Aikido and Thanksgiving: a Native American vision
We used to call them visions. I had a pretty deep epiphany/vision on the bus-ride home from school today, and decided to write it out, and post it here in the style of a native american fireside tale, for thanksgiving tomorrow. I am very much part indian, and I support Shundahai. (Yucca mountain, mmm... Great water cooler topic. Shundahai is definately worth googling, and finding out about.) This story is very metaphorical, and though I consider myself to have been "told something" in vision, It's not that literal. Remember to invite an indian to your thanksgiving party, and give him dibs on the leg. ;D If I heard right, I believe there *are* thanksgiving seminars... If anyone could print my story out, and share it with a fellow Aikidoka on the long drive there, or even adapt the words a bit, to tell it to a family member who doesn't understand Aikido, copy it, and email it to someone on thanksgiving. Spread the joy of being one with nature onto whomever you can, and remember to always give thanks. - D. Barnaik
Glancing fondly out of the rain-spattered bus window upon a fence, which stood between a sweet childhood past time, and myself, I heard the slow, low voice of the planet for the first time in my life. She confided in me, and I realized, that she was in fact, sobbing.
Mother, I don't understand, I admitted to her. Tomorrow is Thanks-giving! It's the day we give thanks for all of the tasty, nutritious crops we grow in your soil, and for all the happy things in our lives. We celebrate them, and celebrate each other, by spending time together. What could be so tragic, but to make anyone cry like this on the eve of such a humble, and happy holiday?
Look at this telephone pole here, right next to this fence, she told me sternly. I am too indignant with mankind right now to simply explain. Look and see, and realize why I cry tonight.
A wire, reaching up from the phone booth beyond the fence, high up to the top of the pole caught my attention through green metal diamonds.
You don't like telephone wires? I inquired, confused. Through this wire, we can talk to almost anyone in the world! That's a good wire! It's not hurting anybody, from what I can see. How does this wire make you sad?
Mother refused to answer, and made me do the work. It was then, that I noticed a vine. Stretched out between the phone booth, and the pole, it ran side by side next to the wire. To me, it represented man's technology co-existing with nature, side by side.
I see no problem here. I don't understand. I admitted.
Look and see, and realize. She told me wearily, slowly, with age-old patience.
I followed her words, and looked again at her vine. Rather than being simply next to the wire, I realized, It was wrapped around another telephone wire.
You see how my vine wraps itself around it? She said. I nodded. Gripping it tightly, it tries to merge, and become one with man's invention. Look at my vines, climbing the fence, the walls of that house over there. Look and see, and realize.
I smiled. Shundahai. Living in harmony with nature. Almost just like "Aikido".
The planet sighed, again, underestimating my naiveté.
Look, and see, and realize how tightly my vine holds onto it for dear life. You're technology is not at one with me. Realize, if someone does not cut my vine, It may try and strangle that wire to death. Someone will cut my vine eventually, and it hurts just thinking about it, cause no matter how it tries, the wire will never be able to intertwine with my vine, and truly become one with it, in turn. Wires don't know how to do that sort of thing.
I listened to her intently, trying to work out a way to console her, and help her fix the problem. I realized, that to cut her frigid vine was no solution, and to do so would only cause it to grow back again next year. Removing the telephone pole, or most anything for that matter, which imposed on natures balanced order from the ground, was something that was out of my power to do, I realized, and way out of the question.
Mankind. Man needs to instead learn to merge with, and harmonize with nature. He needs to allow his home to wrap around him, like a vine, and do his part to merge with it. Nature has always tried her best to hold up her end. He's been trying harder and harder to be one with her, but she is still struggling.
Modern mankind, and society. Technology. These things cannot, and don't ever completely co-exist with nature. Try as they may, the only way to truly exist together in harmony, is to be one with one another. Any other way, one side misses out.
Our great mother loves us, and wants to be one with us! This thanksgiving, and whenever after you remember to, do something outside the dojo to merge your life with nature. I don't mean hug a tree. Show the mother earth you love her back. Let's give thanks together.
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