Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be Still


Winter’s cold and darkness closes in. The days growing shorter as the earth tilts our hemisphere away from the sun. The house is buttoned up against the fierce New England winds. Cold and dark like a cave, a den. I am feeling like that hibernating creature these days. Quiet time... time to be still.

Even my aikido is entering stillness right now. It is like I am taking a slight pause, other things are calling me right now, but aikido is never far. Not on the mat as much as am used to. I do indeed feel the absence. This winter will bring adventure and travel too, but that is later and already the earth will begin her journey back to spring.

Now is time to look within। In Norse mythology this was the time of Isa. I have had a set of runes for many years and thought I’d share with you some aspects that I am exploring.

Isa is associated with the rhime-giants, the Hrimthursar and the wisdom of age। Ice can be considered "static" as many do, however, ice whether one is speaking of the rune or of actual ice, is a mysterious and surprisingly fluid substance.

This is the primal ice, the icy stream (or glacier) that flows from Niflheimr। This glacial image should also convey the power of Isa to shape other things the way a receding glacier can shape the canyon walls as well as the ability of Isa to be formed into different shapes due to the influence of other things.

Isa can bring things to a halt, or place something in suspension. But, the mysterious flow of the glacier is also inherent in Isa as it is related to the primal stream. Ice can also be an expansive force or one that crushes anything caught in its grasp.

This feels exactly where I am in my practice and my life for the two are one in the same. Even in a state that feels still and frozen, movement in happening. One of my options is to resist it and try to rail against a massive force like ice, or enter into the state with openness and knowing that ice is not forever. Isa cannot reign always. Spring will come. But for now be still... but still moving.

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