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Old 09-07-2007, 02:48 PM   #1
dalen7
 
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thoughts of quitting

I know...dont let the door hit me on the way out.

Seriously, as of today I have had 35 lessons (including seminars) in a total of 16 weeks (4 months) - we train twice a week.

It feels almost like yesterday that I first posted here at aiki web (and while I know 4 months is nothing to what some of you have, time has gone by pretty fast.)

I have only missed one lesson (or I would had been at 36), and that was this past Tuesday. (there you go for accurate record keeping and details )
Anyway - I had resigned myself to not continuing with aikido.

It was reading todays thread of aiki boxing at aiki web that motivated me to go again today to try it out for yet another month.

And in the last sentence you can see what my issue is.
It is at this time period that I am now getting comfortable with the terms, the moves (well at least understanding whats happening, etc.) - and its at this time I am realizing that to efficiently be able t execute these moves in a real life situation, I would have to dedicate years (at the rate that Im learning) to be able to fight effectively.

I have in mind to take up the Thai boxing classes that just started up again this past week. (I have wanted to do that in conjunction with aikido anyway...but I have invested in aikido gear, and do not feel ready to fork out more money for gloves, wraps, etc. for a sport that I only want to play with for a month or so - this is a sport that I would feel comfortable doing at home...me and punching bag.)

So - Im kind of at that stage I have heard about, where most people drop out at around 4-6 months. And I can see why.

Also, remember, I have been learning in a place where no one really speaks my language and I cannot speak theres. Everything really is about watching (which can be confusing trying to decipher which move demonstrated is the wrong one and why its wrong to perform it that way.)

All and all, if I were to quit now, I think I have done well - but as mentioned, inspired somewhat from the aiki boxing thread, I may be at it at least for another month. (In reality I like to set short term goals...first was a month, then 3, and I was hoping for 6 and then at a year...well, that would feel like I got a solid feel for the basics of the sport - whether I carried on or not.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 09-07-2007 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:06 PM   #2
Aikibu
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Memorize and incorporate this Mantra into your life

"One Practice at a Time"

Good luck with your journey.

William Hazen
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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Re: thoughts of quitting

dalen,
I can understand some of what you're feeling. It can be quite hard when there isn't that added sense of community (hard to have with little communication). I think a big reason so many people stick with it is the social aspect, particularly in the beginning. Ultimately of course you have to determine what feels best for you and in my own experience, taking some time off can prove useful for gaining perspective. On the other hand, people tend to forget about that which they no longer actively particpate in. The more time I spent off the mat, the less I felt compelled to go, despite always talking like I was about to go back.
I always want to suggest people practice Aikido and make it a life-long thing, but circumstance and taste don't necessarily make that the best option for everyone. It's hard to offer any truly honest advice because I don't know why you're training or how you're training or anything else about you, but I would suggest you think about what it is you want to train for and how it is you're meeting that training. One nice thing about Aikido (in my opinion) is that much, if not all, of it's concepts are quite universal and can be applied to other practice. Four months does seem a short time to me, particularly if you feel you're just now reaching a level of familiarity (an important stage, in my limited opinion) but that's just me placing my subjective understanding to your situation; you have a better vantage than I do.
It's kind of funny, but I was just writing about how my time at another dojo really envigorated my overall training. Sometimes a change in scene can be just the thing to give one a fresh perspective.
Gambatte!
Matt

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Old 09-07-2007, 03:13 PM   #4
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Don't quit. Really.

If you are looking to become a good fighter in a short period of time, aikido is not the art for you.

If you want personal transformation, keep going for a long, long time. It's an awesome journey, and we have evidence (some master teachers) that the destination, such is there is one, is far more profound and encompassing than just effective self-defense. You won't find the same thing so easily elsewhere.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
Don't quit. Really.

If you are looking to become a good fighter in a short period of time, aikido is not the art for you.

If you want personal transformation, keep going for a long, long time. It's an awesome journey, and we have evidence (some master teachers) that the destination, such is there is one, is far more profound and encompassing than just effective self-defense. You won't find the same thing so easily elsewhere.
I'm inclined to agree, but don't you find it hard to say for sure without knowing the particulars of dalen's situation? I don't want to suggest dalen quit, but I don't think we're in a position to give definitive suggestions...particularly without knowing anything more about the situation.
A life-time of sincere, creative, and dynamic training is all i can comfortably suggest to anyone...but I guess that's why that was YOUR post and not mine, lol!
Cheers!

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:16 PM   #6
dalen7
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

First, William you are right...
"One practice at a time" is a good mantra.

Its something Im trying to apply to everyday life actually.
(that is, to become more aware of what it is Im doing in the present moment, instead of always rushing through life - trying to get to the next thing, etc. and letting life itself pass me by.)

So on a spiritual and actually practical side of things - when I look at it from this aspect, the question really is kind of moot.

And Conrad, your right...if I want to be a fighter right away aikido is not the sport...again depending on type of fight. (against some brute trying to grab you, etc. there is a nice advantage even now...but in a brawl, well we know the answer.)

And Matthew, your right...it is good to take time off to get some perspective. Im glad I did not go this past Tues. - the only time I took off since I started training -
As for my reasons for training. Its a mixed bag really.

If I may be honest, Im not sure Im even all that clear (or can be clear) as to why I am. I do know that part of the reason is as a kid I always wanted to take a martial art class...The other, probably similar to what I just mentioned, is for an ego boost to know I can kick butt. But as Im older, and seeing the world more clearly (a lot of the disillusionment of childhood waning away...) its really more for the spiritual aspect. - and in truth, that means that I do not even really need to take Aikido if its peace Im seeking.

Part of me knows that Im not rooted in peace yet, and there may be times when I may end up needing to protect myself - and I would wish to do so in a not so violent way. (I shared a story, I believe here how I had an argument with someone...there was yelling, and the next thing I know some judo move is put on me. After a bit of going back and forth Im on the ground, and kicking the guys face, pouncing up and punching him in the nose...long stroy cut extremely short.) Now, the fact is, yes I was attacked...but in this situation, I wish I could have ended it without the result being blood coming out his nose, at the same time I did not know of any other technique to defend myself against him.

On a 'higher' level, had I just walked away and not involved myself in the argument, this would not have happened, more than likely.

So perhaps you see more where Im coming from.
My goal is to be rooted in peace, and I realize Im not there yet.
So, its not all that bad to have a back up...but in the same token fights are serious. It would be in my best interest to learn to walk away from any argument as you cannot guarantee the outcome of a street fight - i.e, someones buddy comes up, etc.

Anyway...that about summarized it.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
Ivan Sekularac
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Try not to put any pressure on yourself... just come to Dojo, relax and train at your own pace... remember, like many good things, Aikido is complex and it does take time for ideas to sink in and for your body to get use to all the changes... progress will come, it just takes time... also if you are tired or fed up with it, give yourself week or two to relax and then come back... never force it... if you are tired or overwhelmed, slow down and take it easy... just stay positive.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:51 PM   #8
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'm inclined to agree, but don't you find it hard to say for sure without knowing the particulars of dalen's situation? I don't want to suggest dalen quit, but I don't think we're in a position to give definitive suggestions...particularly without knowing anything more about the situation.
A life-time of sincere, creative, and dynamic training is all i can comfortably suggest to anyone...but I guess that's why that was YOUR post and not mine, lol!
Cheers!
I agree with you completely. If the situation doesn't match your personal needs, then it can be a waste of effort.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:53 PM   #9
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Re: thoughts of quitting

seems like all of your posts are about quitting.

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Old 09-07-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post

On a 'higher' level, had I just walked away and not involved myself in the argument, this would not have happened, more than likely.
Oh yeah, but the trick is to be able to control one's self in such situations. I struggle with this all the time (especially when my kids don't cooperate with me at the end of a long day!). Training internal peace is very effective for keeping us out of trouble in the first place, as you have said.

The beauty of aikido, in my opinion, is that it addresses conflict at the root level (or 'higher' level, depending how you look at it). Actual fighting techniques are only one expression of the range of aikido applications.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:27 PM   #11
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
First, William you are right...
"One practice at a time" is a good mantra.

Its something Im trying to apply to everyday life actually.
(that is, to become more aware of what it is Im doing in the present moment, instead of always rushing through life - trying to get to the next thing, etc. and letting life itself pass me by.)

So on a spiritual and actually practical side of things - when I look at it from this aspect, the question really is kind of moot.

And Conrad, your right...if I want to be a fighter right away aikido is not the sport...again depending on type of fight. (against some brute trying to grab you, etc. there is a nice advantage even now...but in a brawl, well we know the answer.)

And Matthew, your right...it is good to take time off to get some perspective. Im glad I did not go this past Tues. - the only time I took off since I started training -
As for my reasons for training. Its a mixed bag really.

If I may be honest, Im not sure Im even all that clear (or can be clear) as to why I am. I do know that part of the reason is as a kid I always wanted to take a martial art class...The other, probably similar to what I just mentioned, is for an ego boost to know I can kick butt. But as Im older, and seeing the world more clearly (a lot of the disillusionment of childhood waning away...) its really more for the spiritual aspect. - and in truth, that means that I do not even really need to take Aikido if its peace Im seeking.

Part of me knows that Im not rooted in peace yet, and there may be times when I may end up needing to protect myself - and I would wish to do so in a not so violent way. (I shared a story, I believe here how I had an argument with someone...there was yelling, and the next thing I know some judo move is put on me. After a bit of going back and forth Im on the ground, and kicking the guys face, pouncing up and punching him in the nose...long stroy cut extremely short.) Now, the fact is, yes I was attacked...but in this situation, I wish I could have ended it without the result being blood coming out his nose, at the same time I did not know of any other technique to defend myself against him.

On a 'higher' level, had I just walked away and not involved myself in the argument, this would not have happened, more than likely.

So perhaps you see more where Im coming from.
My goal is to be rooted in peace, and I realize Im not there yet.
So, its not all that bad to have a back up...but in the same token fights are serious. It would be in my best interest to learn to walk away from any argument as you cannot guarantee the outcome of a street fight - i.e, someones buddy comes up, etc.

Anyway...that about summarized it.

Peace

dAlen
Welcome to EEEEGOOO DOOOOOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ying and Yang enter...Aikidoka leaves!



William Hazen

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Old 09-07-2007, 07:34 PM   #12
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Re: thoughts of quitting

IMHO, it is your life, your journey, your decision.
I have trained in many different styles and systems of martial arts, in many different dojos, with many different teachers. Find the one that fits for you.
Best wishes on your journey.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:59 PM   #13
mathewjgano
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, it is your life, your journey, your decision.
I have trained in many different styles and systems of martial arts, in many different dojos, with many different teachers. Find the one that fits for you.
Best wishes on your journey.
Lynn,
I always enjoy your posts. I hope some day I'm as concise.
Take care.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:15 PM   #14
Dan Austin
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Part of me knows that Im not rooted in peace yet, and there may be times when I may end up needing to protect myself - and I would wish to do so in a not so violent way.
Dalen,

If Aikido is all you have done in martial arts, yes, I think you should quit. If you would like to be a "benevolent warrior", this comes from having real ability and choosing not to use it needlessly, and the base of ability will come from learning solid combative arts and developing experience - which is actually what Ueshiba did before developing Aikido. The finished product, if it is for anyone, is not for beginners. All you will build in Aikido is false confidence, not fighting ability. There is nothing so amusing on this forum as people who talk about not hurting an attacker, as if they of all martial artists have the ability to be so magnanimous. To be kind to one's enemy is to be cruel to oneself, and the world's greatest martial artist does not have the luxury to give himself a handicap against any serious aggressor. When you can fight well already, then Aikido may be worth another look some day. Best of luck.
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Old 09-07-2007, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Also, remember, I have been learning in a place where no one really speaks my language and I cannot speak theres. Everything really is about watching (which can be confusing trying to decipher which move demonstrated is the wrong one and why its wrong to perform it that way.)
Will this change at the Thai boxing classes?

David
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:30 PM   #16
Roman Kremianski
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
If you are looking to become a good fighter in a short period of time, aikido is not the art for you.
No art is the art for you, if you're looking to become a good fighter in a short period of time.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:20 PM   #17
crbateman
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I would have to dedicate years (at the rate that Im learning) to be able to fight effectively.
This one statement speaks volumes. You began Aikido because you wanted to learn to fight. There are several valid reasons to practice Aikido, but this is not one of them. You are frustrated because it has not given you what you expected of it. Perhaps you would be better gratified by doing something else, but I hope that you will someday see the greater benefits, and return with a different agenda. Best of luck to you.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:28 AM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Y'know what? You and aikido, at least aikido at that dojo, might just not "click", and that's OK. No value judgement on either you or the art is implied.
I choose to paint, not to sculpt or be a printmaker. Doesn't really matter "why" and nobody assumes that I look down on sculptors because of it.
Sometimes we are fortunate in life to be able to try things out and see if they are right for us to pursue or not. Sometimes we know immediately "yes, I'm home!" and sometimes it takes a bit of time to realize "uh, no, not for me" (and sometimes we change and have to walk away).

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:05 AM   #19
Erick Mead
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
I am realizing that to efficiently be able t execute these moves in a real life situation, I would have to dedicate years (at the rate that Im learning) to be able to fight effectively.
If you want to learn to fight effectively -- join the Marines, Rangers, or SEALS (keeping it ecumenical). If you want to defend yourself (minimally) get a gun and learn its proper use.
Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
So, its not all that bad to have a back up...but in the same token fights are serious. It would be in my best interest to learn to walk away from any argument as you cannot guarantee the outcome of a street fight - i.e, someones buddy comes up, etc.
Aikido is properly neither walking away -- nor perpetuating a conflict. It's something else. Fight and you will win -- or lose. Plenty of places to learn to fight -- and win -- and lose. At the end of that long process you may find a glimpse of something. There is a Way to be found in war and conflict --but there are also deep and thorny thickets and deadly pits. Aikido is among the best and most effective arts in seeking that narrow, knife-edged Way (but by no means the only one).

Devote yourself to fighting and if you are very lucky you may stumble over it way down the road. Find yourself in deadly danger with shipmates at your side -- and you may find it sooner -- and then the path of Aikido will become far more clear.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:17 AM   #20
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Re: thoughts of quitting

the grass is not always so green.

osu

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Old 09-08-2007, 05:41 AM   #21
Walter Martindale
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post

Also, remember, I have been learning in a place where no one really speaks my language and I cannot speak theres. Everything really is about watching (which can be confusing trying to decipher which move demonstrated is the wrong one and why its wrong to perform it that way.)

dAlen
Ok.. so, How long have you been there, how long will you be staying there, and how much effort are you putting in to learning the local language? Years ago when I was in Tokyo at Kodokan, I'd go to the gaijin training every day, where the instruction was in English, after spending a while in the main dojo getting thumped around by whomever would take the time...
An Italian fellow showed up. Spoke no English. Japanese people have a large tendency to have studied a little English in school, so if necessary I could get by in my language, even in 1978... The Italian - well, he HAD to learn some Japanese, because he wasn't able to get by in English or Italian, as there was very little Italian spoken in Tokyo at the time... In the 4 months I was there, and in the 3 months I knew this fellow, he picked up much more useful Japanese than me, because he had to.

Are people allowing you to get away with living in (Hungary?) this country and using English? If so - and if you want to start understanding the lessons - it might pay to work very hard in the 7 days/week that you're there to get some of the Magyar lingo (more than my "egan" and "nem") so that during your 2 Aiki practices per week, you can garner more information...

If you're not going to be there for very long, and don't want to learn the language, then it's OK, I guess, and you can decide whether or not to stay with Aikido when you return to an English speaking country..

However, the choice to stay with Aikido or to go elsewhere is entirely yours...
Cheers
Walter
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:30 AM   #22
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
the grass is not always so green.
I had heard that the grass wasn't greener on the other side of the fence. It is greener where you water it.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:32 AM   #23
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Re: thoughts of quitting

I think that the problem that you are having is not with Aikido, but with you keep setting short term goals. You can't live an entire life setting only short term goals. Something has to be long term. If you set your goal to be an effective Thai boxer in 4 - 6 months then you will fail at this as well, plus you might still have the language barrier there. Thai boxing is easier to grasp than Aikido but in that short time anyone is destined to fail. The complexity of Aikido is what is so fascinating to me and keeps me coming back and I have been at this for a total of 7 years with a huge break in between that time and I am still only a beginner. Could I have learned everything there is to know about Thai boxing within those 7 years? I don't know but it is a possibility. I've been struggling with the Japanese language since 1988. I also took huge breaks within my instruction of this as well but the complexity and necessity is what keeps me coming back. I will learn Aikido and Japanese if it kills me. Long term goals set.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:31 AM   #24
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Personally, if you don't look forward to your practice (at least most days), if you aren't interested and into it while you're there, then I don't really see the point anyway - life is short and unless you have a specific practical need for the skills, it's kind of a waste of your life to spend it doing something that isn't engaging you.

Plus it works best that way in a lot of things that require long-term work anyway -- if you find something that draws you in and engages you enough on a day to day basis that you can practice for the sake of practicing, staying there long enough to get something out of it becomes simply a by-product instead of some kind of sacrifice.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #25
Erick Mead
 
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Re: thoughts of quitting

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I had heard that the grass wasn't greener on the other side of the fence. It is greener where you water it.
Point taken. However, it is far too often made to look greener simply because there is also much more bullshit lying around over there. It grows fast, but wilts easily -- because bullshit is not a steady fodder. It drops here and there with no reliable coherence, and it doesn't last a season. And a hard rain washes it all away.

The toughest grass grows in the near-deserts and steppes, where it receives little water, hardly any fertilizer, but a never-ending and nourishing light. It grows slowly, making deep roots, steadily but unseen and yet bursts forth in bloom unlooked for at the first really hard rain.

If you cut it down in frustration before then -- you have missed it. As in most things that are worthwhile, the chief requirements are perseverance and trust in the operation of things that are presently unseen.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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