George S. Ledyard
Anno Sensei is one of the great gems. The Kami smiled on me and allowed me to prevail at a fund raising auction at Kimberly Richardson Sensei's new dojo. I got a beautiful "Take Musu Aikido" calligraphy done by Anno Sensei which I have had framed and placed at my dojo. It makes me smile every time I look at it. I wish I could get down there to train with him but I have my own frantic schedule...
Anyway, I know what you are saying... it's just important that we not confuse letting go of the form with not being in absolute accordance with the principles involved. The form can be almost infinite at a certain point but only if the principles are so ingrained that they are really a part of you. Too many people try to go formless in imitation of what they perceived O-Sensei doing but they have never understood the principles at work. So you get people whose movement is beautiful, their hearts are open, they love everybody but they can't actually do their waza. Now on some level, that may not matter... what's more important, how your training shapes your life and your relationships for the better, or how well you can hurl somebody who attacks you? That's pretty clear.
But the waza is a true measure of how one really understands the principles and for someone like O-Sensei, who is the model we strive to imitate on some level at least, there was no disconnect between the spiritual and the martial. He manifested the principles both within and without. That's why I always try to keep refining my understanding of the principles at work so that I don't go too far into the stratosphere in my Aikido.
To me, you and I are in a beautiful and rare boat together. Let's keep rowing and now and again let the sails take the wind.
I'm grateful for your company.