Tai Chi Y2D44: advising Lawrence

It’s becoming harder to decide what to write about each morning. There’s nothing that I can point to that’s going particularly well; but nothing that’s going particularly badly, either. I’m in a groove, I guess; but it’s hard to tell if it’s a rut, either. A lot of the basic challenges of doing the form are solved; the principle challenge is getting up and doing it. That is to say, the dweller on the threshold is still my most critical enemy.

Which is to say, procrastination is my biggest enemy. Procrastination comes from the Latin words “for tomorrow”. There’s this temptation to “for-tomorrowize” a good many of the challenges I face. And it would have been fine to lie in bed and get another half-hour or more of sleep. Or write a poem. Or something else.

T.S. Eliot once wrote “ambition comes when we find all things no longer possible.” I haven’t run up against physical limits at all. The mental obstacles are the real challenges — as they pretty much always have been.

I told a kid yesterday at school that most schools have a secret curriculum that consists of three things:

  1. organization
  2. presentation
  3. participation

That is, how well your system works at getting things done; how well your system works at presenting and framing your ideas; and how well you get along with others and making the team work.

But it occurs to me this morning that there are two more:

  1. initiation
  2. transition

That is, how well you develop new ideas, and how easily you shift from one set of ideas to another set. I think tai chi cultivates these two in me. But it’s hard to tell at the moment.

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