Registered: April 2012
Location: New York
Water Oak Aikikai's Spring 2012 Seminar with Hagihara Shihan
Training with them goes something like this: scrapes and callouses, bruises, blisters, cuts and sprains and aches and days where it hurts so badly she can barely get out of bed.
Training with them also goes something like this: concentration, meditation, questions and answers, successes, failures, and moments where she laughs and her heart swells because she finds happiness when life and death hangs by a metaphorical thread.
They're mostly quiet, sometimes stern, but only superfluously so--their eyes are spirited, mischievous, and incandescently warm. She enjoys the times right before they start--always in the evening--when the sun is setting and the light reflects in their gazes, charring and burning, like rubies and topaz, showering a kaleidoscope of colors through the open door of the dojo.
They kneel and bow towards the old black and white photo, an inclination of the body, folding up like living origami, their hands and feet placed so precisely that she can see the centuries that came before in these miniscule movements. She thinks it's irrationally beautiful, a tapestry of time and space and discipline, of practicing over and over again, of sweat and blood and passion, of self-discovery. So she does the same, and wonders what it would be like to burrow beneath their bones. Onegaishimasu, she whispers, please, and prays for their happiness.