Monday, April 30, 2012

I can't stress it enough, the things I went through as a female budoka have nothing to do with the injuries, the injustices (changing in the broom closet because the men freaked out about my longline sport bra and bike shorts, which I politely wore under my clothes so I could change without disturbing anyone) the weirdness and stupid jokes, which, frankly, I was born and raised to turn back on anyone..
What I went through was that constant vulnerability to manipulation by instructors unaware of, or perhaps too aware of, their personal power through some variation of the instructional or therapeutic relationship.

Relationships are what kill budo careers.
Nothing else.

Get better at those, get better at budo.
Full stop.

Isn't it about improving your way of life, anyway?

Point of the exercise and all that.. 
It's like no one read the signs, I left behind.

I'm wearing warm clothes, to keep a cold spring night at bay.
We have had the heat on, the last week, and even had a fire last week, to stay warm.
Sure, it's a little hard for the garden plants, but I have a cheap little patio greenhouse, and they are all doing OK so far.

People like me, who leave so much behind, live in a different world.

I go back, and I see all I could have.
Family and friends at the forefront, time with my dear brother and all my others.

At the same time, where I am, I live in a constant place of newness and discovery.

My first relationship with a man, was combative. It was also nurturing.
Thus, I find a particular home, in budo.

I need that particular sharpening relationship, where I also get to learn something, I get to advance. It was never my own father's conscious goal, but it was mine, for sure.

In the budo world, this type of approach has led, for me, to some of the most wonderful relationships with other human beings, of any gender, I have ever experienced. Gender irregardless, the greatest, and the bravest, show up around martial arts practice.

Many of the relationships I have had in my life, which have showed me the most, have been within my budo family.

Strange things happen, life goes on, and we are still devoted to budo. And, if we are not, we aid and abet those who are.

Some of my most dear relationships, are with those still doing a budo I no longer do. It is also the most difficult intellectual interaction. It continues only, because the interactions of the heart are still there, that our love of one another does not fail.

No one read the signs, from day 1.
I am not a bad girl, I am not a mean girl.
I am just not the girl who will put up with your shit.
This is not my fault.
This is your fault, based on your expectations.

Meanwhile, I can back up my rejection to your erroneous expectations from a simple ignoring, to some things you really don't want to think about, that are very painful, embarrassing, and possibly dismembering.

Your decision.
My opportunity for target practice.
Which I would rather not take, or even think about.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I began, in the second largest state of the union. 
Try not to feel alone, especially if you are too eccentric to fit into its most eccentric city, Austin, Texas. 

Living on the outside of the outside, it was a relief to be in an actual foreign country. 

Bavaria, Germany.  In my actual experience, not so different from Texas, if you swap hot for cold. Which this this perpetually overheated Texas gal was only too happy to do. I traded shorts for sweaters, clogs for kickers. 

In a foreign country, everyone expects you to be different, and you expect that. It's a welcome change from being in the home country, where everyone expects you to be the same, and you aren't. 

Those of us who end up ex-pats, and I do intend to be one again, and permanently, are usually people who hated high school, never fit in, and chafed at idiotic, anti-intellectual, emotionally retarded American social memes. 

If it was true that the strongest, physically, should rule society, then let's just get a lot of orang-utans to run for office. It would make as much sense as the jocks running high schools or public office. As a martial artist, I find that kind of "mirror muscle" an exercise in narcissism and stupidity. 
On the other hand, it's kind of fun to take advantage of, given the chance. 

I'm in much the same situation, professionally. 

I started out in Munich, I took a chance and fell in love. It's really a love affair I have with this work, nothing else would explain the stupidity of sticking with it. I should just go back to Germany, or Canada, and become a manual osteopath. No more political shit, just do the work. 

That said, I have to look at the situation here, again. 

Like the salmon swimming upstream, all I can say is, conflict turns me on. 
I like giving that lopsided grin, being smarter than the dumbass confronting me, and knocking them off their pins. 
I like fucking with the system. 
It's a stupid, terrible, broken system. Pay tens of thousands for a carpal tunnel surgery, or just a grand for me. One might work, my work WILL help, and there are no risks with me. 

This is the problem, we are too cheap. We are undervalued. It's a freaky market. If you can help a person avoid a 50K surgery, what are you worth? Plus recovery time and rehab? what is this worth?

I have lived on less than $400 per month, in the late 80s, in Austin, Texas. I have lived out of bulk bins and on family. I don't need money to be happy. But I wonder about value, and what value people place on service, and the differences across the continents, and particularly in the USA. 

The other problem is, we are too divided. The idea of competition is overrated and poorly managed, and applied in the wrong directions. 

For instance, the perceived schism, by a vanishing minority (of perhaps 1 very reactive, close-minded individual who is nonetheless vocal) of the European Rolfing education, if you want to say, "Versus" the US Rolfing education. It makes no sense, the paradigms are too different. 

I have participated in both, and I consider myself a good and conscientious student. Never having had the chance to complete a college degree, I take every scrap of education coming my way in, and never let it go. I am an autodidact. I taught myself German, I learned my way around in a foreign land. I even found myself welcome, once I made it known that I was curious and adaptable. 

Walking into the classes, I quickly learned that I was among professionals. Chiropractors, health practicioners, physiotherapists, I had to keep up and step up my game. I found myself so inspired, it never even felt like effort. I gladly bought the (Swiss Heidiger, in German & English) anatomy books and got to work. 

I didn't worry about what was superior. I just got to work. I don't tend towards a lot of comparison thinking, I am not a hierarchichal person. 
What am I going to do, go back to the White/Nigga thinking of my East Texas roots? No. I have seen the results of this divisive mentality. I saw my mother and my father fight it. And fight it they did. My own father wasn't even sure he was white, until he was in double digits.  He was raised by the help, and he never forgot it.  My mother is a Spanish major, a professional translator who helps Spanish speakers pass the GED in Texas. 

I have put my fingers in the 50-cal holes in the homes of our friends in Frankfurt, left there so that no one will ever forget. I have had my fingers in the blood of history, in several wars from 1 to Gulf to Afghanistan, working with active, retired, civilian and others involved with DOD activities. People have walked in my doors, I have never seen again. 
One of the greatest echoing pains in my life was attending the memorial for Chief Warrant Mxxxx. 
He showed up on my table regularly, a student of social anthropology, delivering lectures as I worked and asked questions. 
He was Army Aviation: Helicopters. 
He was a pilot who had fallen out more airships than I can possibly imagine. One of his legs was a mass of bone & scar tissue, repeatedly broken in falls. From things many hundreds of feet in the the air.
He sent all of the men in his team- Marines, Aviation, Army- one Christmas.  I spent extra time with all of them, one helicopter pilot and his glamourous wife became regular clients. 
CW M lost his life on a slippery Bavarian road, on his motorcycle. We all made the joke that he thought he was in a helo.. it's no joke when you lose a man like that to something small and stupid. 
They called his name, Roll Call. Again and again, no answer. 

There was a sphere of silence, to give space for our hearts to break. 

Another man showed up at my door, head to toe in bandages, on a crutch, telling me that his wife had been really stressed out since he got back from Afghanistan. He was one of the first to come back from that place, and I gave him my card, told him to have his wife call me if she needed anything, and fell apart for a couple of days. 
I had the gift of walking in the Valley of the shadow of Death.. it gave me even more value in Life. 

So, in the face of this tremendous historic symphony, now I am looking at my own choices, and my own future. 

Sure, call me an elitist. I have never earned enough to get a real tax break. 

I am following in the footsteps of a woman who got her PhD in the same year the rest of her gender got the right to vote. 

I don't intend to behave, I won't respect expectations, and if you are too stupid to pay attention, don't expect me to have time for you. 

If you can deal with that, then we can talk. 
If not, get out of the way, or be target practice. 
Now, let's go have some fun!!