I live in an old house. The floorboards creak. My upstairs neighbor is studying a foreign language and culture, and is a night owl. They’re frequently doing traditional dances (it sounds like) until late into the night. I don’t mind their sound, but I try to be conscious that their bedroom is above the room where I do taiji. Today I tried to move silently.

Abject failure. Creaking floorboards underfoot, my weight settling my feet firmly on the floor, heel to to toe, and all that. Silent? Hah! It is to laugh. Quiet, though? Sure. Quiet I can do.

It slows you down, trying to be silent. hmm, this board is about to squeak. Shift the foot this way? No. How about that way? Better. Slowness leads to carefulness and deliberateness. which leads to sore legs and tight flanks at the end of the work.

A long way to go n this lesson. But not a bad start.