Here we go.
So here’s the bizarro-land truth about this “draw the tai chi form” project or process I’ve embarked upon. It’s making me feel like I have no idea what I’m doing at all. Today’s movement is Ward-off Left, which I wrote the sonnet for here, on Day 127 this year.
Shift body weight to flow down through right sole,
and move hands and arms to carry the ball
so left hand cradles and right rests on whole,
the right knee bent so the leg supports all
yet remains strong to spring into action.
Step out with the left foot, easy and slow;
plant it heel to toe, to test the traction,
so that the foot has time to check and know
the ground’s condition. Brush the sparrow’s tail,
and bring up the left hand into a guard,
with shoulder to wrist curving without fail.
Push the right hand back and down, for it’s hard
to defend backside from knee strike or kick;
from left wrist to right foot, make one strong stick.
One of my commenters asked me to divide the drawings into lines of the sonnet; and although I’m reading the sonnet and trying to structure the drawing to match, I’m not sure I have the skill of matching words to pictures, or pictures to words. It’s like, I’m asking my brain to do and think about the world in completely different ways all of a sudden. Nonetheless, let me try.
Picture 1, carrying the ball, happens in lines 1-5. Picture 2, showing the step with the left foot, begins at line 6, “Step out wit the left foot”, but covers the form through to line 11. The side diagram, labeled “left side” in the upper right corner of the picture, represents the position of the body in lines 12-14. Picture 3, in the lower left hand corner, is really the first step of the next movement, Ward Off Right.
Also, it’s important to note the presence of the Chi ball in this posture. It starts out being carried on the left hip, about the size of a softball or a bit larger, and then it’s lifted up and expanded into a sphere between the body and the outstretched left hand, when it’s huge; and then it ends up being carried on the hip again, somewhere between the size of a softball and a volleyball.
Doing tai chi today was… difficult. Yesterday I was incredibly sick — vomit, diarrhea, fever — and today I’m doing much better but still quite physically weak. But the quality of my tai chi form? Pathetic. I’m glad I bowed out of work for another day — it’s not even noon, and I’m exhausted from sitting on the couch.