Taiji Day 155 update: Conversations

This morning I had difficulty getting up and getting started. The house where I’m staying had a messy kitchen this morning, there was a young kid looking for breakfast, and one of the families staying here for a family reunion was trying to pack up and go on a long day trip.

I found myself doing the tai chi forms while people wandered through the room, around me. Some questions about what I was doing. Then others asked questions about what I was doing later today, about whether I wanted coffee or breakfast, or what my plans were for later in the day, or whether I wanted to be part of a project or not… I was asked whether I’d seen one child or another, or if such and such a person had passed through, or if I was in line for the bathroom. I answered the questions with as much grace and goodwill as I could, and did the form as best I could.

Under the circumstances, the “best I could do” was not very good at all. I lost my place, made mistakes, dropped steps and postures, lost count of repetitions, and more. Difficult, at best. Some days, of course, the form almost does itself. Some mornings, like today, it’s almost impossible to get anything done.

I think the critical thing is completion, though. Without feeling like you’ve completed the work for the day, you’re lost. With completion, good or bad doesn’t matter. There’s always tomorrow. Whiteout completion, though, you must begin again. With completion, you must begin again tomorrow, either for better or worse — but at least you begin tomorrow with the knowledge that no excuses sufficed for today.

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