Between druidry and tai chi this morning, there were dishes to be done. I’ve had some unsettling thoughts of late, regarding the ways in which the druidic practices may interfere with tai chi. Accordingly, I’ve tried to separate them one from another by doing at least one mundane task between the one and the other.  It’s proving useful, not least of which is that while I’m doing dishes and washing the countertops, or while I’m cleaning the toilet in my apartment — a normal household chore gets done in some small way.  And second, I try to find the rhythm of the tai chi breath — slow in through the nose, slow out through the mouth — before I change from mundane task to martial.

Today, there were dishes.  And there were not many.  I try to leave a clean kitchen before I go to bed, but increasingly I leave the dinner plates (but not the pots and pans) until morning. So there were three dishes — two bowls and a plate — and a fork and a spoon. And somewhere in there I found what I think of as tai chi breath.  With it came what I call tai chi vision.

Tai chi vision relaxes the muscles around the eyes.  I stop squinting.  I start ‘softening’ my vision from focus to broad viewpoint.  My sinuses clear and my jaw relaxes, and I feel as though my senses are clearer than then ever are at other times. The world comes into clearer focus, and I can feel the chi running through the meridians in my head, widening my senses.

This sense of widened perception lasts through five golden coins, and then sort of fades away during eight pieces of silk and then returns during the tai chi form.  By the end of the tai chi form, it’s gone.  Faded away as if it had never been.

Now I’ll have breakfast: one bowl, one spoon.  And then I’ll wash dishes.