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September 2000

01: Friday


I'm not sure if I'm punishing myself or being sensible, but, whichever, I'm not going to practice t'ai chi this morning. I'll do some stretching and perhaps some qigong, but no forms. They make my toes ache because I've been so tense during practice...

My shoulder continues to bother me, too.


I'm trying very hard not to screw things up with t'ai chi, but I feel as if I'm falling into a trap, one I've been in before. I find myself both afraid of and attracted to my instructor. But I hope I've learned something, and that this time I'll be able to work it out happily.

02: Saturday


Today, after t'ai chi practice, I finally tackled repairing the screen door. Not a difficult job, but one I've kept putting off. I bought a length of screening weeks ago.

I got out a flat-bladed screw driver and pried off the old molding. It broke up badly in the process. I'm usually good at taking things apart neatly and without damage, but this molding was rotted: the damp had gotten in behind it where there was no paint to protect it. After that, I pried out the old staples.

As I was stapling the new screen in place, I remembered that I'd been meaning to put a "knee stop" on the lower panel so that if you go to catch the door with your knee, you won't put your knee through the screen. I've been good about remembering not to use my knee to catch the door, but strangers to the house might be taken unawares— not that anyone visits these days, but you never know. And I've been meaning to do it. For years. Ask Bru.

I poked around in the basement and up in my book room to see if I had any suitable molding-- half-round, and anything I could use for the knee stop, but all I found was some half inch quarter-round. That meant I'd have to go to the hardware store, so off I went.

They didn't have any half-round of any kind, but I got some stock to make the knee stop out of.

On the way back, for some reason I can't articulate, I stopped at the cemetary to visit Dad. I never do that. The geraniums Ma and I had planted before Memorial Day looked as if they'd been well toasted, but they were making a recovery; the dusty miller seemed fine. I cleaned up the toasted leaves and flowers, and pulled the crab grass, and swept off Dad's stone. Then, for some unaccountable reason, I asked him if he'd like to see my t'ai chi routine. Evidently he said yes, because next thing, I was doing it...

In the middle of the routine there was a long, long, reverberating rumble of thunder.

When I finished the routine, I stood there for a few moments, feeling I wanted to cry, knowing that I've been screwing up. Again. In my head, I could hear Dad telling me not to be so hard/ stubborn/ contentious/ argumentative/ you name it...

I've fought everything, all my life. Even kindness, friendship, and love. Always, I've gone armed and armored, afraid, trying to protect myself. Dad knew that. Ma knows it. Neither of them could teach me what to do about it. All they could do was say, "Don't be so hard. You'll only hurt yourself and others."

When I got back, I built a nice little knee stop. Then it was time to go to Peter's.

03: Sunday


Either David Tymekci is the densest man I've ever met or he's the funniest.

He chided me in an email for calling him "sir" in my email to him. I wrote back and told him— in fun, I thought— that I had a slight problem with what to call him, being as Ma brought me up polite, and I'm in awe of him and his chi and "that Gumby thing" he can do. He wrote back and thanked me for sharing my thoughts, and then gave me a lot more about how one's teacher might be addressed properly, seemly taking what I had said quite seriously...

("Sifu" would be proper in a formal class. "David" will be fine, under the circumstances, but "sir" works, too, in spite of it making him feel old.)

It was an odd kind of answer. I mean, it felt odd. As if we weren't really communicating... maybe he's got a retrograde Mercury.

Idiot or commedian? I don't know which. I wrote back and conceded the match with a cry of "Uncle!"

04: Monday


Today, during t'ai chi practice, once, my hands and arms felt completely weightless and I could feel the chi flowing through them. When I sent my hand forward past my ear to push I could feel chi being thrown from my fingers...

However, my shoulder continues to bother me, and I still wonder what's really wrong.

This communication problem with my teacher bothers me. As I practiced this morning, I realized anew that if I screw this up, it will break my heart. Truly. I don't think I could ever forgive myself if I alienate this teacher. It frightens me. It really firghtens me that we have such a hard time communicating clearly.

My friend Janice is of the opinion that all men are dense. I tend to agree.

I must learn to be "soong," soft.

05: Tuesday


"Soong"— I don't know the Chinese character or the proper pronunciation, I only know what the word, as my teacher says it, sounds like to my ear— means soft. To do t'ai chi properly, one must be "soong."

I relax my hand and it appears to be "soong." But that is not being "soong."

Each time my teacher has told me to "be soong," — and he has done so constantly— I've felt the prick of what I now know to be resentment. Now I realize that each time he has said, "Be soong," I have been hearing the voices of everyone who ever loved me admonishing me, saying, "Don't be so hard." And it makes me angry. And it makes me want to lash out.

I can easily learn all the forms my teacher can teach. I can train my body to do whatever I want. But how do I learn to "be soong"? Can I learn this thing?

I am terrified, and my shoulder is killing me. This may be my last chance.

What if I fail?

06: Wednesday


The quarter-plus moon is bright in the southwest; the stars are shining, Spica a blue fire. The air is cold and clear, and the mist is rising on the water, swirling and curling like dancing ghosts in the shifting breeze. The sky is a deep and glowing blue... the color reminds me of eyes. Eyes the color of water. Eyes the color of night.

This morning I buried another cat. I found her in the street last night when I came home from Ma's. The body was still warm, but she was quite and very dead-- instantly dead, I think. There was only a dab of blood at her mouth and a scrape on her muzzle. I put her body on the porch to await daylight and proper burial. She was a handsome animal. But there was no collar.

And that's how I started my day: performing the last offices for another cat. It's fitting, I suppose, that this falls to me. I am an ordained minister, after all. But it bothers me that cats keep dying in my yard lately. It's got me a bit nervous. Now, before I start t'ai chi practice, I look carefully to be sure there aren't any dead animals down there.

At least the other cat has company now, there beneath the garden wall.

07: Thursday

08: Friday


I emailed David last night asking if he could give me a structured practice routine. Yes, it was an excuse to communicate with him, but I really wanted the information and it was a good excuse.

I also told him how much I enjoy his classes. And I told him about the high I get that lasts all the next day. And I wondered if that was unusual, and I asked if one could get high from all that loosed chi...

And then I wondered if it could be his enthusiasm and his laugh that lifts my spirits. (And it's true that I don't know.) Whatever it was, I said, I would hate to have to do without it.

Then I thanked him and said I see him Tuesday.

I also added a P.S. about the Dragon Boat races this Saturday. (Yes, I was "fishing." But only for information.)

I know I did the right thing.

09: Saturday


It's raining now. And I feel lonesome...

Today was a beautiful day. Warmer, a bit more humid— that's why last night's sunset was so spectacular, lots of clouds moving in. Anyway, while I was practicing this morning, I noted that I'm not always shifting my balance properly to my left foot, so I decided that I'd practice just doing that. As I practiced stepping and shifting, I was reminded of the heron walking so slowly through the reeds. I practiced walking like the heron...

Walking ever so slowly, each step poised... so naturally balanced...

I began remembering Kwai Chang Cane and Master Po (you know, David Carradine and his show, Kung Fu)... and I could hear Master Po saying, "Be the heron..."

I practiced being the heron...

After a few passes up and down the porch, I turned to find a grasshopper watching me. It made me laugh and I decided to take it as a benediction: "You have done well, grasshopper."

The day has been downhill from there. I tried calling my friend Joyce, but I only got the answering machine. (She called last night, but it was too late to return her call when I got in.) So I finished fixing the screen door and I did some wash, and then there was more I ought to do, but then the clouds were moving in making the day dull, and the lonliness was creeping up on me...

I went to visit the heron.

I remembered to take a plastic bag with me. On the way, I intended to walk along the power lines and get some botanical samples: plants and flowers I've been meaning to identify— you know: that "purple stuff," and that vine with the Dr. Seuss flowers, and what the heck is that stuff with the berries really called? I figured I should at least try to accomplish something useful.

As I turned up Mowry Street, I saw a guy who seemed to be trying to parallel park his car the hard way: with the engine off. He had the driver's side door open and was pushing and pulling and turning the wheel. I mentioned that it seemed to be the difficult way to park, and he told me it was actually a starter problem. He was trying to line the car up to do a bump start. I offered to push. He said that would be great, if I didn't mind. "Heck, no," I said, "I've had to do this a few times myself." Luckily, there's a bit of a downhill and we got it started on the third try— "Third gear: works like a charm!" Off he went, and I continued on my way, feeling a bit more useful.

The heron was at home. I watched him. And I was right about the way he moves. Just like t'ai chi...

When he finally walked so far into the reeds I couldn't see him any more, the sky was getting dark and threatening, so I headed back. On the way my t'ai chi instructor passed me in his truck— heading home to shut the windows, no doubt. He lives somewhere up there, past the heron's pond. I wonder if he knows about the heron. I never remember to ask.

I stopped at the library and ID'd the plants— the stuff with the Dr. Seuss flowers is "virgin's bower" vine— then I went home. It was just starting to rain.

The screen door is fixed, and the laundry is done, and the plants are identified, and the journal is updated. And I'm still lonesome.

I didn't go to the Dragon Boat races. Looks like David didn't either. I haven't received an answer to my email.


10: Sunday


Today is a perfectly gorgeous day. The sun is warm, the air is cool and dry and sweet— speaking of which, you should see Sweet's Meadow. It's full of golden rod and it is beautiful. It's been a long time since I've seen the golden rod so golden, and when the wind stirs it—! And if you think it's beautiful under the sun, you should see it at dawn and at dusk and under the moon: beautiful enough to break your heart.

Anyway, it's a gorgeous day. I felt great when I got up, and so I decided to return Joyce's call. Joyce and I have been best friends for a million years now. We don't see each other often, and we don't call or write often, either. We tend get in touch when one or the other of us is either very happy or very confused or very depressed. I mean, who else would you call in those circumstances but your best friend, right? Right. So, a little while ago, when I found myself feeling particularly and inexplicably happy, I wrote to Joyce, and then she called me and left a message Friday...

I always look forward to talking with my best friend. And this time I had a lot to tell her about. My work at the JCBL where I meet people from all over the world, the golden rod in Sweet's Meadow, the mist on the water, the heron with the wings the color of the concord grapes— the t'ai chi instructor with eyes the color of sky and water, and the chi that I can see and that makes me feel drunk...

Whenever we talk, whatever the occasion, we laugh a lot, and we always end up feeling better—

Except sometimes.

Is there any worse downer under the sun than having a good friend, one who knows you very, very well, talk practical good sense to you— and be right? The answer is no. If you want to keep flying, if you want that intangible magic to last, if you want to keep the dream of hope alive, don't, for heaven's sake, don't ever tell your best friend about what's making you feel so good. You see, best friends know you, and they know all your little foibles, and self-delusions, and when you start sailing off into the wild blue on your happy cloud, they shoot you down in no uncertain terms.

And that's what a best friend is for. If she let you keep deluding yourself, she wouldn't be your best friend.

Today Joyce talked me down. And she's right. I'm a fool. The highs I've been experiencing are just chemical reactions, natural phenomenon, triggered by arbitrary factors like the length of the days, hormones, blood sugar levels, ozone levels, humidity, moonlight, the smell of concord grapes in the sun— what have you— endorphins released by unaccustomed physical exercise. The heron is just a heron, and no one has eyes the color of sky and water, and there isn't any chi. There's nothing real behind the feelings. How could there be? It's all just— just...

It's real. It's all real, and it's... magic.

One of these days I'm going to crash, really crash. It's inevitable. What goes up, must come down. Then I'll call Joyce again, and she'll make me laugh. See, Joyce understands about magic, too. She's my best friend. She doesn't expect me to just let it go. No way. She knows me too well.

And Joyce'll be there for me when I crash. That's what best friends are for.

I practiced late today because I called Joyce. And I was depressed the whole time.

11: Monday

It's been a beautiful day. This morning I meant to practice my taijiquan for a full hour, but the breezes kept calling to me, saying, "Listen... look!"

In the garden there are September asters beginning to bloom, all pink and purple... And the maple tree is full of helicopters readying for flight... And the crows are playing tag in the apple trees... And the pines are dancing— (Did you know that the Chinese word for pine is "sung"? "Soong" is soft; "sung" is pine. If you've ever watched a pine tree dance, you can see that those two Chinese words are probably related)...

I did practice. And it was going quite well— before the breezes distracted me. I had found a new sense of balance, and I was mindful of shifting my weight properly from foot to foot, and that helped me to move oh! so slowly, so gracefully, like the heron... (Well, I thought so!) But the breezes were playful, and my heart felt light, and I listened... and I did look...

Beneath the pine tree, I saw the last of the blueberries ripening in the sun. And that was the end of practice.

I picked the blueberries, leaving nary a one. The fuzzy white caterpillar with the black whiskers watched me from a blueberry leaf and didn't seem to mind. I don't think he was interested in the fruit.

Luckily, I had a big slice of cornbread in the larder— a parting gift from Ma the previous night— and so, I made a pig of myself on sweet, sun-warm blueberries and cornbread réchauffé...

12: Tuesday

I did receive an answer to my email. I feel quite... chastened.

I was told that there were no specific exercises, no "practice routine" other than to warm up, do three sets — one, to get going; two, to notice what's going on; three, to do it right— then cool down with qigong.

Then he told me that it wasn't unusual to feel "high." That it happened because my chi was beginning to flow. Nothing unusual.

Other than that, David thanked me for my "kind words." He said they meant a lot... I think he meant that.

But the whole effect of the email was to make me feel like I'd been slapped— or had a bucket of cold water thrown on me. I suppose, if he thought I was being insincere, if he thought I was flirting or trying to flatter, he might have meant his words to sting. And if that's what I was doing, I would have deserved the slap. But, I meant what I said.

He couldn't know that, of course. He hardly knows me at all.

He didn't mention the Dragon Boat races.

13: Wednesday

14: Thursday


The crash has come. I am convinced that Mr. T. is gay, and all my pleasant fantasies are shot to hell, and I feel stupid, stupid, stupid.

I found out that one of the ladies I work with is in Mr. T's Saturday t'ai chi class. She's an older woman who's been taking lessons for a year or so. I asked her what she knew about Mr. T and she said that she and some of the other Saturday folks think from the way he behaves that he's gay, but they can't be sure.

Mr. T, they say, is universally kind and patient in class. But it seems there's this horrible woman in the class who is always hitting on Mr. T, and he tries like the deuce to avoid her, but she latches on and won't let go, coming up to him with stupid questions after class, following him out, talking and talking. The woman is so tenacious and obnoxious, Joan says Mr. T may have to get a restraining order on her. She says that by the expression on Mr. T's face when he gets cornered by her, she's surprised he doesn't! Anyway, the way he seems to avoid her is by staying after class talking with one of the other students, and the student he stays to talk with is a younger man who Joan and the others think of as "quite cute."

Mr. T doesn't wear a ring; he never mentions a girl friend, nor even says "we" when talking about things he's done. He knew I was flirting, but he never told me he was seeing anyone...

Could he be gay and not want anyone to know? I suppose it's possible. And it would explain a lot.

15: Friday


The thunderstorms rolled in around five ayem and delivered up a steady rumbling along with the rain... a pleasant sound, but I wasn't sleeping well...

This morning I got slivers in my ass: the toilet seat finally broke. Split asunder. And, naturally, I was sitting on it at the time.

It isn't as if I didn't know this would happen. I bought the seat six years ago, an oaken seat to go with the bathroom vanity I had also just purchased as the beginning of what I thought would be a happy renovation to both the house and my relationship with Bru. As it turned out, Bru opted to up stakes and head home to New Jersey. It was around that same time that the first crack developed in the toilet seat. Just a little split along the join on the left half. I glued it.

Yeah, it was only a ten dollar seat, but cash was real short then, and besides, I'd been raised in that combination of Yankee "use it up" and Post-Depression "make it do" environment that makes it nearly impossible to throw out anything that can be fixed.

Eventually, of course, the seat split again. Again, I glued. Joyce was disgusted with me by now, and hated to use my facilities, but she was and infrequent visitor, and so her disdain was not troubling to me. (She threatened to buy me another seat, but never did so.)

This past summer was quite humid, off and on, and the expansion and contraction of the wood took a toll on the seat. What had been a small, gluable crack developed into a full-blown schism. And, for one reason and then another, this time, I never got around to either gluing the seat or buying a new one. It just got so that I learned to sit down very carefully and sit very still. Even so, once or twice I felt a picky upon arising, and thus I learned to get up carefully, too.

Carefully as I would arise, though— and the t'ai chi helped a lot in this— the split would always be quite pronounced when I arose. Then I developed a two-handed karate chop— one hand on each side, and whack!— which I used to push the two pieces back together, ready for next time.

Now, if I wanted a metaphor for Life, that toilet seat would be it: The stuff you neglect, ignore, or consistently turn your back on, will one day, inevitably, bite you in the ass.

And if you're looking for a lesson in all this, I suppose it would be: If you're going to neglect or ignore or consistenly turn your back on something, don't let it be your relationship with the person you might have to call on to remove the splinters from your ass. (Unless your mom is still around.) Or maybe the lesson is merely "Beware wooden toilet seats!"

Anyway, much chastened by my experience, today I did as I have been bidden by my teacher, and performed only three sets of t'ai chi— oh, okay, it was four, but that first one was all over the place and you really can't count it. Really. (And it isn't easy being "soong," you know. That's really going to take some practice!)

Guess I'm finally going to have to buy a new toilet seat— though the duct tape seems to be holding well.

16: Saturday

17: Sunday

18: Monday

Today, I practiced exactly as my teacher said I should. Warm up, three passes of the 24 Forms, cool down.

The other night, Ma said to me, "You know, I think the t'ai chi is changing you. You seem more... relaxed." I think I am changing. I think I have changed. Some. I'm working on it.

19: Tuesday

The day started in an ordinary way: a trip to the emeregency room. When I woke up, I discovered that during the night my lips and face had been transformed into a cartoon caricature of collagen injections gone awry— I looked like a 'Toon out of Roger Rabbit. Naturally, my mom's doctor couldn't see me, so I had to head for the ER...

They were all very nice. I drew Dr. Quinn— Medicine Man— and he gave me some medicine for "contact dermatitis." None of us could figure out what had caused it, and as the doctor pointed out, we'd probably never find out— unless it happened again. Great. I took my medicine and went home wondering if I looked too ridiculous to go to work— or t'ai chi, for that matter...

After I showered, the swelling had begun to subside, and I decided that I could pass for human instead of 'Toon, so I went to work. But I was having a hard time concentrating, and it seemed like my brain wasn't functioning. And Uncle Tom was in the hospital having a triple bypass and we hadn't heard anything except that it had been delayed, and every time the private line rang Sandra would go all tense because it might be about her dad... I knew there were things I ought to do, but I just couldn't think of what they were. I left work a little early for a Tuesday...

I had supper at Ma's and filled her in on the ER visit, and then we went to t'ai chi...

T'ai chi was awful. Something was wrong. Usually, there's a feeling of "plugging in." We pitch in to set up the room, move tables, chairs, open the shutters, while the instructor gets set up, and then we all warm up a bit, and those little rituals make the connection and we smile at each other and... it's real, that connection...

But tonight I got there late, and I opened the shutters, as I always do as my part of the ritual, and everyone else was warming up, and I started to warm up...

No connection...

David was creaking— his joints cracked quite loudly at when we began and he wasn't smiling as if it reached his heart, and... Anyway, he seemed to have shut down, to have turned us— me, off. There didn't seem to be a lick of good chi in that whole roomful of people. And I felt terribly lost and disconnected...

We practiced, but— it wasn't deadly, mind you. People were talking and there was some joking going on, and some mild laughs, as usual...

But there was one joke I couldn't appreciate. David reminded everyone to smile, and someone else quipped, "But don't laugh;" and someone else then added, "Yeah, it blocks the chi." Well, that made me feel horrible— and for the life of me, I can't remember if it was David who said that or not. I only know I felt the remark had been pointed at me. See, I laugh. A lot. (And probably too loudly.) That's one of the reasons I like the lessons so much. I get to smile and laugh. But, I'd never suspected that was a bad thing... I didn't know I was doing something wrong...

And the new music sounded very melancholy... it was a very bad day...

The lesson seemed to end abruptly, and by the time Ma and I got back to her house the thunderstorms had set in.

I talked it over with Ma. All througout my terrible, horrible, rotten, no good day, it had never occurred to me that someone else may have felt even worse. David, maybe with his creaking joints. And I had failed to do anything about it. Selfish, selfish, selfish. It was my own fault. I hadn't given anything of myself. No wonder nobody wanted to connect with me tonight!

I set out for home in the rain...

I wrote it all out— it was funny by then— and then I sent it in an email to David. As a kind of apology for me being a selfish jerk, and maybe to make him laugh, to let him know I care...

20: Wednesday

And I didn't hear from him...

21: Thursday

And I didn't hear from him...

22: Friday

And I didn't hear from him...

23: Saturday

I got an answer. I received what sounded to me like an undeservedly curt reply to my last email (two sentences that vibrated with profound misunderstanding in response to my narrative of my problems of September 20th, and a civil inquiry as to his well being)— this slight, coupled with the fact that there'd been no reply at all to an email of the previous week and—

So, naturally, I thought he was ignoring me. And it was in a therefore understandable fit of pique that I hit "reply," and loosed my word chi. I sent it flying. And I covered all the topics that were bugging me...

Consider English as a Martial Art. I have a Black Belt. Twelfth Degree or better. I've had it so long, the belt has worn to white again. Yes, I do have a way with words. Call me Master.

Master Idiot.

Right after I sent it, I found there was a really nice email that Brown or Rocketmail (a pox on both their postoffice servers!) hadn't forwarded to me. It was dated three days previously— the day after that last horrible class— asking me, very nicely, how my shoulder was, et cetera. But it was too late. My kamikaze sense of humor had already struck. I hate email.

I expect I've burned all my bridges with Mr. T.

24: Sunday

25: Monday

26: Tuesday

I couldn't meet David's eyes, those eyes the color of sky and water... I was too afraid. No one knew that but me, though. Not David. Not even Ma. I'm way too good at appearing cool.

It was that email got me into trouble. And lost me my place as favorite student. I was exiled to the outer reaches last night. It does bother me some, too. I like tai chi— nay, I love tai chi. I like the teacher I've found, too, and not just as a teacher. But we've been at cross purposes in email from the first time one of us hit "reply." Maybe it's my peculiar sense of humor. Or maybe it's the pique I feel precisely because I can't seem to communicate clearly with this man I like so much...

I mean, how can you not like a guy with eyes the color of sky and water, who's got great chi, and a great laugh— and don't apologize for turning your back on us, sir, it, er, seems to be your best side— and who knows about that little therapy game "talk to the sock" and gets a kick out of it? (In "talk to the sock" the two people who are having a problem communicating each take off one of their socks and put them on their hands. The socks then "talk" to each other. It works— and is funny as all get out sometimes, too.)

I haven't loved many things in this life. And the ones I've loved the most, I've kept the quietest about. Asked a direct question about my deepest feelings, I whip up a smokescreen of clever words that make my true feelings seem like a funny joke. I weave a shield of word chi that hides everything, that repels everyone who comes too close to me. With my rapier-like wit, I make a joke of everything and everyone and send them packing.

It works very well. My defense is impenetrable. No one ever knows what I really feel. But everyone laughs. Everyone likes me. I'm the class clown. "Occupation: Foole," as George Carlin put it.

But so well defended, I am alone.

I don't want to be alone anymore. But if I don't learn to say what I feel, if I don't learn to be brave and face my fears and let people inside my defenses, I'm going to lose (if I haven't already) something, someone, I care about very much...

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. That's probably true. Words are dangerous, as I know, having cut myself badly on email recently. And probably having cut someone I care about into the bargain... me and my sharp "wit." *sigh*

What I'd really like to know is, was it the crack about liking his website so much that I would really like to meet the very aware, caring, enthusiastic, (read: "communicative") person who "owned" it, or was it the suggestion that his sock should call my sock and they should do lunch, that really tore it?

Maybe I'll never know. There haven't been any emails. (I sure ain't going to send any!) And there haven't been any messages for my sock. And David seems to be as good at hiding his feelings as I am...

At least he didn't toss me out of class. Yet.

27: Wednesday

28: Thursday

I've had a bubble of laughter welling up within in me all day. This is how I was feeling before. High. It has something to do with the t'ai chi, I know it.

I've been sorting through all the feelings that have been stirred up lately. I find I like David, really like him, I put it no more strongly than that. And I want to get to know him better.

I hope he likes me, too; and I hope he wants to get to know me better... but I wouldn't bet on that right now. Still, if that isn't to be, I am grateful that I have him for a teacher, and I will treasure the beauty and grace he has shown me.

I don't know what to say to David. I don't know how to apologize. All my skill with words— and I didn't exaggerate that— goes for naught. In this, my black belt isn't any help at all. It's only good for defense, for I am no true Master. A true Master knows when to fight and when to yield— he's "soong," I bet.

But if I can't write, what can I do? Eyes the color of sky and water stop my tongue.

And a Round Tuit ("For all those tasks you said you'd do as soon as you got a...") left on his hat on the table while he was occupied with packing up after class because I was too chicken to hand it directly to him, as I should have done, is hardly an apology.

29: Friday

30: Saturday


There are aplogies to make. And I don't know how to go about them, so I guess I will be a while paying for the mistakes I've made— at least I know what the mistakes were, and I've learned from them.

I begin each day with t'ai chi, and somehow, I don't know how to explain it, I live it, too, and each day joy builds around my heart, like magic. Inexplicable as it is, I thank whatever Powers there be for the gift I have been given, for my teacher, and for these days of grace and joy and magic.

In spite of my recent mistakes, my life seems to be really opening up. Last night, down at the farm stand, things were quiet and I was doing a few passes of t'ai chi when a gentleman who was getting ice cream noticed me and came over. He complemented me on my skill in the forms (!) and commented that I must have a good teacher. I said I did. He asked who my Master was, and I told him, and we got to talking. Turns out Norman is the "honey guy." He owns Celestial Offerings Apiaries down on St. Paul Street, the guy Peter gets all his honey for the stand from, and it turns out that "my Master" gets his honey from Norman, too, and—

Yeah, so what has all this got to do with the price of tomatoes, right? Well, there was a time not so long ago when my shyness, my armor, and shields, would have prevented me from talking with Norman, or from having a real conversation with him. But now, my world is expanding, I'm meeting interesting people, I mean really meeting them, getting to know them and they're getting to know me, and... my possibilties are expanding...

It feels good to feel I am part of the whole world, that I have a place in it, that I belong, that I'm valued for myself, that, at last, I can go out into the world and feel at home.

But I still can't talk to David. Why is that?

Copyright © 2004 New Moon

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