Friday, March 27, 2009

I heard an old song, and old situational feelings just flooded me. I can smell the hot sun, I can smell my old Geo Tracker and see the places I went, I can FEEL them. I can feel the desolation of the time.
That was it.. I was emotionally desolate. 
I knew it. I knew I was terribly adrift, and I was swimming like mad. I just didn't know where to go. 

Strange, that I affected the same makeup style then, as I do now (though less of it then) and these hands are the same that gripped the steering wheel, as I drove from class to class.. I was troubled, I was verifiably mad. I didn't understand how dangerous I was, or how much danger, I was in.

Now, I am sure that I was like so many other martial artists, not sure what they were pursuing, but pursuing by damn. 

Me, I was looking for someone, or something, that "got me". 
Meanwhile, I was too focussed, and closed, to let anything in. 

It's been a process, and these hands typing this post, are becoming more spotted & wrinkled in the quest, and the limbs aching & mangled, but I feel far more "gotten" these days, in my training with koryu, than I ever felt in aikido or judo. 
My first taste of SMR & genuine iai, I was completely destroyed, and I remember driving around the neighborhood of the dojo where I had helped orchestrate the seminar. 
I was actually in tears. 
I wanted to do THIS THING.

I came to a place where I just looked, and knew what it was, I am here to do. 

I need to handle weapons, I need to be good at it, and I need to have minimal risk in its application.  

I've never mentioned it, or discussed it.. my evening after class of driving around sobbing my heart out. I didn't think it was anyone's business, what I really wanted to do. If I wanted to do it enough, I would simply go do it. It was over a decade ago, now. 

There are those who claim (my former teachers among them) that the risk of injury, is the teaching tool. I've been lucky, but I've got one more ligament left in my left shoulder, and had problems in my left wrist only the most advanced of my Rolfing colleagues could solve (and did, in 15 minutes in one class) at this point, no one gets to twist me, or throw me, unless I know them very well, and know they can save me. Short list. 

I won't train with anyone who thinks that injuring me, is a useful training tool. I don't have any more room for injury, and people who train like that are psychopaths. Not interested. 

I am pretty sure, that I don't understand much about this process, except that it can, and should be, constructive. 

I am not willing to stop. 

The trick is, finding my way. 

Now, to the dreams of the late 90s, sure to find me in restless sleep tonight. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Long and weary, clay stone dreary, 
here we are. 

He would fly, and so would I, 
into a world free of things we think we need. 

I tend to think of roofs and baths, 
not a few books, blankets, movies and that's just half. 

The things we need, they don't go with.
The things we need, are in the place we are standing, 
wherever that might be. 

Running from problems, pretending they don't exist, 
temporary forgetting is
No solution. 

Problems are problems, until they are not. 
There's that sustained effort, not running away or pretending thing. 
Ignoring is pretending, forgetting is pretending, inaction is pretending.
Pretending does not work on problems. 

I would rather know that I was fucked, 
than pretend I was not. 
I would rather expend energy to do something about it, and make sure. 

That's the difference between he and I. 

So I'll stay where I am, fucked or not. 
I can deal with it, where I stand. 
I don't run, I fight, I strategize, I survive. 

I'd rather fix it for myself, than rely on someone else. 
I am a creature of root and stone, I need the earth. I can only fly for so long.. 
Sure I can wander, sure I can migrate, but life is chaos enough
without inviting more. 

I'd like to take the time
to see some gardens grow
in the ground, and in my life. 
They don't grow quickly, and impatience is poison
in the garden. 

Too much fiddling kills a fire, fast. 

I'm tired of not being heard
I'm tired of not being remembered
I'm tired of not having time to grow. 
I know, I should TAKE time to grow. 

It's the same old problem and
I wonder if it's generational or if
men just cannot hear women
and don't listen to them
and never will?

Roots and stones.. 
One wraps around the other
together, we are the earth
pulling in different directions. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Here it is Spring and all.. found a nest of cottontails under the front porch. 
They've been all the rage on my Facebook page.

It's a real internal dichotomy, petting and nurturing these little fuzzballs who will grow up to do their best to eat my garden, while I put the garden together. I might put chicken wire over the porch to prevent it happening again.

I'm putting a kitchen garden in with the energy of someone who has not been in place long enough, to see things really grow and take root.
Or, rather, the energy of someone who has gotten things a good start along (6yrs) and had to pull up stakes and shift camp.
I'd love to know that the gooseberry was blooming, or the blackberries and raspberries along the back fence there, in the Oberpfalz.
It would bloody break my heart to walk that street again.
But I know I will do it.
I'll walk right in, say hello to the elder as I did that very first day I walked into that yard.

I'm no stranger to walking right into heartbreak.
I think you understand. The last two years have been a real bitch for me, and I'm far more protective of my personal life, than I was, which is quite an elevation. At the same time, I have to have a public life, to make a living. As you've found out with your radio shows, on which you are quite charming, BTW.

So we've got the usual suspects, plus a few, out by the front walk. I also ordered 4 hop rhizomes to plant by the front porch, which gets our best sun.
I've put in some Italian parsley seeds, day lilies, dahlias, and roses as well.
The hops are Saaz, Tettnanger, Hallertauer, and something else, I forget.. Spalt, I think. All carefully labelled, with tulips & daylilies in between.

As it goes down the sidewalk, it gets more casual.
Meanwhile, I have lost an entire Thyme plant.. which means a loss of thyme.. utterly silly.

Thyme in mind, I give up and go to dinner.
Seafood medley with tomatoes & saffron over wild rice

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I suffer from a lot of generational diffidence, which, if you understand Texas culture, makes some sense. 

We are brought up not to make a fuss, ever, even over severed limbs and cranial trauma. Never mind that you just lost your house in a poker game, buy the round.. that's Texas. It's that, or slink out like a yeller-bellied skunk. Go out, guns a-blazin', is the cultural motto. Never mind if they deliver the bill to your widow. 

There is also, as lies under the bulk of American society, a tremendous amount of classism. 

Caught in that generation, whose parents couldn't do as well as their parents, and who could never, statistically, even do as well as that!  I inherited a family in the middle. We had a house and two cars, but neither parent was statistically functional enough to fill out my Pell Grant papers or the ones to Rice University (I didn't want to live in Houston anyway).

In the time I was given, where nothing was expected of me, I became an autodidact. 
I taught myself graphic and web design. I took advantage of jobs needing cheap, self-educating labor with the State of TX, and worked it into some skills still working for me, today. 

I still send people home, to look up "Autodidact". 
It means that I taught myself. 

In this world, where learning is owned by companies and complicities, the autodidacts are the ones examining, measuring, learning and speaking out. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nature, as India Arie says, runs the show. 
Digging in the weed barrier for the front garden, I noted odd movement. 
Brushing some fuzz & hay aside, I found two warm, live baby cottontails and one cold dead one about 10 inches from the nest. 

I cuddled the two back into their nest, knowing they were as likely to be abandoned by their mother as they were to have anything else happen to them. I brought the neighbors over so that the kid, a 8-9 year old wiser than his short years, could hold the larger, more robust of the bunnies. I know the bunny will most likely die, so the best I can do, is share the experience of holding this brilliant little life. We can't save them, and it's not our place to. I taught them a little about the handling of baby bunnies, and tucked them back in again. 

Later, I went out to finish my work, and the littlest one had gotten hungry and impatient for its dam to return (I had obviously disturbed the feeding schedule) had started hopping and bumping around energetically. 

Mindful of the dead one I had tucked into some bushes for the elements to take care of, I put my warm hand into the nest to calm them. The older kit ignored it, but the younger one sniffed and sniffed, nosing along my hand for sustenance. I tucked the litter and fuzz around them again, and held my hand over both of them, until they stopped moving so much. 

Then I wrapped up my work, and went inside, so Mama Bunny could come along, if she chose to do so, and feed her mislaid children. 

Sometimes they don't, and tomorrow morning, I may well find two cold corpses, to match the one I found today. 

I'll put them in the bushes, for the elements to take care of. 

I am not God in my garden. 
I am just the caretaker. 
If I am obedient to the laws of Nature, I will shape my environment to feed myself, and do as little harm as possible. Thus, I will let a young mother rabbit lose some kits, if she puts them in a bad place. 
Rabbits aren't endangered, they are doing just fine, and I'm not about to propagate something that would eat my food with great energy & ingenuity, given some particle of a chance. 

It's a kind of compassionate detante.. we'll see how far that goes, after they eat the hops and bok choy.
I'll try not to give them a chance at it. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

A dear friend is approaching the end of his marriage. 
Like so many things we get in a pattern with,  he has been locked in combat for years. 

Me, I hid the combat, and wondered why my resentment came out in psychopathic symptoms. 
I realized, that my inner life, and my outer life, were so far apart, as to tear my own psyche apart. 

Rather than go the "crazy route" I was already pointed down (following my ex's family pattern set) I broke free and recalculated. My life GPS was my own, at that point. 

There are some things that are going to happen, when a marriage finally breaks. 

First of all, it is going to HURT. 
Second of all, there will be collateral damage. 
Third, you have to line up your resources, and hang onto them. 

There is the dive into the tunnel, there is the long swim in the dark, and then there are those breaths of air on the other side. They come, long before you can see the light. 

Be soft and open.. it is better to know you are going to be hurt, than to miss something you might want to have seen.  At this point in our lives, we know how to take hits. Sometimes you have to careen, and bounce.. it's a starter point for bouncing back. Take the hit, it may help you stand back up. 

Let go. 
Nothing matters but mutual welfare and freedom. Focus on that, work on that. 
The nasty old things of the past, are what you are both working to be free of. 
You can't focus on that enough. 

Don't chew your own limbs off, to escape. 
You might need them, later. Don't give up resources, you can't do without. Find a way to make it work, without selling your @ss downstream. 

Be glad about it. 
It's been coming, and this is the end of a lot of suffering. For the whole family. 
Put the marriage down as compassionately, as you would a beloved pet. Even if you don't love the circumstances or members of the arrangement, the thing itself still needs to be mourned. The remains need to be able get dug into the earth, so that everyone can be nourished, rather than tormented, by whatever resolutions evolve from the dissolution. 

I'm still apologizing to people I hurt, between episodes of me getting hurt. I'm not a hater, I reserve my wrath for those who work hard to earn it, but in my general "life angst" it seems my pain spilled over, even when I thought it was well hidden. 

Reach out to friends. 
I can't count the doorsteps I showed up on. Some of them just long enough to say "take care of him" and then walk away. Almost a decade later, I'm back in touch with some of them. 

I was never more naked and aware, than I was in that time. 
It was terrible, and magnificent, and I hope to never have to do it again. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

There is still no answer, as to what is Home.

Home is so much, where you make it. 
Our society is so desperately migratory, whether it be for economic or social survival. 

Home is where you can grow something. 

In the earth, in your life, in any medium possible. 
If you can grow yourself, if you can grow something, you can live there. 

The variable in the equation is, the time allowed, the time you want, and the time you end up having. 

Knowing that, we never have as much time as we want, to do what we want to do, should shape the variables for those of us with control over some of the other variables.

Monday, March 02, 2009

What if you could bring everything that was HOME, to you, to where you are now?
The good, the bad and the things that just make your life, your life?

I got that gift today, courtesy SW Airlines. 
My mom is here to visit, and it's a truly weird & wonderful experience. My mother is a an information supermonster, a real geek supreme, oddly restrained by circumstance & culture. One of few Texans able to converse in dialectic native Espanol, a professional translator and total wallflower punstress supreme, that's my Mom. 

I'm not sure she could still step up and make chicken soup like she used to, or those fabulous chocolate chip cookies we both used to eat more of the dough of, than make cookies from.. 

Meanwhile, my mom is here, and it's some kind of huge milestone in the escaping from Texas meme our family has been laboring in all these years, before I cut my own way out. 

You know, when you are  sick or sad, all you want is your Mom. 
Somehow, by making my own, at home here, her essence is here forever.

One of my life's goals, has been making the important people in my life, feel as loved when they are sick or ill, as my mom did for me. Perhaps that shaped what I ended up doing for a living. 

The big difference being, that while you never cease to function as a fixed point from dependence on your own mother, we, as bodyworkers, try to give our clients their own points to work off of. The grammar is not great here, but the idea comes across, that we all need our own concrete points of reference, for our lives. 

Do we live in a hot place, or a cold place?
My mom wants her windows open, though it will be about 11F outside tonight. I don't care about the heating  bill, I care about her diabetic circulation. I know how to get it going again, at least  thermogenically, in the am, and I have a medical contact if I can't. 

So many years under the air conditioner, does things to one's perspective, that a week's worth, under an open window, can not deny

The down comforter should keep her comfortable.. I know the joy of cool breezes and down comforters, as another Texas native, and would never deny her. 

When, at the end of life, someone wants something crazy, what else matters?
In fact, she may last another 1-15 years. 

We should be so lucky. 
I'll try to lend motivation. 

Meanwhile, I am certainly gaining my own health-oriented motivation. More, as if I needed it. 

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I'm not really training right now.. at least it doesn't feel like I am. 

Recovering from injuries never feels like training, even though it's sometimes the hardest training of all.. especially if you have to change your entire approach, to keep training. 

We meet once a week with an SMR group, and will probably do more once the weather gets better, or we make our connection with the Rockville group. 

The weapons training is nothing like my years of aikido or judo training, where my body was beaten to bits, and my mind sort of spun around a bit. Here, my body makes some very prescribed movements, and my brain is placed in hot oil to sizzle. 

I am striving, to make my years of budo training inform and support, not confuse, this attempt at something resembling a mainstream koryu education. 

I feel like a Hell's Angel in MBA school. The instructors tell me they are being very direct, and I find they are being very circular in their technique. Perspective.. 

Why am I doing it?
I am doing it because I am too broken, to do it the hard way, any more. 

My sempai gives me the same old fucking tired line about women and upper body strength, and I just started laughing.. with tears around the edges. 
We're about the same age, and he's a great guy.. his younger brother is a little taller and has done a lot of different martial arts, and I pointed to him:
"I used to pick guys like him up, and slam them into walls.. I could bench 130.. " that got my new friend's attention.

No, now I have to do it the smart way. The quiet way. 
We aren't training at home, because Cg is figuring this way out for himself as well. He's got plenty of that, but I can't imagine what else he is dealing with, in there. 
I just think, we should work on it together, more often. 

We've both lost a lot. 
It's no reason to give up. 
Just because you have to try harder, is absolutely no reason to try less. 
It's new for him. 
It's the same old story, for me.