I had a great title yesterday. I don’t remember it this morning. Oh, well. A year ago on this day I was muttering about the value of 80% competence and the 22nd mansion of the moon (currently the moon is in the 11th mansion). And I kind of feel plateau’ed at the moment — l’m definitely more competent now as a tai chi practitioner than I was a year ago. What was 80% competence then, is probably like 30% competence now. And Maybe now is 80% competence, for real? I wouldn’t bet on it. Call it 40%? It’s hard to know for sure.
This past Wednesday’s Archdruid Report had a lot to think about. I’ve been teaching students about palace of memory; they’re working on memorizing around 15 lines apiece from Vergil’s Georgics in Latin, because it’s a great way to help learn the feel and rhythm of the language. It’s also a skill well worth learning — and having some poetry stuck in your brain is a great way to entertain yourself on long cold nights when there’s no television. As there never is in my house.
Tai chi today wasn’t anything particularly special this morning. It wasn’t hard, and it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t all very slow and fluid, but neither was in particularly fast. Very much it was a middle way. A plateau. We all reach them. It’s not always easy to push up the stairs from one level of capability to the next one. We don’t get anywhere in a linear progression; most learning processes are a matter of climbing a little ways, resting, climbing and resting again.