Tai Chi Y3D351: A Working Day Off

School is out today — not so much because the snow was bad last night, but because the snow is supposed to be bad throughout the day.  I probably could have driven to work this morning, that is… but I might not have made it home.  Progress continues apaceSawhorses at work on the construction effort for the renewed design lab: as you can see, the two sawhorses are currently supporting a piece of plywood, which I’m marking out in sections and readying to cut into about forty different bits. Once that’s done, those pieces will be assembled into a rolling cart to carry a range of design supplies to various parts of the building so that the lab can be used for heavy projects while the cart is for lighter-weight activities (like, say, pipe-cleaner structures or origami). That’s the plan, anyway.  Cutting will probably take place tomorrow.

Tai chi today: I began with Five Golden Coins.  I’ve not done FGC in a while.  In light of one of the yoga practices I learned a couple of weeks ago, though, I think I’m going to stick with this practice for a while, or maybe combine it with Dr. Yang’s system of poses. Five Golden Coins works through all six of the rotations of the spine: left and right, front and back, and side to side.  This strikes me as highly beneficial. It’s the yoga component of tai chi.

Knowing I had the day off from school today, I walked down to the coffee house this morning and got myself coffee.  Unusually, I drank it there, and then walked home.  I hit a rough patch of ground, and slid and almost fell quite dramatically, but instead I caught my balance and remained standing.  Caught My Balance. That phrase has always struck me as odd, but then today that’s exactly what it felt like — I reached out and caught myself on air by treating the air as if it were something solid to grab onto.  How weird is that?

But that means that the tai chi practice is doing one of the things it’s supposed to be doing: training my balance so that I don’t fall over, and keeping me upright in slippery situations.

Today is a pretty complicated day.  I’m running a game design workshop at school on Sunday, where I’m teaching a (very small) group of kids to build chess sets of my own design.  Kids will engage in a bit of gluing, a bit of measuring, a bit of painting, and a bit of learning.  Ideally, we’ll build the chess set and learn the basics of play in two hours.  It’s ambitious.  But the group is small, so that will help.  Anyway, I need to finish type-setting the rules and diagrams so that kids will have a booklet to take home.

I also have an art show in August. And I need to work on some pieces for that.  It’s at the self-same coffee house where I drank my coffee this morning, so it’s the audience that knows me already as a coffee-drinking teacher. I wonder what they’ll think of me after I put my stuff on display?  Then there’s the usual work of laundry and housecleaning that never seems to get done to standard in the evenings after school.

As is so commonly the case, tai chi is a prelude to more and more sophisticated kinds of effort on my part.  I’m glad that it’s also helping to keep my mind fresh, as well as my body.

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