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I have new found respect for break falling, a new sense of humility. Once upon a time, when I was still wet behind the ears, I did something incredibly stupid, now that I can look back on it. During my first round of Iriminage I truly lost my balance and hit the ground like a board. I pulled the muscles up my back and spent about six weeks being miserable and sore.
At class tonight I was breakfalling all over the place. I simply couldn't find my usual groove and relax as uke. We worked on a lot of unfamiliar techniques and even started Kaitenages, which were … different.
I tried, I really did. Tonight was one of my tired nights, I hope I didn't disappoint my partners. Focus kept on slipping. I "lost" about twenty fingers in the tanto-dori stuff we did. Note to self, don't try to catch the blade. Blade bad, blade very very bad.
On a duller note, Sensei announced that he will not be returning to teach in the fall semester. He received a job offer in another state and opted to take it. It was a somber class tonight. His teaching style is wonderful and he is perhaps the most patient person I have ever had the chance to work with. I hope that things go well for him and the future is bright and prosperous.
Denver is waiting for me, and so is the lurking beast known as "testing". By the time I will have been home a week or so, I'll have been practicing for five months, thus I'm being urged to apply for and test my fifth kyu.
I used to believe that there is inherent good in everyone.
I used to believe that my tears could heal the wounds of the world around me.
I used to believe that there is only right and wrong.
I used to believe in hero's and happy endings.
I used to believe in third and forth chances.
I used to believe that I was what other people said I was.
I used to believe that when forced to react there is no choice, this no fault.
I used to believe that if I tried hard enough I could get things right.
I used to believe that the past dictates the future.
I used to believe that my dreams would come true.
That was once upon a time, when there was that simple line between right and wrong. Stealing was wrong. Telling the truth was right and good. Hurting others was wrong. Helping others was very good.
Now, many years , tears and scars later, things are not so simple. No longer does stealing to feed your two children seem wrong, nor does helping others bring you compliments and comfort. Murder is only murder if proven beyond a doubt, prison and "correctional training" are nice and peachy. The disappearance of a child is but a whisper on the bottom of the news paper. Doing the right thing doesn't always guarantee reward or respect.
So many shades of gray, so very slippery.
We practice the "art of peace", do we not? Yet there is that trembling line that separates victim from aggressor. Things become blurred, the lines fading and obscuring, roles reversing and the old quest
For the first time in many months I watched the sun rise, quietly listening on to the sleepy noises of the night. In my transition into yoga, I learned to dip my hands into the stillness inside. The calm that resonates in that spiritual pool has eluded me for three years now. Instead of breaking into my usual routine , I sat out on the balcony , wrapped in my blanket and simply listened and absorbed everything around me.
.I think sometimes, we as individuals, and especially as Aikidoka, forget about focus.
You see, I was amazed when I first came to Grand Junction… I was in a place where there were no skyscrapers to overshadow me, no smog clouds to burn my lungs. As time has gone by, being on my own has taken its toll. Stress and illness have brought my spirits down and depression has waited for me to drop back into its vicious cycle. Now, as more issues arise, I found my self to be verging a breakdown. I spent the last many nights restless, upset not knowing why.
Yet I awoke this morning, two hours before my alarm clock was set and crept away from the warm safety of my bed. Looking out the window and past the cars in the parking lot, I saw the first lines of dawn begin to crawl across the Mesa's . I had stared so long at the things around me that I forgot why exactly I was here. Watching the Mesa's warm with morning light, I realized how small and insignificant I am in comparison to those natural landscapes. Cool, comforting calm settled over me.