Sunday, August 27, 2006

It's been one month since I started studying kempo, and while I've certainly learned a lot, for the most part I still stumble through classes rather awkardly. Luckily, my classmates (is that the right word? dojo-mates? fellow kenshi?) have been incredibly patient and instructive, without exception. And of course our sensei has done the same, imparting his knowledge with authority and occasional humor. It is wonderful to be reminded each class that without the help of others, I would be lost. One of the reasons I undertook studying kempo was that I needed a strong dose of humility, and I receive that in spades each class.

On a completely unrelated note, here's something I wrote the other day while lying in bed listening to the sounds outside my window:

the evening's breeze begins to swell
and for a moment it's hard to tell
if the crickets are answering the wind's call
or if their song is the cause of it all

And this while lying in Bryant Park, relaxing after work:

a most delicate crystalline lattice floats overhead
impossibly layered yet sheer as babe's breath
shimmering iridescent from the Sun trapped deep within
like a cloth woven from some forbidden silk of the Immortals,
not meant for the eyes of humans and other animals

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A few weeks ago I began studying Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese martial art. Rather than attempting to describe it in detail, check out the official website for more info. It's been an interesting experience so far. During the first two classes I don't think I've ever felt so lost, so completely clueless, in my entire life. I must learn how to breathe, sit, stand, speak and move all over again. I think it will be a good experience for me if I can stick it out. I try to keep this quote from F. Herbert's "Dune" in mind when frustration starts to set in:

..a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.

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