I've been going to kyudo consistently and feeling very good in the practice, but due to winter break (which means high school students invading the dojo) tomorrow will be the first and last practice of this week, and maybe I'll go once or twice for the next two weeks. This is also due to my own holiday: about 10 days of no work, and no obligations but a few end-of-the-year parties and an overnight snowboard trip. This is the first holiday season I've stayed in Japan. On the one hand I'm incredibly excited to have as little stress as possible, and as much opportunity to crawl into my own winter world. Yet that winter world is in a hole, quiet and sparse. I have a very warm home in the mother country of the U.S.A., one I honestly cannot imagine being any better. But instead of being in that home with undoubtedly the most important people in the world, I will be here, in my hole with the few things I have insulated as best I can from the Japanese hive I live within.
In this winter hole, just beneath my mind, ancient subliminal forces glitter in the darkness. They are real, and I wish to know better what they are. So I'll sit and attempt to conjure them out by whatever means I can. I am not dead. I am not frozen. I can change. But that change will not come about from more maddened scheming. I'll need to take a walk, then sit in a tree looking down at the snow. There are beasts to tame. In that realm, we will see aikido's true worth.