I successfully made it to the cliffside and jumped full on. I expected many obstructions, but never predicted just how taxing it would all really be.
Pockets bled and heavy doses of external stimuli were taken to compensate. My old tools were useless, and through trials, my abilities seemed to wane.
When I thought I was safe, I just wasn't there yet.
Thoughts only exacerbated the wounds.
Instead of falling into my place, I was falling into abyss. Calling out, my voice echoed back as fear.
Falling into my place. Falling into fear. But, aren't they both just ... falling?
What's the difference? My body is the same body that falls regardless. Those walls I pass on the way down are just those passing walls.
There is something that changes everything.
I'll call it a mask.
The details aren't so important. Certainly not worth my time to write or yours to read. But it's been one hell of a fall. Through these times, if we stop, then that's it. What you see is what you get, and the rest will be written about it. But it's all redeemed if you can see it through. If you can crawl out and stand up straight, it was all worth it, and the lessons will be learned. I have learned a few crucial lessons through this period. They are all ones I've known before, they've just been futher illuminated. However, this does not mean that they are the same; the rules have changed a bit and so have I. Furthermore, and more importantly, they haven't been any easier to put into action. If anything, they have become a bit harder. The lessons I have learned are directions on the map, and they are challenges that require true action.
What does this look like in aikido?
Well, when I went to practice the other night, there wasn't one great particular thing that seemed off with my technique, it was more like every little bit was quite a bit off. Maybe a beginner could look and say, "well that doesn't look too bad at all." And yet, in every movement and connection I make, there are beaming flaws. Everything needs work, simulatneously in an effort that will take time.
However, I've noticed two immediate things I can do that will change a whole lot: First, keep my back straight. I have a tendency to hunch over a bit in my movement and it compromises everything. Need to keep that straight like a plumb hanging from the sky. Second, relax my shoulders. This is another small detail that throws everything off. Let them hang and find another way to move that doesn't ignite the muscles.
We fall, we die, we are born.
Hooray we're alive!
Now what do we do?
Relax, breathe, and build ... one little universe of a block at a time.