I love doing tai chi and my workout in the morning. It’s quiet, the street hasn’t gotten noisy yet, and there’s this whole stillness not just in the house, but in the yard and in the street and in the world. If I listen very closely, I can hear snoring through one wall, and I have a sense of one person asleep nearby. And that’s it. It’s beautiful just how quiet and ordinary the world can feel at this hour. And then, in this stillness, I work on (and even do) some extraordinary things.
There’s a wonder in that. And a joy. And a power.
But all of that wonder and joy and power come at a cost. And the cost is a degree of freedom to do what you want. I mean, what if you wanted to sleep in on a Sunday morning? Too bad. You have to wake up, experience the stillness of the day, and – breaking that stillness – move through the form. That’s what’s required here. Not sleep, but movement. Not lying down, but directed movement. Not being casual, but disciplined.
And this is a cost. One has to give up laziness, to be active; one has to give up activity, to be lazy. The two things flow and float around one another, but there’s always an implicit tension between the two.