Graphic Design WorkshopYesterday I had lunch with my friend Topher after a morning in the Design Lab getting set up for a workshop this morning. (I’m teaching fourth graders the core skills of graphic design in a 2-hour workshop: page layout, hand-lettering and font selection, thumbnailing, color choice, page hierarchy, and so on.) After that, I worked on a couple of art projects at home (and gave myself a mild burn with the wood-burner — a wonderful tool but dangerous as all get-out; though admittedly not as bad as a buzz saw). Then I went up to my local metaphysical shop to get candles for a thank-offering to the angels today, Day 366 (I haven’t figured out what I’m going to label tomorrow’s work).

While I was there, I ran into someone who I’d done a prayer card for, based around a pair of angels from the Mansions of the Moon: one of the angels was the angel of the day, and one of them was the angel when she was next going to see a doctor about her cancer. That was maybe two weeks ago that I did this. Today, I find out that that doctor’s visit went swimmingly well, and she asked for another one, for her next appointment. I made it for her, right then and there, and wound up being given all the candles and things I was planning to buy. We’re all connected, right?

And I wound up making another card based on the 26th Mansion of the Moon: The Forespout of the Bucket, showing a woman washing and combing her hair. And after my little candle-shopping trip, I came home and made her in my book. Here she is: You can’t get as good results from looking at a picture of her, as drawing her yourself, but she’s plenty strong for a lot of different kinds of work. And this customer — customer? friend — also got the First Mansion, on the other side of the card. Because she needs Tagriel to wash and comb the cancer right out of her system; and Geniel to chase it off.

So, all things considered, yesterday was a pretty awesome day: completion of a year of tai chi; anticipation of a great day tomorrow and a clean-up of the Design Lab; lunch with a friend; some artwork; some magic work; and some down-time for meditation and rest. Lovely.

Twenty sixth mansion of the moon

In that light, today’s tai chi practice was a bit of a let-down. I mean, sure… I’m stronger than I was a year ago, but I’m not stronger than yesterday. It’s like… it’s like when I turned forty. I was forty for a a week, and everybody was asking me if I felt older or if I was worried now that I was on the wrong side of the Big 4-zero!? And of course, I didn’t. I didn’t feel any different on one side of the number than on the other. It’s just a day.

Because, as much as we’d like to believe that things will be different on the exact day, they aren’t. And today’s no different. I had an absolutely terrific Ward off Left early in the form; and I missed my left hand-touch in the Windmill Kick near the end. Yesterday, my Golden Pheasants were rock-solid, but my Low Kicks were unexciting. How often are all of these practiced moves going to be magical, all on the same day? Not often. But when they are, it should clue us in: there’s no guarantee that the rest of the day will be magical. It all depends on how awake you are.

Am I as awake today as I was yesterday? Maybe, maybe not. How about tomorrow? Will the day ever arrive when I have an absolutely perfect practice?

Who cares? This is today’s practice. Enjoy it.