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12 October 2000

I really ought to be in bed, but what a gorgeous night! Deep, clear, midnight blue sky with a near-full moon... chilly, but mild enough to leave the back door open, and you can hear the crickets... I should go for a nice long walk in the moonlight-- no, I need to write a bit. And I can do a few passes of taijiquan in the moonlight before I turn in.

The taijiquan is still going well. I was a bit worried starting this new set of lessons. You see, there are a lot of beginners in this class-- including my friend Denny-- and I thought I might get a bit bored, there being no "advanced" class offered, and me having to go to this one anyway because I have to chauffer Ma and Denny.

Going over the basics is a little boring, but not very boring. It's good practice, really, and I don't mind that. And there's a bit of fun to be had, too. F'instance, David will tell us to "freeze" at the halfway point in a form so he can go around checking and correcting everyone, especially the beginners. While he's doing that, us "old pros" stay frozen. It's called practicing "still form." I do it sometimes when I'm practicing by myself. It's easy, really, easier than playing statues when you were a kid, because, in this, you're balanced and all you have to do is stand there quietly. The other night I stayed "frozen" for I don't know how long. I couldn't see the clock. David went around checking everyone (there are ten or eleven in the class), and, since I was near the front, he checked me out first, corrected me slightly, and then went on to the others. I stayed "frozen." Stayed until he finally finished with everyone else and went back to the front of the class and noticed that I was still standing there and laughed and told me to stop. (He hasn't said anything, so I guess he can't be too ticked at me.)

I do miss getting to do all the forms all the way through and working on taking it to a higher level, though. And I really wish there were an "advanced" class. It would be nice to be able to work with other, more advanced students, and get instruction on more of the finer points, on the martial arts aspects, on the push-hands, and the quigong... all of it. It's like acting, you know. Got to be. When you get a chance to play a scene with a really good actor, it sets you flying. You perform better than you ever thought you could, you learn more than you ever dreamed... Synergy happens, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

I know the taijiquan will be just the same at that higher level. And I am impatient. But I'll get there... and someday I'll learn Sword Form, too (Talk about cool!)... Someday.

Tonight, I took myself to the movies. On the recommendation of Jennifer (one of the truly fine folk found at the JCBL-- boy! did I ever luck out when I found that job!), I went down to the Cable Car in Providence and saw The Tao of Steve. I haven't been to the Cable Car in years, but it's still the same. Couches on the right; seats on the left. Fine snacks and ice cream and an outdoor cafe. Live entertainment before the show. I arrived early and got to be, for a while, Elliot Shorer's sole auditor. He sang and played a fine acousitc guitar. Very simple, very mellow. He had a nice arrangement of Sleepytime Gal. I tapped my foot and enjoyed the show. It's been a long time since I heard anyone play the guitar like that. A long time since I played... when Elliot came by with the "hat" I made sure to tell him how much I enjoyed his playing.

The movie was excellent. Very, very enjoyable. I heartily endorse Jennifer's recommendation. Go see this movie, if you can. Take a friend. (I tried, but everyone I know is either an old poop (Ma), an early-bird (Peter, Janice), inaccessible on short notice (Sandra, Sue) or put off by the title (Lew). Ah, well. Their loss.)

And now I have to get to bed-- or to t'ai chi. Tonight I start Reiki training. I'm already aces at massage, and now I'm going to see what I can do about learning to manipulate chi. I think I'll be pretty good at it.

I've been meaning to do this for years, but... the Reiki Master I'm learning from is an old friend I've recently become reacquianted with, Jo-Ann. She used to ride years ago, and so did I, after a fashion. She became a Horse Master, and was teaching me Dressage for a while. Nowadays she owns a herb shop, and has studied taijiquan, but her main thing is her exploration of her Native American heritage and culture-- she's even got a sweat lodge out back. I ran into her a couple of weeks ago at the stand-- matter of fact, she came bounding in that night I was talking to Norman, the Honey Guy, because she knows him, too, on account of he keeps hives at her farm-- and I went down to visit her a couple of days later. We went for a long walk, and got to talking and picking up the threads, and found out we've been on parallel paths all these years. We're even talking about going to study Reflexology Therapy together this winter... This should be an interesting winter...

I'm off to do a bit of t'ai chi. Sleep well. I'm pretty sure I will.

Life is getting very interesting.


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