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Old 10-27-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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It's fall.

It's raining this morning. The leaves are colorful and muted. My morning walk was only partly accompanied by others in my head. Prayer and quiet time left me alone with god and nature on my path that wind through my yard, then in and out of the woods.

Yesterday was one of those days that rise up and the winds blow in circles and months of something gets said. Speaking up is uncomfortable for me. I do it anyway. Aikido training teaches me that it is just that; training. My actions are not reprehensible nor should I be ashamed of myself as one gentleman told me I should be. I can just do my best.

I have noticed that the discussions on Aikiweb are constantly being derailed. Hardly anyone talks about Aikido anymore. Anyone that tries to gets called politically correct or too sensitive. I think about leaving and have taken a couple of breaks, yet, I want community.

I like John Stevens’ translations; I like Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I know people can develop inner strength without competition. I know that the peacefulness of Aikido does not have to drop because you are afraid that other people will beat you up. This warring culture of MMA and corporate greed needs peace. I love the Daily Doka. I appreciate Jun’s efforts in keeping Aikiweb a place for everyone’s point of view. I renew my effort to stay on my side of the street. If I don't want to get stung I must keep my hand out of the wasp's nest.

Listening with my body, I perceive through my center, my mind rests.

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 10-27-2011 at 08:39 AM.

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Old 10-27-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: It's fall.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It's raining this morning. The leaves are colorful and muted. My morning walk was only partly accompanied by others in my head. Prayer and quiet time left me alone with god and nature on my path that wind through my yard, then in and out of the woods.

Yesterday was one of those days that rise up and the winds blow in circles and months of something gets said. Speaking up is uncomfortable for me. I do it anyway. Aikido training teaches me that it is just that; training. My actions are not reprehensible nor should I be ashamed of myself as one gentleman told me I should be. I can just do my best.

I have noticed that the discussions on Aikiweb are constantly being derailed. Hardly anyone talks about Aikido anymore. Anyone that tries to gets called politically correct or too sensitive. I think about leaving and have taken a couple of breaks, yet, I want community.

I like John Stevens' translations; I like Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I know people can develop inner strength without competition. I know that the peacefulness of Aikido does not have to drop because you are afraid that other people will beat you up. This warring culture of MMA and corporate greed needs peace. I love the Daily Doka. I appreciate Jun's efforts in keeping Aikiweb a place for everyone's point of view. I renew my effort to stay on my side of the street.

Listening with my body, I perceive through my center, my mind rests.
Where is the like button? I like this.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
NeilWebb
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Re: It's fall.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It's raining this morning. The leaves are colorful and muted. [/i]
It's autumn, btw. ;-) My favourite season; colourful, my birthday, seasonal squashes and cabbage! Miam Miam!! And I felt I had a really good sesh at Aikido last night, bit of first 6 jo suburi, 1 ken awase, and some koshinage. First time I'v felt half comfortable with those. :-)

Totally agree with you though, that's probably the reason this is only my 2nd/3rd(?) post. I'm a little intimidated by the Troll-dokas, and (let's be honest) I'v only been doing this a year and a half, so I couldn't defend my opinions against them, or even recognise if they have a valid point or not. But that's the intertoobs for you, I guess.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
Chris Li
 
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Re: It's fall.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It's raining this morning. The leaves are colorful and muted. My morning walk was only partly accompanied by others in my head. Prayer and quiet time left me alone with god and nature on my path that wind through my yard, then in and out of the woods.

Yesterday was one of those days that rise up and the winds blow in circles and months of something gets said. Speaking up is uncomfortable for me. I do it anyway. Aikido training teaches me that it is just that; training. My actions are not reprehensible nor should I be ashamed of myself as one gentleman told me I should be. I can just do my best.

I have noticed that the discussions on Aikiweb are constantly being derailed. Hardly anyone talks about Aikido anymore. Anyone that tries to gets called politically correct or too sensitive. I think about leaving and have taken a couple of breaks, yet, I want community.

I like John Stevens’ translations; I like Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. I know people can develop inner strength without competition. I know that the peacefulness of Aikido does not have to drop because you are afraid that other people will beat you up. This warring culture of MMA and corporate greed needs peace. I love the Daily Doka. I appreciate Jun’s efforts in keeping Aikiweb a place for everyone’s point of view. I renew my effort to stay on my side of the street. If I don't want to get stung I must keep my hand out of the wasp's nest.

Listening with my body, I perceive through my center, my mind rests.
I like John too. He lives down the street from me, and we've talked about working together on projects in the past - we actually had one in the pipeline before Kodansha went into reorganization.

I even like his translations. But that doesn't mean that they're perfect, that he got everything at the time, or that there's nothing that can be improved. I think that, at the time, he tried to get as much out to as many people as possible - do you know that the "Budo" manual has never been published for public consumption in Japan? Even with the mistakes in it, at least there is an English edition.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-27-2011, 10:33 AM   #5
kewms
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Re: It's fall.

When I find myself taking conversations on Aikiweb too seriously, that usually means I need to spend more time on the mat and less time at the computer. Like the post-seminar bull session it emulates, it's easy for a few people to dominate the conversation. That doesn't mean there aren't other conversations going on.

Katherine
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
mathewjgano
 
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Re: It's fall.

Hi Mary,
I share your feeling about speaking up and it's part of my reason for coming to Aikiweb. In the past when I would discuss things on different sites I had the extreme comfort of anonymity. Here my name is attached to everything I say and it's been incredibly stressful at times in the past, but I trudge on because I see an importance to speaking my mind openly; to putting myself out there for others to judge; to engaging others and thinking about their opinions and how they relate to my own. Even where I disagree with other people I value the counter-points because sometimes down the road I either find a better way to express what I have to say or I understand some new point I missed initially (it's interesting how often while driving or taking a shower some random thought will pop up). In short it's food for thought; mental exercise, not unlike some logic puzzle books you can buy.
I also feel like the tone on aikiweb is...at times rather "interesting" (although much nicer than the philosophical and religious sites I used to visit). I read people making this assertion or that in ways that seem...less than ideal...and can't help but wonder how I come across, because I am making efforts to make "strong," definate (even if a bit unorganized at times), statements. I have opinions and thoughts and I hope to have them addressed by outside view points, but even more importantly, I hope the respect I have for people shines through on the whole...because I have tremendous respect for the kind of discipline and intelligence I see on a regular basis here. Then again I come from the school of thought which suggests everyone has something valid to what they are expressing (mom is a "hippie" ), even if it's not readily aparent to me. Some people have thought this means I think all are equal in every way, which isn't the case at all. I simply believe we all have validity to our perspective, on the whole, and that communication is an imperfect transmission of perspective; one in which we have to go "back and forth" in order to settle upon real undertanding.
Just as I think "sensitve" personalities could often use thicker skin, I think "strong" personalities could often stand a bit more sensitivity. If the purpose here is to communicate, we must consider the people we're communicating with. If we're only here to communicate with like minds, I don't see that as much of an accomplishment and believe a public forum isn't the best place for that. When I taught kids' class I was told not to let the loud kids dominate the class. The purpose was to make sure the quieter personalities felt like they could assert themselves too. I think the idea is that we're trying to promote personal strength, and you have to create space for that. Continually pressing doesn't help that very much. Now that's kids' class, but the principle stands true in other ways for adults interacting. I think Jun does a good job of trying to maintain that balance too.
I was raised to be a bit of an iconoclast. "Question authority," and all that. I believe that people have the right, if not the responsibility, to make something their own on some level, so I'm not real concerned when people take an idea or doctrine and build it around their own conceptions. If, for example, O Sensei wanted Aikido to only be one thing, but someone else decided to take the name and parts of his practice and make them "something else," that's not an issue to me. The "aiki bunny" complaints come to mind. If a person finds value to their practice and it somehow disagrees with my own, it doesn't affect my practice. My practice is mine:
Quote:
on my path that wind through my yard
Our practice is our own: listen to the world around us, yes; and don't let others tell us we're less-than...I've usually found, given a long enough conversation, they're not really trying to say that. Communication is imperfect; the mind can only see so far at any given time.

Reading my posts you can probably tell my path is a series of curlycues and zig zags.
...Anyhoo, FWIW.
Take care,
Matt
ps-holy crap that's a lot longer than I intended.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-27-2011 at 01:32 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
jlbrewer
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Re: It's fall.

The NY/Western MA expat currently in AZ would like to take this opportunity to lament at the lack of a fall color season here.

Siiiiiigh.

Then again, my mother told me it snowed today in NY, whereas we're just finally out of air-conditioner weather.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:54 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: It's fall.

Fall here is a confounding experience. The trees turn pretty colors and lose their leaves while two native shrubs are just coming into full bloom to feed the bees and butterflies and make people take allergy pills (coyote bush) and to feed the hummingbirds (epilobium) and the roses are exploding with new blossoms, buds and leaves. Mind you....I'm NOT complaining.

Aikiweb too can be confounding but I hope it continues as a "big tent" with room for a variety of viewpoints, especially among those who derive such pleasure from our practice of aikido.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:43 AM   #9
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: It's fall.

Fall colors not so bright as some years, possibly because lots of rain (but those of us whose old wells have problems in drought years had less worries this year, so I'm not complaining) Still see some reds and oranges here and there among the more staid yellows and browns and muted greens.
Hummingbirds don't seem to be so plentiful around here, so it was a treat a couple of years ago to hear a strange sound that didn't seem quite like the usual insects and then the hummingbird came into view. Are we just lucky because we let a lot of weeds grow up, and with them, wildflowers?
Maybe I'll ask the other people around here if they have one or two of these fascinating birds dropping by.

How great you all have flowers starting to bloom as the leaves are falling. Fascinating to read about the changes of season elsewhere, even if not so dramatic as here, your scenery report is pretty inspiring and impressive.

I love the Big Tent concept of Aikido!
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:24 AM   #10
lbb
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Re: It's fall.

To some extent, a derail is in the eye of the beholder. If this were a cooking forum, and someone started a thread about tortillas and the best way to make them, and someone else chimed in with, "What's all this masa nonsense? Tortillas are made with eggs!", in the eyes of the original poster and those of like mind, it's a total derail. In the eyes of anyone who knows that a tortilla is a type of omelet, it's getting the subject onto the right track: yes, by all means, let's have a thread about tortillas, but I'm going to correct this lunacy about how tortillas are made out of corn, because they're just not.

And then there are situations where harmony is false. When someone insists that 2 plus 2 equals 5, where does equanimity fit?

I dunno. It's probably worth always asking yourself, "Do I really have to stick my elbow out?" or, conversely, "Is this person really sticking their elbow in my ear?" On a crowded Green Line trolley, you're being a bozo if you throw your elbows around, and at the same time, you're being a jerk if you act like you're being attacked every time an elbow presses you. Your rights end where my nose begins, but I don't get to declare a ten-foot bubble of sacred space around my nose, either.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #11
RED
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Re: It's fall.

OFF TOPIC: To mention cooking; I'm a member of a recipe site, there are never any arguments on that forum, even when people disagree on points. Just something about pumpkin pie that makes people more agreeable.

MM
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:01 PM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: It's fall.

All very interesting, as was the lovely snow on colored leaves this morning...I do love the Berkshires!

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:08 PM   #13
RED
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Re: It's fall.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
All very interesting, as was the lovely snow on colored leaves this morning...I do love the Berkshires!
I haven't been to the Berkshires in years. I definitely envy you right now. Here in Florida, I got an Apple-pumpkin pie in the oven, yet outside the trees are still green everyone is wearing shorts. Just doesn't make sense.

MM
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
genin
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Re: It's fall.

Colored leaves and snow sound like they'd be cool. I'll never see them though.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:28 PM   #15
DH
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Re: It's fall.

Six -twelve inches of snow coming...a fire in the wood stove. A nice dinner, early to bed with a good book.
Autumn can be a friend.
Dan
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:31 PM   #16
mathewjgano
 
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Re: It's fall.

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
OFF TOPIC: To mention cooking; I'm a member of a recipe site, there are never any arguments on that forum, even when people disagree on points. Just something about pumpkin pie that makes people more agreeable.
I agree! Pie is awesome and tends to bring out the best in people...at least, I find I appreciate people more when they have pie with them.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:55 PM   #17
Thomas Campbell
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Re: It's fall.

Berkshires to Spencer
Dual opposing spirals--
Red leaves fall softly.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #18
Cady Goldfield
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Re: It's fall.

the wind of autumn plays in the reeds
down by the marsh's edge
tussling the silken plumes
the silken plumes of the brown reeds
rustling the dry leaves
and making ripples on the gray-blue water
gray-blue water, mirroring the sky
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #19
Thomas Campbell
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Re: It's fall.

TV--football--belch!
Sit on sofa scratch belly.
Wife goes for a walk.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:43 PM   #20
lbb
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Re: It's fall.

With eight inches of snow on the ground and more coming, I hereby declare this thread dead.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:00 AM   #21
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: It's fall.

It really is still fall, or Autumn. We have 17 inches of snow that is a beautiful contrast to the red yellow, green and brown leaves that still cling to the deciduous trees. I can almost hear the trees whining " Alright already, Mr. Sun, shine on me and melt this frigging snow so I can stand up straight again!" Some of the trees have just laid their branches down, too weary to hold them all up with weight of snow on the leaves. Main St., Great Barrington has shattered pear trees all over the sidewalks.
I accept what is. Snow in October is one of the blessings of living in New England. It is not an ordinary occurrence but it happens. It creates mystery and beauty. The sky this morning was October blue with bruised storm clouds, a little late in leaving. The sun shines on little snow showers as the branches shake and return to straightness. The mountains are dark green and yellow and white all accentuated by brilliant sun light. Not a sight I am used to but lovely just the same.

Uke tells nage where to go, nage goes, uke follows, all without a sound or moving on the outside.

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Old 10-30-2011, 10:37 AM   #22
Diana Frese
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Re: It's fall.

Our part of town doesn't have city water, so .... on and off moving plants inside and filling water bottles... nice to think of the beautiful side of this early storm. Thanks to Mary and the others, looking for the rare sights provided by this particular occurrence. My husband is thinking the arbor vitae is down for good, but I think it will spring back up, at least most of it.

A thought from Japan years ago... a shrine near Aikikai Hombu, on a side street, shrines are places of trees, rocks, earth in the midst of a great metropolis. This one was dedicated to a famous scholar, unfortunately I forgot his name but I'm sure I will remember later.

At a certain time of year, maybe New Years, school children post their best calligraphy examples around these shrines. When I was there, someone read the kanji for me or I figured it out. It said Shizen ni Chikazuku --- draw near to nature, get close to nature .... is the best translation I can think of.

It's nice to have a thread that's Japanese and American at the same time. If I may be so bold to say, I think O Sensei would be pleased.

Thanks everyone who posted. More would be good, too
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:02 AM   #23
Cady Goldfield
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Re: It's fall.

Diana,
Arborvitaes usually do pop back up after the snow melts. The limbs are pretty flexible. You can always loosely bind up the branches with heavy twine for the winter, criss-crossing it from the base, all the way up as far as you can reach. Some folks wrap with burlap, but I don't find it necessary except in the harsher New England climates.

The tall bamboo growing by my door bends like a garden arbor over the driveway when snow lades its branches, but springs back up good as new when I tap it with a broom to loosen the snow (I have to wear a raincoat with hood when I do that to shed the avalanche).

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 10-30-2011 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:39 AM   #24
Diana Frese
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Re: It's fall.

To steal a line from the old New York comedy scene, "Funny you should mention it" our arbor vitae, like your bamboo, fell forward a year or so ago, and no way to winch it back up, so I simply started trimming the lower branches to make way for vehicles. It made a nice archway

So this time after saying the arbor vita was down, and hearing me say it would come back up, my husband, going by to check out fallen branches in the back yard, shook the snow off. We'll see how far back up it goes....

Not having waterproof boots, I got my exercise, with the ski poles left in the front from navigating slippery paths last winter, gently whacking the taxus or yew bushes in the front to get the snow off, remembering to extend through the end of the ski pole to reach the edges. Maybe a good stretch for a few core muscles to keep from falling over.

Oh well, that was my keiko for yesterday. Hope you all had some fun and thanks again, Cady.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:33 AM   #25
Cady Goldfield
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Re: It's fall.

Oooh. It's one of those big, old arborvitaes? Once the trunk tips, it's down for the count! I have one out back that looks like a bonsai, because the trunk tipped (even though the roots, thank heavens, didn't come out of the ground) and the tree's new branches started growing upward toward the light. Now it is kind of an "S" shape that looks like I spent years painstakingly wiring and training it!

But it sounds like you're doing all you really can to at least keep it under control. The arch sounds lovely. Yews are so much easier - they're the workhorses of the shrub border. You can hack them, lop them, cut them down to nearly nothing, and they come back full and lush. They may break a branch under a load of snow, but if you saw away the ragged break, the trunk will send out fresh new growth in the spring and cover the scar. Arborvitaes, alas, are not so resilient!

I can't believe we're talking about winter stuff when... it's fall.
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