worth the trek. Spirit is being able to throw ones self into such a practice and forget about dying, forget about looking good, forget about always being right. It is the humbling knowledge that despite my sweat , tears and blood, that I will never be perfect.
Today is grayer then I can ever remember being. The skyline was muted and somehow withdrawn. It rained and snowed , and dwindled between being frigid and temperate. I saw the sun rising this morning and felt like the light was being restrained, held away in the shadow of something fierce. Winter curls around us like a chilly blanket and it seems that spring will never come. Looking out into the rain I had to wonder what march would hold, as the new month approaches faster then I would like.
This is the "calm" day of my week. Only two classes today. Math seemed to drag on forever.. But Wind Symphony… Ah, the souls content. We started the Rossini piece, and I was pleasantly surprised. We poor foold of the third clarinet sang out so beautifully that I had to wonder why things suddenly clicked. How, in such a grey and heavy day, the sweet lullaby of the clarinet could somehow brighten the din which has seemed to settle over us all.
Aikido was quite interesting last night. I was praised for my … interesting ukemi. They don't call me the ukemi bowling ball for nothing… but on a serious note, I made another step ahead. Things seemed to click between me and my training partners. Yes, I was roughed up a bit, but who wasn't? We laughed, we grumbled, we poked fun at some point (the skirt of doom… long long story). The night was good.
I have won the battle against the unbleachable Gi. When I put it through the wash last night I added some citrus extract and boom, its starting
I'm sitting on the balcony right now, watching as the world goes on , despite my stillness. Looking past the tree line and disappearing road I can see a storm brewing over the horizon. The clouds are dark and hold the promise of snow. In my heart of hearts my mood seems to be like some unnamable shade of gray, loneliness creeping in again.
To the right I look for "my" mesa. It stands like a lone guardian over the ridge to the east, over shadowing the scrub and pond below it. I often hike along that mesa, sometimes sitting for hours , just thinking. I find the need to detach my self from the busy and hectic ideals of the campus and dorms. As of late, I cannot even hear my self thinking. Dwarfed by the rolling mesa's and hills I find comfort.
Yet the ache for home does not ease away, no matter how I try to bury it. Mum let me go, even though she knew this first year would be hard. I now feel the hollow tug at my heart, the want to return to what was. I came to Grand Junction because of the natural beauty and for the size of the college I am now affiliated with. But beauty , nor the closeness of a small town , can fill the loneliness inside. In time things will be different. Until then I will continue to go on, in the first year on my own.
Tonight I go to Aikido again, week seven or eight now. We've been doing some interesting work between the Tanto's and Jo's. Bokken leaves something to be desired, but we'll probably hit that next week. I am finding more and more tha