A while ago this year, starting back on Day 125, I wrote a series of poems about my experiences doing tai chi. The first one was the Opening:
At the opening, breathe in deep three times,
and soften the eyes to see land and sky —
Begin at once, at the day’s dawning chimes,
before the pigeons have a chance to cry
or the wren has chittered in the branches.
Begin with bent knees, but so your toes show;
tuck your buttocks in and tense your haunches;
begin to move, and turn from the waist slow.
Lift the left foot, and widen out your stance—
lift both hands, and then push down and away.
Move, as in syrup, in water, or trance,
with muscles in tension and mind at play.
Be all curves, and relaxed in this rebirth,
suspended from heaven, anchored in earth.
Commenter Quin has promised/threatened to try to learn tai chi from my description of the movements. Ack. I feel for him— I’m not sure it can be done. But he’s asked for a set of photographs or something to work from. Ack. Again, I’m not sure that such exist. At the same time, though, I thought… hey, what if I made the diagrams? What would that look like? Feel like? Could I do it?
It’s a new way to grow my practice, which I’ve been casting about for, and a new way to develop my skills in relationship to this practice called Tai Chi.
So, I immediately did a drawing. There’s four pieces of Opening, namely breathing in and filling the lungs three times, and then connecting heaven and earth by sinking into the floor and straightening the spine (by tucking the butt under), and then twisting to the right while anchoring the left foot and weighting the right arm, and then turning back to center and getting ready for the next motion.
Quin intends to start learning the form on 11/22… that gives me today, tomorrow… a seven-day head-start on him. A week. Yikes.
I don’t think I can do it. It doesn’t feel like enough time. I don’t think I can create two drawings a day for thirty days straight instead of writing, so that he can learn the form in thirty days. Certainly not more than this sketch (made with Paper by fiftythree.com), which doesn’t feel like it’s really enough to do the form.
But, OK. Even if all I do is this quick set of sketches, it’s still more than I have now. And it’s something daily, probably for considerably more than a month of practice. And it will get me out of my current funk. And it’s something I was planning on doing with my practice anyway.
OK! I’m beginning — drawings to accompany my tai chi poetry, and the beginnings of a manual, of sorts, to learn this tai chi form.
I must be out of my mind. Really.