Friday, May 04, 2007

A feeling

It's that special feeling. The one that wakes you in the middle of the night, the feeling that sets you sweating, that reminds you yet again of how the essence of your humanity is the body, and not any thoughts

Now the thoughts simply won't come clear through the shaking and spasms.

You know the feeling.

You've had the chills. You've shaken hard. You've hit your head. Your muscles have tired and tightened.

Your vision has blurred.

The furniture circles you ominously, the ceiling mists up and drifts away.

Can you maintain yourself long enough for relief?

Nausea's a bitch.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The nails were still neat. She rubbed the middle finger and then the thumb against edge of her forefinger.

Smooth nail.

Broken skin.

Rough cuticles.

Smooth nail.

Broken skin.

Rough cuticles.

Ring finger to pinkie. This cuticle was worse -- ragged.

She became more anxious. Surely there was something smooth.

Her right hand pinched her left big toe.

For a moment peace wafted down -- the pedicure was still gleaming and cool, enamel melting into flesh. Then she felt the callous on the sole and was immediately tense.

All these flaws scream for immediate removal. Teeth? Claws? How to eradicate the imperfections!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Healing - time changes

After twenty-five we don't heal as quickly. Yet it's not really noticable until thirty-five or so. A slice of a finger, a scab on the knee: they used to be gone in a few days or a week, tops, but after thirty-five - damn, it could be a month before the scarring is gone.

The joints and muscles are suddenly slow healing too.

When we're young we get in the habit of expecting damage to disappear quickly. We hurt ourselves more than necessary, and rest less than we should.

We've all heard it: "if youth only knew, if age only could".

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Center - focus

What's central to your life?

Which people?

How did you determine this?

Or them?

In this culture, by which I mean New York, the central focus should be your job, your children, or your significant other. Pretty much everything else won't fly.

It can't be friendship. Friendship isn't romantic, and it's not acceptable to priviledge a relationship that's neither sexual nor parental.

Being single isn't really accepted either. We might say single blessedness, but certainly don't mean it.

Most of us don't really trust art or artists.

Hobbies can't be the focus, because this is New York, and money rules.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Passion - solo practice

Each "roll" is actually two - there and back.

Twenty rolls - forward.

Twenty rolls - back.

Twenty falls, not quite rolls.

Bend and kick over.

Push off from the wall.

Kick up, land on the shoulder. Roll over.



If a fifteen year old can do it, so can you.


Once more.

It's much more interesting than the next exercise.

Five hundred cuts, please.

Fifty right, one handed.

Fifty left.

Fifty right, shomen.

Fifty left.


How many? Ah two hundred twice.

Fifty right, yokomen.

Fifty left.

A reward! Kata. Slowly. Slowly.

It ends where it starts.

Switch sides.


Passion - bear it

All physical expression is emotional.

No part of the body is dull. All fascinate.

The other imbues the daily round and shines through each object.

Actions - all of them - are feelings. Every action embodies aspects of us both.

The scent of the elbow, the taste of hair, the sight of any bend or bulge, the curl of the ear, the color of the skin between the toes. The sound of the breath, the limbs moving, the knuckles cracking.

List each nerve and sinew.

How to express a range of feeling, engendered by the other's presence, in words that aren't hackneyed.

Passion - overwhelms

Someone writes "I have a passion for..."


Does the writer suffer for whatever it is?

Does the writer form a life based on passion?

When you encounter such a passion it's not much like the passion described in a resumé. Rather, it's anti-social. Following it centers and fills and consumes. The life of a person held in passion's gtip appears arid to those who aren't.

We accecpt some overwhelming forces such as love or art. Yet passions we can't share either personally or as part of the cultural norm leave us befuddled, and pitying or contemptuous of, the sufferer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Death - Minna

Minna died slowly. Joe had a stroke, he recovered a tiny bit,enough so that it was noticable six months later when he had another. And another. And died. He was 81

Minna had seemed fine until then. Soon her hearing became iffy. Next, she'd loop around and around repeating herself, yet clearly trying to impart something different.

The next step was anger.

"Where's Joe?" was more a cry of anguish than a question.

Eventually she lost language entirely.

Yet her rage at the world and her situation shone through every movement.

She lost motion.

After ten years, she died.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Confidence - stories

A zillion years ago a friend told me of a dilemma she had that concerned a friend. How should she handle the situation? Should she tell the friend? She told me to keep the story under my hat.

I kept shtum.

Soon after, the friend began reciting the tale at the drop of a hat.

The odd thing isn't that she changed her mind about openness. It came out that she'd told half a dozen (or more) people her troubles. She'd sworn us all to secrecy.

I sometimes wonder what triggered both the repetition (sub rosa) and the sudden openness.