The virtue of perfection is that it is always just beyond a persons reach . This is a good thing ,if perfection were attainable then it would have no value, there would be no reason to train and pursue it.
I missed class today because I was sick. I could hear the door open and happy people entering. I heard water running and the toilet flushing as people prepared for class. I fell back asleep until again the door opened. I could hear feet on the stairs and warm voices talking. I felt part of still...because I have a dojo at my house.
When I disagreed with someone, my default was to assume I was wrong. I would feel shame for having popped my head up to be noticed. Today, I know I don't have to make another person wrong for me to be right. It just doesn't matter. In the end, all that matters to me is how do I feel and whether I lose my center...Yes, I sure do and it comes right back.
Back at home for a while. My gi bag is unpacked new t-shirts admired Flowers put in vase, sweet card read, certificate resting on the table…. I can’t help but smile. Today was a special day, but it was also just a day. A day of moving and exploring, a day of love shared, and of recognition of our aikido journeys; a day that carried such significance for me. And it was just a day in many. Sun-shining, seasons changing… there unto itself and along with everything else, I noticed the “day” itself. I appreciated it in its own grandness beyond what was happening for me.
Oh how lovely to be alive and part of this day’s greatness. Beyond my own, but shared along with so many other beautiful people. Each and every one of you is amazing and to have so many together in one place… well that is immeasurable, inspiring, and humbling. Today I was able to share with cherished friends on and off the mat my love and passion for this art, which is as much about who we are as what we are doing. What really amazes me about our community of aikidoists is that we really do seek the feeling of harmony and connection. We also have a darn good time and share a lot of laughter and joy as well as our fears and struggles. What most stands out for me though is this willingness to journey and grow together; to gaze fully into each other’s lives, even if just for that time on the mat. It is incredibly special.
And today is just a day already giving way to night, on it’s own journey. The earth whirls and the stars twinkle grander and greater than anything my small self may be able to comprehend. I will keep showing up, as will many of us. Each day will hopefully renew finding us living, seeking, and growing. And on the mat!
Thank you everyone for making so many days noticed and for celebrating on this momentary pause of noticing each other on this shared day.
Here are the poems I wrote and read.
I remember wanting To move like that To be in the flow like that My mouth fell open My eyes fixed My body vibrated Like the ringing of a bell
The black and white blurred Who was who? I saw mere people fly Maybe they were not Mere people, but some Special beings that could Loosen the bonds of gravity And become like great birds
I only knew I wanted To be as they were To become a great bird If only for an instant I could not take that step then My want was not enough To overcome the fear That had long sat in my belly
I tried to forget Cradled my fear and anger A little longer, telling myself This keeps you safe But you know you cannot Contain the wind Once it starts to blow Even if the slightest breeze
The wind was blowing now in me Blew me back to the place Where I first saw them Mere people as great birds Again I felt the yes The ringing of a bell The breeze now a full force gale Blowing me beyond my fear
Left and right I don’t know which is which How hands and feet Are supposed to move All together What do you mean? It’s not about the hands and feet This thing called One Point
So many black belts I am not one of them I can barely tie my belt I wonder if they notice me? Please don’t notice me Try to hide behind others Just keep rolling Somewhere in here is One Point
Testing brings new colors Brings new expectations Brings new fears Are these people safe? Do they really see me? Accept me with all my faults I wonder if this is home Sometimes stumbling over One Point
I have become noticed I think I have found One Point! Oh there it goes… oh now it’s back Sometimes a great bird calls me Loosens the bonds of gravity Gives me a chance to fly Harder to hide now Old fear and anger have been waiting
I weep for the world Because so many have so little The dojo is far away My center unknown to me My teachers, the great birds In an unexpected place Remind me I have a place A home for my full self
I have found home Where my absence is noticed My full self opens Sometimes the slightest breeze Or a full force gale No one turns away Instead we enter and turn Finding the common center
Maybe I could teach Just teach what you know I know something I know nothing That’s the gift; it’s both at once Student and teacher are One in the same like Black and white blurred
Beginners teach me even as I teach Always back to beginner’s mind Which is no mind, just doing Loosens the bonds of gravity Loosens the bonds of ego To overcome the fear One Point now felt in my belly
You know what? We are not great birds More like flying squirrels Or opossums and otters Stretching, tumbling, rolling, We can still soar through the air But only for an instant Always we must return to earth
The wind is blowing in me now You cannot contain the wind Even in a mere person No need to question who is who It is the common center It carries us along Our bodies humming, vibrating Like the ringing of a bell
It is some times amazing to me , that we can learn so much but no so little in are own quest of learning and perfecting our techniques in the art of aikido.It is very nice to have a technique develope and blend with your uke to the point of not having to use very little energy. The technique is just nice and smooth and clean.