My friend Cat has a piece on confronting racism in paganism on the EarthSpirit voices page. I met Cat two years ago, and I like her a great deal; as a Quaker and a pagan, she has a great deal to say which I find deeply interesting, including this piece. One of my other readings today was this piece called “Lighten Up” by Ronald Wimberly
Today marks the start of a fourth year of tai chi practice. I think my goal for this year is to move towards an hour of daily practice. I’m not committing to an hour daily; I’m committing to the idea of an hour most days, by next March. Given that I was able to do a half-hour today, but that some days were less than 10 minutes as recently as last week, this feels like a stretch.
But it feels like an important stretch. My friend Lisa warned me that six or seven years into her tai chi practice, perfectionism became such a problem that she gave up. She stopped doing tai chi altogether. I’d like to avoid that ending, especially casually as a result of frustration.
Today was a step towards that. Tomorrow may be a step away from it. In brief, I did Five Golden Coins first, which (after an absence from it) feels like the perfect complement to tai chi. I still need a regular source of cardio exercise, but FGC is good! Then the tai chi form, relatively quickly. Then Eight Pieces of Silk, relatively slowly. Then the form, slowly. Then the form, very fast, where I was looking for the snap.
In all, it was a nice range of fast and slow. Some of it had great breathwork; some of it had great footwork; some of it had great movements, flowing through water. There were definitely sections where I had all three pieces going at the same time, and places where even one was too much to manage. And I think this is why I want to move towards an hour-long practice. With time invested, the quality of the work evens out. The lows become less low; the plateaus take longer to climb above, but they’re higher in the first place; and the technical challenges of the work can be found and climbed. I’d like that for my practice, because it’s related to the Horowitz Effect, which even if it has its dark side can be used to good effect.