Tai chi Y3D73: rediscovery

Outdoor tai chi. Outdoors is so much better than indoors, most of the time. The only indoors that ever really feels better than outdoors is my own personal studio. But today was under my favorite maple tree in the whole wide world. I’m always happy with the resulting quality of my work. And the weather is nice enough that I didn’t rush. The three tai chi/qi gong forms together, plus the druidic work, took an hour. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they each took 15 minutes. I don’t think that part is true. I just think that they each took about the right amount of time.

Today marks the completion of the first 20% of year three. There’s a little less than twenty days left until the end of the first quarter-year. I was talking to someone this past week who was startled that I could recount how much tai chi I had done with such accuracy — he doesn’t know how much of e rectifying of the count I have to do. I’ve been thinking about whether this is unusual behavior, this counting. But frankly, I don’t think I could have kept up the work this long if I didn’t have some sort of approximation of how long I’d been doing it. My mother keeps gold star stickers in her calendar, and gives herself a gold star for any day in which she exercises. I write a journal entry. Her method is a little more streamlined, but less public.

But there’s something to be said for keeping track, regardless. Magicians keep diaries. So do pioneers. So do explorers, like Lewis and Clark. So do ship captains. What is tracked, is measurable and understandable, to a degree. There’s a record.

What’s amazing to me about my own record of tai chi practice is how ordinary it is. It brings an order and a discipline to my day, but it’s pretty normal. I think it makes possible a wide host of magical things, and it gives courage and fortitude… But the flow of energy and power and chi that characterized my early days of practice is totally gone. it’s just me these days. It’s just what I do. The measurement, the record-keeping, helps ground the practice and helps it grow.

What are you tracking?

4 comments

  1. Tracking IS important…I tracked poem-count for years until it got to be counterproductive, in that the count became more important than the work. Part of the reason I stopped writing new work was because I felt it all becoming a chore.

    • I can sense that there will come a time when writing a journal about my tai chi practice will cease to be useful and I will stop one or the other. In truth, I think that what will happen is that the tai chi practice will continue and I will simply start writing about something else.

      • As I also found. Which is not to say that time has come, of course…not at all. I read these faithfully every day and find them often illuminating to my own work.

        • I’m glad that they’re useful beyond the tai chi community. I have found that the record of the work is useful for helping me understand how long I’ve been at this and what happened when.

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