Repost from my hitherto forgotten blog on Google’s Blogger.
I must have 5 versions of blogs across different platforms and it is the equivalent of screaming into the wind.
Anyway, I’m in a Tully’s waiting for someone so I will write something about…something.
One of the best shows on TV is definitely Hannibal and the books are equally as good, though I think that the books portray the Anthony Hopkins version while the TV series speaks more to me because of the excellent cast, especially Mads Mikkelsen.
In a nutshell, Hannibal is a the fusion of passion, steel, love, and desire. A keening want that exists in all of us. To be heard and to be special; to be remembered even though we know that dust and air are our ultimate destination.
It’s the grisly now that holds us in awe and keeps oblivion well away.
I’m returning to the interwebs.
Unlike the Dying Gaul (pictured here), I am standing back up. I’d like to post more thoughtful and open posts, with the understanding that I am probably the only reader.
In life, we are always alone so why not too our blog?
When I am not slaving away for my corporate masters or my family, I find quiet moments in kendo training. Well, quiet in the sense that I seek moments of clarity and peace in bouts of sweaty and loud sports combat (kendo). The Bhagavad Gita has a beautiful and true quote about just that and have inscribed it upon my heart, seeking it in many places and times of my life.
The current heat wave in Seattle has contributed an additional layer of intensity to everything, especially kendo where, once you don the face mask; you are transported to a very uncomfortable place. It is a sweaty Gita!
Using the lesson plan from GymJones (no equipment) I’m starting to feel more strength and energy as I did when I was doing CrossFit. I’m also incorporating a basic breathing exercise, adopted from by free divers, called Kapalabhati (it is a system with 50 different exercises but exploration would require a qualified instructor).
On Friday I did my lesson plan and then went to kendo which really pushed me to the edge. By the end of class I felt as if I was walking submerged in water. I felt depleted physically but, on a deeper level, I felt good.
Saturday was a rest day and then Sunday was, Hotengahara. If you’re not sure what that means, Hotengahara is an arid plain that, in Eiji Yoshikawa‘s fictionalized story of the Japanese sword master Miyamoto Musashi, in which the famous swordsman spent two years working as a farmer, trying to master the land as part of his physical and spiritual training. Historically, Musashi, did work the land for two years but no one knows anything beyond that.
So my Hotengahara was spending all day Sunday clearing my yard, digging up the soil, planting, and breaking down old furniture. All under the sun and without proper hydration.
By the end of the day I was done and done. Tired, muscles aching, dried out, and mentally fuzzy. I drank water, had a great curry chicken and went to bed early.
Today I woke up and felt great. Physical development requires breaking mental barriers. You need to both feel and *know* that you have broken through and progressed, even in a small way. For that, I have my own little Hotengahara to thank for that.
With the UW Taikai coming up this weekend, I’m in no way ready for it. I’ve been traveling on business and haven’t touched a shinai in over a week. It would be great if that led to some kind of “sword-of-no-sword” epiphany in which I become a master athlete by Saturday but somehow I doubt it. I have a higher chance of winning the lottery…
In an earlier post I did outline my program for my sandan test in 2015 and really that is the long game that I am focusing on. For the taikai, my best steps are to be aggressive and single-minded, not thinking about victory. Beyond that, being there to support my fellow team-members and assist at the event will be part of my day there.
This even sounds like a cop-out to me but it would be presumptuous to expect anything better, given my other commitments and poor time-management.
That’s all for now.
The city is great, with busy streets, places to eat; and plenty of people to watch. As a small-town boy (Seattle), it is a shock at times but I am enjoying San Francisco while still missing home.
Here people move faster, are more direct (no “Seattle freeze” here), and there is a greater diversity of people and styles. As a friend said to me, “This is the home of the internet,” and that is true (for example, my office is right across from Uber and Yahoo is not far away).
Below are some more of my amateur cell phone pics.
Question: Right what dominates my thoughts?
Answer: Learning, developing, heroes, swords, the mind made real by the physical. Cutting through space with thought and deed as one.
Our minds are at their best when they are tied to physical action. The heroic is manifested in commitment and effort. And the mind sharpens.
A productive rain will come from this word cloud.