Archive for September, 2013

Apologies Due

by on Friday, September 13th, 2013

Writing is a dangerous sport. Blogging, even more so. I should have realized that last year when my love read over the first draft of my book. He told me that he liked it…but that was the grain of salt that came with weeks of fighting over the criticism due to my poor writing style.  It was all good in the end, everything he said was exactly what I needed to hear, but I just hadn’t wanted to hear it from him.  Goddess bless him, he has not wanted to read any more of my verbal spillage since then. I can’t blame him for that.

My husband, my lover, my best friend. The man I cannot imagine a life without, not even in my wildest fantasies. So he had some things to say about the organisation of the novel, and the character development and the plot, and the grammar, and well, just about everything. I know, I know, but he liked it. Criticism is hardest when it comes from the ones you love. I of all people should know that the best. My family is famous for their “tough love.” That’s putting it in nice terms for those of you who don’t know them.

But a few days ago I posted a blog entry titled Air Confined. Deleted now, I posted it without editing it and without thinking much about what I was saying.  For some odd reason, after a year of ignoring my pleas to read some of my junk, my dearest husband decided to read the unbridled hurtful entry.  I realize now that remarks I made therein made it seem that I was preparing for some disastrous event, or worse, preparing to leave Michael. That is not at all the case.

The words (rearranged, these letters also spell a different word, which could be substituted here: sword) which poured from my fingertips were actually interrupted stream of consciousness. Typically when I write in the morning, I go back and forth between emails, and discussing the day with my beloved, getting breakfast and tending to the dog. Many interruptions. This particular entry was about me and what I have discovered about my nature. That I am an air sign, (read, ‘head in the clouds’) tied to the earth by lots of grounding Taurus (read, ‘feet planted, stubbornly’). I am not fire, burning with desire, or water, able to flow or carve out a new path. This is what I know about myself.

What I wrote didn’t seem to be new information to anyone who has known me for a long time, rather, I thought it was more of a clarification. A clarification to myself. I never in a million years expected Mike to read what I now realize was disjointed thoughts, gummed together in a way that missed the mark entirely. And worse, was easily misconstrued.

We are in the midst of change, Michael and I. Our children have moved out, we are getting some things done to the house. Our furniture is being moved all about and when it is done, it will seem like we are beginning an entirely new life together. With a new future. It feels good, really good to be going that road together, finally. But it’s hard for me to sit and wait for it when I can easily envision what I fore see as our future. I love changes and long for them ultimately. I find it fun and exhilarating too, as hard as it is for me to move my feet.

In that last entry I described myself as a tree, rooted to the ground, with my head in the clouds. It fits, I am comfortable with that description.  And I hope to stay rooted to Michael, in our very grounding relationship, forevermore. He completes me. Where I am lacking, he fills me in. Where I am deficient, he pours in love. I can only hope that I do as much for him, though after causing him so much pain, I really don’t think that’s possible.

I love you “mon sweet.” I am sorry.



Bujinkan Update, September, month 6

by on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Summer training is over for the most part, luckily my schedule allowed me to train three days a week through out August. Now that school has begun, I’m back to my regular teaching schedule. I have allowed myself Monday nights, however, something in my whole career that I have never done before. I end up arriving at training little late, of course, but I at least get it there.

The black belts have been great. Mark usually takes the role of instructor when he is there, playing ideas off Erik. Bujinkan is Erik’s canvas. He sees endless possibilities  and variations with the techniques and has a lot of fun being creative. Josh will take the role of instructor when no one else is available, but he is a very good teacher. He is also very fluid with ideas and variations, but he knows the language and can explain what the body is supposed to do better than the other two. I had the lucky opportunity to train with Josh privately only once and it was a valuable experience.

I get the sense that they get a kick out of me, shall I call them my Dojo Masters? For whatever reason, They like me,  and it gives them a better excuse to advance their own training. I’m the only dedicated white belt in the clan. Of course, not knowing what they were up to before I started Bujinkan with them, I could be imagining things. Mark especially, travels to train frequently. I have to beware of his Jedi mind tricks, I realized after Monday.He will direct the conversation in such a way that he soon has me revealing things about myself, things I would not normally share. So far the end result has been only light embarrassment on my part, but still. Twice now, I have spat out personal things which I would normally not share with anyone. Mental note to self to stop falling into his traps.

Other than that, training has been good. I can say that I have learned the Sanshin, and am really close to knowing all eight of the kehon happo plus one that we don’t consider a basic at our dojo. The names are (spell check won’t like me) ichimanji, hicho, jumanji, omote gyako, omote tski, ura gyako, musha dori and last, gansaki nage.  Musa dori is the one we don’t do. Saying that I can do them is one thing, of the eight I can only do the first three well.

Since my last Bujinkan update, I have purchased two more weapons and made two also. I made a Bo staff and a Hanbo, The staff is a 6 foot wooden rod, really fun to work with but not practical to carry around.  The hanbo is a shorter wooden rod, 3 feet long, and much more manageable. I made them from dowels I bought at Menard’s,  sanded and finished with wood oil. I like them both! We’ve trained with the hanbo quite a lot since July, using it to deflect an attacker, and using it against a sword. It’s the type of thing you could keep in your car and keep an attacker at bay.

I also purchased another bokken, several of us from the dojo ordered bokkens specially made  from a wood smith up north. I chose rain forest Blood-wood for mine. It is beautiful. It’s a lot heavier than my Cold Steel bokken, I’m still getting used to it, it makes my arm sore.

My favorite new weapon is an unlikely and scary looking little thing…I love it. It’s called a Kusari. It’s a 24 inch metal chain with 3 inch rectangular  weights on each end. It weighs a couple pounds, and when you swing it, well you can just imagine the damage that it could do. Josh G made them for us at his place of work ( which I will not reveal, not even under torture) and they are truly works of art. I like it because I can carry it in my purse if I need to, and it would easily create distance between me and an attacker. It would also inflict a fair amount of damage if it hit someone in the head. It is a very wicked thing. I’m looking forward to a class coming up this fall dedicated to kusari training, taught by one of the dojo masters in our area. I’m not going to miss that class!

So training has been going well, I hope my dojo masters think I’m progressing. I certainly feel like I am. I’ve become more comfortable with so much. And I really enjoy it enormously, though that has a lot to do with the company of men I’m in, they have been good to me. Too kind.  I’m at the point that they will need to be tougher on me for me to get the most of my training. Time to train harder.