Copyright © 2004 New Moon
I can't not practice. But now I can't not keep looking down to see where my feet are. Rats.
Nash Bridges wasn't on. Ma and I watched the video Tai Chi: The 24 Forms with Dr. Paul Lam, a very earnest young man. It looked mostly familiar, at least, unlike all the other tapes I've watched. But boring. Ma fell asleep.
When I began practicing today the grass in the meadow behind my house was all white with frost. As I practiced it slowly changed from white to green, the white in the shadows of the branches lingering longest.
I practiced for an hour. After the third set, I took off my shirt-jack and was quite comfortable in my teeshirt. By the last set I was very warm, though I could still see my breath. I cooled down with the qigong exercises, but when I stepped out of the shower twenty minutes later the steam was still rising from me.
I have to wear my hat now to practice because the sun is so low in the sky that it shines beneath the porch roof and right into my eyes.
I love being able to practice outside. It feels so right. How can people shut themselves away indoors?
During class, a very exasperated "Miss Randall" observed to no one in particular, "We go over this every week." Then, to me, "Did you open the windows?" Rhetorical and snippy question: David knew I had; I always do. "Well, shut them." *sigh*
For the first time, my hands feel relaxed.
I need to wear gloves today. But my hands remain relaxed. I think the gloves help by keeping my fingers separated.
Another thing: it becomes clear that it's the weakness in my left leg that's causing me most of my problems. I learn how to compensate, develop other muscles to achieve stability probably standing on my left leg would help build the strength, too.
The snow looked quite beautiful falling. Another very cold day.
Practice, then cleaning. While cleaning the book room, I found an explanation of the origin of the French kiss. It's a Chinese idea. It seems they believe there's a "jade well" beneath a woman's tongue, and... well, men think they can tap the energy with their own tongues. How do you say voilá! in Chinese?
I was teasing Ma about being the High Lama. She said she was sure she wasn't, and wasn't qualified. I said that was a pretty good indication she was either High Lama or on the short list.
The wind woke me early this morning. I heard a crash on the back porch; it was the rocking chair tipping over.
Sometimes now I find the wind a little disquieting, maybe even a bit frightening. It shakes the house.
We were sitting at Ma's table after class when she suddenly asked, "What color is your shirt?" She was peering at me intently from across the table, fiddling with her glasses, moving them around. "Green," I said. I was wearing my "hurricane shirt." It's a faded, dark, dull green. I had it on over the deep purple teeshirt I usually wear to class. Ma shook her head and kept looking about the room. "No. That's not it," she said. Now I started to catch on. "Ma, what are we talking about?"
"Well, I wasn't sure before, but there's a green light," and she indicated a triangular area under her jaw from ear to ear and down her throat. "Now?" I asked. "Yes... But I saw it before when we were doing that chee-kee [qigong] thing. I noticed it, and then afterwards, too. I thought it might've been a reflection."
"Of what?" I asked. "I was wearing purple and black in class. What was green?" She didn't know.
Now, I didn't tell Ma much about chakras. I think I did mention that the colors ran through the spectrum from red to violet; and I thihnk I mentioned the color of the heart chakra is green. But, lately, Ma has had a bit of trouble distinguishing colors in dim light though, whether a psychic manifestation is influenced by the laws of physics, I can't say. Anyway, she was pointing to the throat, the fifth chakra, and the color for that should be blue.
What I didn't tell Ma was that while we were doing qigong, I had been trying to "manifest" a nice, green "peace" and communicate it to Mr. T. I wanted to put him at ease so he would teach me again. You see, I've been feeling neglected in class, not to mention abused, and I don't really care for "Miss Randall," and I thought I'd try to do something about it, so I tried projecting good thoughts. During the qigong session I felt the chi strong within the circle of my arms, but I was pretty sure I still wasn't communicating. In fact, by the time class was over, I was about ready to quit. Again. Whatever it is that's festering between me and Mr. T. is really starting to get to me and I don't know what to do about it. I want to learn, but I have the feeling he just wants me to go away.
I finally told Ma how frustrated I was feeling about all this. Her comment surprised me: "Yeah. He seems to be getting worse. Sometimes I think he isn't very nice." Outside of confirming that she meant what I thought she meant, I didn't inquire further. Evidently, Ma really does see a lot of things besides auras that she doesn't feel a need to mention.
I went for a walk to the heron's pond and walked on the black ice and listened to the sounds of it cracking like twangs from a theramin.
Ice storm. It looks so beautiful, but I am worried about the pines. So much ice and heavy snow in the past few winters has damaged them badly. It seems they just begin to recover, and we get hit with another storm. I hope the temperature rises soon and quickly to release the ice and snow before more limbs break.
Last night, I played the Drum Medicine tape I picked up a couple of weeks ago at the at the Mashantucket-Pequot Museum, and before I went to sleep, I asked for a dream that would tell me what to do to fix things between me and Mr. T., but, unfortunately, today, I don't remember dreaming.
However, I did wake up feeling good about everything. Perhaps I should take that as a sign to just go on as I have been, loving t'ai chi and class and Mr T, just as he is. (A jerk.)
My knee is in the process of realigning itself. It's been bugging me for over a week, feeling all wobbly, and out of place, and very difficult to walk on. But only because the tai chi is getting it back in place. It will still be a while before it's right, I'm sure. But it is getting better, stronger...
I noticed tonight for the first time just how out of alignment my left kneecap is. All these years and I never really noticed before that the inside calf muscle had atrophied and the knee had realigend to compensate and heaven knows what all else has adjusted to compensate besides! Guess I'll be finding out.
When I think of Mr. T. and "our little problem," I just want to hug him tight until, like a knotted muscle, he relaxes and lets go. I wish I could do that. But I can't.
Ice sparkles on the trees in the pale, pale sunlight. Tomorrow is the solstice, and I feel... rotten.
Class last night made me want to cry. Maybe it's all my own fault. I know I've got myself tied up in knots. But how do I untie them?
David gave everyone a mug Christmas-y mugs made in China with some candies and a packet of green tea inside...
I don't know what to do; I don't know what to think. I haven't done anything that should make David treat me so abominably, but he does. And I can't confront him about it because he really hasn't done anything, either. And I'm afraid that if I try to talk to him about it, I'll screw things all up, and I don't want that. I do not want to lose tai chi.
But it's already all screwed up. That's the sad part. And I don't know how to fix it.
I had to sweep the snow off the porch to practice. I still love practicing outside.
At the winter solstice, I was on my back porch practicing t'ai chi. The air was cold, the sun was pale but warm, and the trees still sprakled with ice. I wore my gloves, but I didn't really need them. Practicng made me warm enough to sweat.
I think I will love t'ai chi for the rest of my life.
Right now, as I write, I wish I didn't feel I want the rest of my life to be very short.
This morning, Ma and I went to a funeral. Our neighbor of many years, Mr. Wilkins. He was a good man; he died too soon. But what's "too soon"? I want out now. Perhaps it's the effects of having to attend the funeral, but today I look in the mirror and I know I am old and ugly too old for love to ever come my way again. Now, I'm just a foolish old woman. An aunt.
On the way back from the funeral, we passed Mr. T. I've never seen him on East Avenue before.
Cold pizza a "Holly Golightly" coffee for breakfast. It snowed last night and the world looks cold and gray.
Rotten as I feel about myself, practicing on the back porch with the gentle snow falling is a meditation to treasure. I had the music on. I'm consistent: 6 minutes, 10 seconds. I love t'ai chi.
Why the emotional roller-coaster lately? I keep questioning my own worth; I weight myself in the balance and find myself wanting. And yet, I am very lucky compared to other people. Very.
Went for a walk. The kids had cleared a space on the heron's pond for skating hockey. I've got to get some skates.
I slid around on the ice after the kids left at sunset. Then I walked on the still snow-covered part. It occured to me that fresh snow would be excellent for learning t'ai chi. I did one set, but it was only afterwards that I realized I should've broken the set up into sections so I could see exactly where my feet were going. What an excellent learning tool a snowy pond could be!
I had to go ice skating. So I spent the afternoon finding a pair of skates, which I found at Benny's. Men's firgure skates made in China. When I got home at 5:30, I had to try them out, so I laced them up and hiked over to the heron's pond...
I used to be a very good skater, but I haven't skated in years. Today, I was a bit awkward at first, but not too bad. I was doing okay as a matter of fact, working on my turns, going from skating frontwards to backwards, like I taught my brother all those years ago, picking up speed...
And then, suddenly I was flying. Three feet off the ice, horizontal. And I came down flat on my back. My head was cushioned by my wool hat, but the back of my upper left arm came down flat on the ice striking the elbow.
Laying there on the ice, taking stock, I knew the left arm had taken a bad hit, but it didn't feel broken. I sat up. I stretched the left arm out, and it seemed okay. Mostly. But when I turned it a bit...
I took myself off to Ma's and had a bit of supper with her. I ate with a bag of snow on my elbow. Then Ma drove me to the emergency room.
They said there was a chip on the tip of the radius. They gave me one of those "wet" splints, put an ace bandage around it, tucked it into a sling, and sent me home.
I checked. I was wearing my lucky socks. I suppose they worked. I could have gotten a concussion besides.
I'm still very annoyed with myself for cracking my elbow. If I hadn't gone skating, though, I would probably only have been delaying the inevitable.
I keep feeling as if I've lost... because of something I didn't (or maybe did) do. I keep telling myself that what's meant to be will be, but my problem with that is that I really don't trust the Universe to do right by me in the Great Plan...
I wonder if Mr. T. feels as lonesome and insecure as I do sometimes.
I've been thnking to much about Mr. T. I know I shouldn't bother thinking about him at all, but think of him I do...
Once in a while, the set of his mouth makes him look like a turtle. Truly. And sometimes he seems to retreat into his shell. It's an interesting coincidence that he bought a house on what used to be called Box Turtle Road. I wonder what hurt him so.
I wish I didn't feel as if I'd screwed up everything between us.
It seems as if all the magic is gone... seems. I hope the problem is only that I've lost some of my ability to perceive it. Rats.
I think I'll take my splint off and try some t'ai chi.
I can do pretty well without the splint. Can't straighten or bend acutely, but it will loosen up. Not too bad!
It's bitter cold and beginning to snow. My toes are cold, and I had to wear gloves, but I still prefer practicing outside.
Such a dull day. We're expecting a nor'easter and a foot or so of snow. I hope it turns out to be just another winter storm.
Last night was beautiful. At sunset a pretty crescent moon hung just below the evening star in a deep blue sky, and it was only cold, not bitter cold as it has been. I wish I could've gone skating, as that was probably the last chance; this storm wil ruin or bury the ice.
My arm is improving I think. The t'ai chi seems to help gently loosen it up. I still can't straighten it out or bend it in enough to tie back my hair, but it's better.
We've got about eight inches of snow. If I want to practice, I'll have to sweep the back porch.
I left the splint off today, and my shoulder aches a bit, but if I practice [Here the entry ends. No punctuation. I don't know what happened.]
The last day of the year 2000. Nothing much has changed. I had hoped, though.
Here I sit, munching shortbread cookies, drinking instant coffee, still clueless about making my life work. If it weren't for t'ai chi, I would be completely lost and probably suicidal.
It all sounds very dramatic, exaggerated. But, today, it seems true. The magic is all gone and I can't remember who or what I am, or what my purpose is. The t'ai chi is all I have to hang on to.
One needs continuity, a feeling that there's a path to follow one that won't peter out quickly; one that may lead to a better, more satisfying placepath.
The sun is out and the wind is kicking up. It'll be colder 'n hell soon. I need to get the truck out and shovel a path, too, I guess... But more than that, I need to practice.