This is a photo of me demonstrating the Seitei set of Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo with my dear friend Peter Boylan at the Kashima Shrine in Japan, courtesy the sweet folks at Capitol Area Budokai.
Everything in the photo reflects who I am, and how far I have come, to have the honor of being there.
Jet-lagged, recovering from a second, 2nd degree shoulder separation in an aikido class three years ago with the help of prolotherapy injections, I look worn but focused.
I was quite comfortable in the shoulders and neck through the training, except for my feet and legs, which were unused to seiza on hardwood and tatami, and turned a light lavender after much ignoring of pain signals.
I have spent my entire adult life in love with Japanese classical martial arts, and the opportunity to "go there and do that" is a gift from Peter Boylan and Deborah Klens-Bigman, who were our tour guides for the trip.
It is also a gift from my sweetie, my soulmate, Chuck Gordon.
He worked hard to prepare me, he made the connections, and I got to this place through him.
What a great delight it was, to jump into the deepest of the deep end, breathless and with a sense that, while I had spent in my life in preparation, I was still not prepared.
Yet, I was welcomed, beckoned even, into the great torrent of information the instructors provided.
I have some handwritten journal entries I will enter as I have time.
I have also realized, how precious time is, and how much of it we waste, padiddling around, when we should be focussed on our goals, and our time in contemplation of our lives and how we wish to live them.