Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm getting a good start on a walk in the shoes of my clients, yet again.

Something in my neck has gone awry.. I have dull pain at c4-5, mild bilateral parasthesia, and a constant low-grade dural headache. And my stomach is at its limit for NSAIDs..

The thing I really want to do is go back to Germany, to my dear teachers and ask for help. I should have gotten on those tables back in the fall when I had a chance.

The number of people here with the level of training I was used to back there, is vanishingly scarce. My dear friend & colleague CS saved me when I got back from Europe and landed hard, with a session that left me ice-cold and shaking.
I'm not sure what it is, there in my neck, but he walked right up to it and started the deconstruction. I love that about CS, he's stupid fearless like me, but we do it in such different ways. He gets in people's faces right away, and they know he's serious. I wait too long, and by the time they've pissed me off, I've gone thermonuclear.
I'm working on that balance.
I'm never NOT serious (quite silly, but never, ever lacking intent), but people take the diffident aspect more easily than the meter of sharp, folded steel I use for a backbone.

The wood stove's glass face is billowing purplish blue, which tells me the new cord of wood we ordered and stacked today is burning clean & hot. This wonderful invention of natural soapstone and cast iron, with a catalytic combustor to clean its emissions, has made our chilly, heat-pump-afflicted house a home. It has certainly made CG and the cat a LOT happier! well me too, in my weaker moments.

Mostly I think hot tea and more clothing can cure all chills, but I don't have 10 inches of titanium in my femur.

The wood stove, some Chardonnay spritzer after a nice chili dinner Chuck served, and a hot bath he is waiting for me in, are the features in my life tonight. Sure itnwas Zero Fahrenheit this morning, and will be 12F tonight, but the wood stove is stoked, the insulated curtains are closed, and the snow on the roof is holding fast.

I am the luckiest of the lucky..
My pains are my study and my learning, and I am open to the learning, and able to pay it all forward.

I just want you to know..
It didn't come easy.

None of this came easy.
I got a lucky break named Chuck Gordon.
He got me through school, and now he's reaping the benefits of a partner who feeds him, buys him beer, pays half the mortgage, makes him go to the gym, and pesters him about his budo.

I started out a the daughter of a poor black child (my dad didn't know he was white until he was about 8, due to being raised by black household help) who wanted to be a lawyer and ended up a postal worker for 30 years.
My mother was the daughter of a civil engineer, a polymath and would-be scholar whose abusive background robbed her of her potential.
She is a professional Spanish-English translator helping immigrants get their GEDs and become functional members of US society.

People like me don't get to go to Europe, we don't get to buy nice cars.
We don't get good health insurance without a good job. We tend to freeze in those jobs, from sheer fear.

I have a bigger, better opportunity.
Even when I am in trouble.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I've made it through all kinds of crazy.
These days, my life is a kind of freefall..

"The world has made me the man of my dreams" (M'shell Ndegeocello)
I am standing in a profoundly centered place.

I earned it, and I was given it.
If I had not earned it, I would not have been given it.

Last year, I made more than my father ever made in one year.
I talked to him tonight, and he told me.

"Others have excuses, I have my reasons why". (Nickel Creek)

There is a beautiful, delicate place where we can combine our vocations, avocations, passions and talent, and some years of hard work, fear and absolute, abject risk to make something happen which surpasses our own being.

I got to do that.

I really got to step into a training program which prepared me to help people in some unprecedented ways, very mechanical, very basic.

Then I got to do it, in one of the most stressful of places.. an Army post.
I did some work with German people as well, as they kept calling me, and I had to start a practice on the German side, speaking German, with the help of a German apothecary owner.

Once I had made my way in the German and Army environments (the struggles in the latter were epic) just showing up and setting up a practice in Frederick was a freakin' cake walk. Hell, practicing with German clients in German was a cake walk, compared to dealing with the Army. Some clients preferred to see me off post.

My ambition shows up in some very weird ways..
I want SI to have its own legislative movement, I want us away from massage.
It is not relevant, applicable, or helpful for us. I wish it was.. But we really need to pick up our own torch and keep moving.

Once upon a time, I was the train wreck "waiting to happen" well I've happened, and I'm over it.

I'm as ruined as I care to be, and I will do what I can to spare anyone following my bitter steps, a little suffering.

Don't try so hard. Every little bit you try, helps you. Stay with that.

Ask what you are compensating for. You may never get an answer, but at least you will have asked.

Don't think breaking yourself, means anything.
There are ways to experience breaking, that won't hurt you.
Try them first.. because physical injuries last. Don't accept emotional injury either.
Find healthy challenges. NEVER accept abuse.

Don't ever turn your development over to anyone else.
I don't care what level you are working on, no guru can see you.

You have to do your own Work, and you have to be uncompromising.
It is ugly, it is terrible, it is uncomfortable and, in the end, liberating.
Freedom can be awful, too.

Welcome to my freefall.

A day of relatively heavy snow has passed.
We visited a friend up on little Sugarloaf Mountain, where the snow was naturally a bit heavier. Our little Element made its way (with me as pilot) safely through the slick fluff back into town, where we ran a few errands and scurried home for dinner.

I really wasn't either frightened or nervous about the snow. Watching the carcasses of the trucks and SUVs of the careless, reckless and just plain DUMB on the sides of the roads back to Fredneck, I was completely equanimous.
In low gear, no hurry, with the natives keeping their distance, a little sliding here and there, we just kept on keepin' on.

It's like my budo practice these days.
There is absolutely nothing to be frightened of.
I have already survived a couple decades, and have pretty minor problems to deal with.

The problem is, keeping it that way.
To this end, my jujutsu practice is limited to none. Chuck has the same problem, still unsure of his new prosthetic. There are still some bugs to work out, but I am optimistic. It's kind of my job.

Now, I am learning the art of just putting one foot in front of the other.

I am finally learning from my teacher.

When he is not teaching me so much, more responding to direct requests on specific subjects of my interest.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Something funny happened today.. someone called my SMR kata "sexy".. a nice enough guy for me to be endlessly amused. I am both flattered & flummoxed.

I started my budo training in 1989. I was about 20. Now I'm past 40, with some career-ending injuries. I should be done, but I won't quit.
I started with aikido in 1989, took it back up in 92, and pursued kenjutsu, aikijutsu, judo, and wing tsun, with a little kickboxing on the side until 1999.

At this point, personal development separated me from my partner, and I struck out North into Indiana, trying out Kokoro Ryu Jujutsu with one Chuck Gordon. It was, and may still be, an extant sogo-budo derived from Sekiguchi Ryu, painful, violent and uncompromising. It is not physically pleasant to practice, and I am not sure how much of it I can still do, but I would like to try, because it is a valid, dying art, and not many do it the way my teacher does, especially since his teacher has gone.. and he has not been back to find what his teacher may have left him to do.

I am the poster grrrl with no poster.. I love swords, sticks, Pretty Sharp Things, implements of Mayhem and horrible things to do with people you love, and to people who Bother you.

I carried my father's switchblade in high school, and once answered the door with a King Charles II sabre in my hand, when I didn't appreciate the caller. It was Texas, what was a girl with no gun to do?
I wore heavy boots to make my point to young men in junior high, before I figured out knives. I was dysnumeric, pathologically shy, cross-dominant clumsy, and unsocialized. Growing up is hard for everyone.

Thank you Ani DeFranco:
"I don't try to give my life meaning, by demeaning you,
and I'd like to state for the record,
I did everything that I could do.. "

I've done a few crazy things in my life.. nothing big but I ended up with some interesting stories. I found a home in martial arts where my energy and aggression could find a positive direction. I don't really think of my gender when I take something on. I'm fortunate enough to live in a time when it's not a big deal.

I used my ability to focus, learned in the dojo, when dealing with the local Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation personnel, when they wouldn't give me space to work in, or pay me. I also used my Secret Weapon (aka Chuck) and I methodically & consistently brought down consequences on everyone who crossed me. I went out of my way to help those who helped me.
Eventually I was free to serve the Soldiers and their families, but I had to fight the system to do it. That's the Arrrmy..

Now I move on, with three feet of razor steel ever in my attitude, and almost four feet of oak increasingly at my service.

Meanwhile, as I am learning the basic Seitei of SMR, someone calls my kata.. "SEXY" . My (other, male) partner burst out laughing.
These guys are great, they have welcomed a couple of orphans and been very kind, patient & welcoming (some initial puzzlement, and who could blame them!). They practice quality budo and are nice folks. The guy I am picking on is very nice, and generous as a sempai & training partner, but he does say some strange things. SMR is enjoyable training, and the kata are sticking in my mind fairly well.

I'm neither here nor there on his comment, it's funny and..
if you think lethal intent is sexy, well..

Budo babes must bear their burdens.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's a more mysterious process, finding one's own way in one's own calling.

I'm not really sure it's in the writing department.

I'm not sure where it is.
I intend to explore the mediums.

There is something not just calling to me, but really beckoning me to do some kind of work, as it has for all this time.
It's not writing (too frustrating) It's, I just don't know what it is.

Sure I can write, but my feelings and expressions bruise, they mangle, I write like I train, I am generations of intention to survive, and that is uncompromising.
My ideas launch themselves as uncompromising predators, and the system reacts to protect itself.

My choice is to make a steady diet of my opponents and thrive on it, or starve my own protective instincts for my organization, my family.

Why do my opinions bruise and mangle? Is it my colleagues' inability to adapt? am I asking too much?
Surely my colleagues are at least as intelligent and inquisitive as I am... if not..

I can read and understand every word of the Fascia Research Congress.
Can you?
I don't have a college degree, and I can still out-phrase anyone who does, in my specialty. If I can't, I can at least ask intelligent questions. BTW, there are no college degrees in in connective tissue in the US. We are WAY behind the times.

Wikipedia is your friend, and it's best you got caught up ASAP.
It starts with a kid who feels so isolated, she might as well have grown up on the moon.

I used to walk down the street and try to decide which way I would go, to run away from home.
Usually when I was due for a switching from my mother, who didn't understand, or ask, why I had to stay after school. She just figured I had been bad, when in fact I had simply been bad at math, and my teacher wanted to help me out.

I walked down the street, and I was too pathologically shy to ask people to let me in. I sat on the neighbor's porch, hoping she would see me and ask me in. I was supposed to be cutting a switch for myself, and I sat there.
She had a beautiful 6-month-old baby girl, and I never wanted that kid to face what I had to face, and I thought about that.. later I babysat her, and now the little girl is a lovely young woman with two kids of her own who will never, ever have to cut their own switch.

Yes, Liz, that was me. Your mom asked me what I was doing there, and I couldn't tell her "escaping child abuse". I didn't know. And I didn't escape it. I was completely mute.
You were the closest thing I had to my own kid, and I'm proud of you, and my brother, who is the other one.
The things my parents did to me, I would never do to anyone.
They didn't know, and they did far better by me, than they themselves received.
I just tried to do better than that.