Today I did eight pieces of silk, Five Golden Coins, and the form. Nothing particularly serious to report. These old bones are not creaking in any significant way, it’s gratifying to do the deep knee bends and the carrying of milk to heaven, and not hearing my knees creak (as much) any more.
At the end of my tai chi routine, I was lightly sweaty, and breathing hard. You have to understand, I’m not working very hard. None of the moves is particularly strenuous. Some of them, like a Windmill Kick, might have some technical difficulty, but they’re not strenuous moves. I’m not asking a grandmother with osteoporosis to do the yoga move, the plank, for fifteen minutes. I’m holding the pose, Bend the Bow, for maybe all of two seconds.
And yet my breath is charged. It’s powerful. It flows inland out of me with this deep rhythm of my body and the world around me. It comes out of me and it flows into me, and it is both mine, and not-mine. In trying to possess it, and hold it, I am made weak, and in the acceptance of it, and the acceptance of its going out from me, I fully own it and have its powers.
Spiritus, or breath, is the Latin name for this force,and it’s subtle. It’s why chi is different outside and inside, in Massachusetts or at my house or at my parents’ place. And why it’s also the same energy.