Back on Day 125 this year, I began the sonnet project. On Saturday (yesterday), Quin decided to try to learn my tai chi form from my sonnets, but admitted he’d need some diagrams to help him. So I decided, it’s time to make the diagrams that go with the tai chi sonnets, and I started drawing.
So yesterday I did the Opening. Today is Circling the Arms:
Both hands rise up to the height of the shoulders,
while feet, planted firm, stand shoulder-width wide.
The hands retreat, like a pair of soldiers
on guard, overrun by opposing side.
Ere they retreat all the way to the chest,
they stop and resist; and the knees sink low.
The hands remain just a moment at rest,
then they, too, press downward, following flow
of chi — that eternally-living flame.
The knees unbend and the body ascends,
though hands still press opponent down in shame,
’til fingers impress with their last extends,
how direct forward motion does not land,
but tumbles down by the circling hand.
Picture? Oh boy. This is where things get complicated. Can I do this? Probably. But probably not immediately or swiftly. Guess what, even though I just did this in my tai chi form, I’m having to stand up, do it again, turn on the iPad, try drawing, stop drawing, do the movement, pick up the iPad, draw again, and so on. Sorry Quin — this is not going to happen nearly as fast as either of us would like…
I’ve learned that it’s going to be more challenging than I’d imagined when I started. Here, I think I left out a step. The arms are at the sides at the end of Opening and the start of Circling the Arms. Then they rise up — and I missed a step here, the palms facing the opponent. It’s worth noting that although I show the palms rising up to the right, they actually are straight out in front. Then the arms bend at the elbow, and the hands push down from by the shoulders. One doesn’t squat into a horse stance or a squared-off position, either; but one does sink down quite a bit, before rising back up to a normal posture.
This is going to be hard.
Quin asked me to comment on color in the diagrams. Basically, the figure and the physical movements are going to be in black or possibly black and green, for Earth-based or physical movements. Blue arrows will indicate the flow of fluid weight — how the body goes through shifts in its fluid from one posture to the next; this is the Water of the posture. Yellow, usually circles or arcs, will indicate the flow of chi from one part of the posture to the next — the breath or Air of the movement. And red will be the fire — which energy centers should be active during the movement.
Ideally, every diagram would be colored with all four colors. But in truth, just because I am diagramming them, doesn’t mean I understand how all four elements move in each chart in each movement. Getting these diagrams created, revised, corrected and understood is probably going to be my work for the next few hundred days. What am I getting myself into?
This morning has also been complicated by illness. In the middle of my tai chi routine, I suddenly felt enormous pressure in my gut, and realized I was going to vomit.I spent the next hour and a half either on the toilet, bowed over it, or waiting to go back to it. It’s taken me most of the day to feeling up to finishing the tai chi…