On Saturday morning, I had an ok tai chi experience in which I realized that I’d been improperly circling my arms during one of the motions of Eight Pieces of Silk. That revelation may have come about as a result of the failure to bend a few days earlier. And then last night, I had one of those deep moments of highly-satisfying awareness of the oneness of all things. Wow.
… that kind of experience doesn’t last. Today, I did my practice in shoes after a busy first half-day at work, getting ready for the new school year. We have great things planned for kids coming into the new school year, and I’m excited. But the only thing that I discovered today is that I was forgetting already how important the twist was in the movements I was doing. Wearing shoes helped anchor my feet, which raised my awareness of my waist, which made my upper body motions more effective.
Did I just shorthand my entire difficulty with today’s tai chi experience with references to prior challenges and entries and experiences? Why yes, yes I did. Has it all been said before? Is this all there is?
The most satisfying part of today’s exercise was doing the Golden Pheasant and Low Kicks, and then shifting into the spin. My floors are smooth — I’m home for the first time in what feels like weeks, and I’ve just done some cleaning — and the floor let me spin effortlessly, weightlessly, and come to a stop, exactly where I needed to be. I love it when that happens. It occurs so rarely.
There are always challenges. Today, I was wearing the wrong pants. My Golden Pheasant leg-lifts were not as high as they’re supposed to be, because my pants were binding around my thighs and groin (Also I was wearing heavy shoes rather than doing the work barefoot. It’s amazing how the beautiful maneuver comes right after the disappointment, though, isn’t it?
So it always is. I’ve made most of the mistakes before in this game, and I’l keep making them — I’m sure of it. In the meantime, though, I have a growing archive of mistakes and reflections to draw on, and a broad range of both experience and technical knowhow to draw on. I’ll be trying to identify my mistakes more often by reference to prior work.