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I'm putting the following behind a cut - this is a public post, so anyone is welcome to comment, but I'm sure it's a subject that many of you don't particularly care about so I'm putting it behind a curtain, as it were. Feel free to join in or pass by.

Read more... )

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Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho, 1983
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“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

Thomas Jefferson
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When sitting, just sit.

And when climbing, just climb.

One of the things I didn't realise I'd get from climbing is what a great stress reliever it is. Sure, it's painful, sure it's difficult, sure it's frustrating.

But when you're moving from one hold to another, there's no space for anything in your life except movement. You can't really be worrying about anything else - if you do, you're not going to move properly.

I set myself a goal this year; not just to climb, but to climb gracefully. Obviously, this is a work in progress. But all the people I admire when I watch them move with elegance, not power. I've said before that I consider laziness to be the most interesting virtue; laziness in the sense of making no more effort than is necessary.

Laziness is elegant and graceful, because that's the most efficient way to move.

It doesn't happen all the time. I reckon in 7 years of Aikido I pulled off maybe two graceful techniques - the ones where your movement and that of your partner are so closely blended that you cannot tell each other apart, and there is no effort. It's almost predestiny, an elegant move - it doesn't feel like there is any conscious choice there, and yet you end up exactly where you want to be; centered, breathing properly, focused. Ready to move again, but perfectly still.

Twice, in 7 years. Twice, in thousands of throws.

And that twice was enough to keep me motivated.

Tonight? I wouldn't say that I moved gracefully. But I moved well; well enough for two people to comment on my technique. And moving well is the first part. Because once you move well, you can forget about moving. And that's where the grace starts to well from.

Admittedly, one of the people who commented did so with a caveat - one that could have come straight from the mouth of Ueshiba himself.

"Nice technique, but you didn't half go red in the face. Don't forget to breathe."

Move with grace, and just breathe.

That will do.
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When in doubt, give anyway, receive graciously, and when you can, pay it forward.
[livejournal.com profile] litchick

January 2017

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