I’m trying to be mindful of the advice I was given to keep moving. Even if I slow down, I’m never supposed to come to a complete stop. When I was re-learning the form from the paper lists that I had, slightly more than 13 months ago, it was hard not to come to a complete stop — I had to drop the position, pick up the paper list, look at the instructions, remember the move, and then figure out how to fit the move into the form at that point. Now I have the fluidity clear — but it’s harder to slow down enough for the form to take the twelve-to-fifteen minutes.
Ah well. All things in due time.
And maybe that’s the essence of it. All things in due time. There’s the old chestnut about “perfect practice makes perfect.” But I wonder if that’s so. I mean, professional violinists practice carefully for an hour to ninety minutes a day. Careful practice does more for them than constant practice. What revealed this methodology to the great violinists? Very likely, inadequate practice.
My dad said to me, “there can really be only one Yo-Yo Ma,” meaning that there’s really only room for one great cellist in the world. Well, that’s a truism, I thought I suppose there’s room for only one superior, amazing cellist. But there are a dozen or more great orchestras in the world, and THEY all need cellists. And there are hundreds of second-tier orchestras in the world, and they all need cellists. And there are thousands of student orchestras in the world, and they all need cellists. And all those students and all those orchestras need cello instructors, don’t they?
Barring a large-scale purge in China, I’m unlikely ever to be the “best” tai chi master in the world. I’m unlikely ever to be the “best” history teacher in the world, or the “best” blogger in the world. The best painter in the world, the best artist? No, not that, either. There’s just this effort at incremental improvement, little by little. The improvement of the self, little by little. Will it ever ‘succeed’ or fail? Who knows? Who cares?