Friday, May 20, 2011

I can't change the world.. I can change my Self..
yeah that's me.. 
I'm sitting here with a glass of ouzo and three feet of rusty, battered steel. 
I handed it over to one of the first Westerners to end up in Japan, learning budo. Mortified about the condition of the blade, and the sageo.. I got it back without a single extra shaving in the saya, and shook it out, before I cleaned it, utterly embarrassed.. I cleaned it, and bought a new sageo, just so discomfited that my little indulgence had become the instrument of a great teacher.. too late as usual. 

The bones of my hands are dented, you can feel the lumps. 
The veins are broken, where they got hit, again and again. My knuckles are deformed from trying to punch a horse, who ran into me. My body is deformed, and I need help, to not walk in circles. 

My neck is a neurological experiment, my left shoulder has been ripped up twice, and glued back together in three sessions of needle hell. The last one, they drew my own blood, spun out the fibrinogens, and shot it back into me, at the hands of a slender young man, who apologized, and told my husband I was "tough as nails" without ever understanding that the man I love understands toughness on a scale not often comprehended by the living. 
I appreciated the sentiment, and live forever in the shadow of Chuck's perspective, of a simple dumb needle in the shoulder compared to the Mumford, a hip replacement, and everything that ever happened to our military sistren &; brethren. So I got a 3-inch needle in my shoulder. I asked for it. I wanted it. That's different. 

I kill varmints without fear or regret. 

So that's my life, amongst the animals. 

There's not much I need. 
I need a garden. I need some meat.. can grow, trade or hunt. 
I need to work, I need to do my work. I need to make my way, doing this Work. It is bigger than I am, like my training. I went looking for things bigger than me, and boy howdy did I find them. 
I need to train. I need a budo, I need a Way. I need something to do with my Self and my Intention.

There is always some kind of negotiation. 
I must train, but I must also not incur any more damage. 

I cannot tell you, what the new day feels like, but it feels pretty gottamn good to a grrrl who has been looking for her kind of heaven for half a decade, since her teacher lost his groove for good. 

I am here, because I spent 20 years on things which did not suit me. and 10 on those that did, but did not survive. 

I am here, to work on something that survives.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Coming up on a weekend of intense training, I find myself in focus. 

Not so many words, many experimentations in my own attitude. 

I have been doing budo since I was 19 years old. I wanted to study when I was about 13, but my parents just laughed at me. In any case, good teachers of classical arts, were in short supply in Austin, TX when I was 13. 
I will be 43 this year (2011). The Japanese sword was, and has always been, my first love (after lightsabers of course). 

My study of SMR Jodo, is to me, like a study of the opposition. It's a fond, interested study, and I love the depth and range of the art. Like Heinlein, I believe that specialization, is for insects. 
If I had not met the people I have met, who were also interested in this art involving four feet of oak dowel, I might not have found such an interest. 
Interesting people, generate interest. 

I know that my own presence, as a native sword devotee, improves the practice of the poor sods stuck with me. 

I have spent my entire adult life, studying three-foot razor blades, and various types of physical conflict. 

In all honesty, it has made me a far more chilled-out person, than many who have not explored the concept in the depths I have. 

There is no place, like the training place. 
Three feet of razor steel, hone a person to a place of simple honesty, simply because of the difficulty of properly using the instrument. 

If you are in the right place, all movements are both bold and minimal. 
There are no gestures.. no movement means nothing. 
Everything is culturally, ryuha, family, group correct. 
There are no individual movements. 
Everything you do, every movement you make, tells people who your influences are. 
Everything else is an accident, until you make it Work. 

This is Japanese Budo. 
It is a puzzle, for the Westerner, of embodiment. 
To become so completely spacious and empty, to embody this culture so far from our own, in everything from language, to culture, to strategy, requires an effort from the practicioner, which much come from their very soul. 
This is, if I understand, true of native Japanese, as well. 

For myself, orphaned on several different continental areas at once, I shall strive for curiosity.
That is the lesson I am carrying with me, along with as much empty space as I can bring with me, to learn more.