I got up in plenty of time to do tai chi this morning, but my first priority was to find the broken needle from my sewing machine. Last night I was making a series of bags or pouches for a costume, and Ping! the needle went flying. Hard. I heard it bounce three times over my shoulder to the left, somewhere on the floor where I practice tai chi.
I turned off the light, and went to bed.
This morning, with slightly better light, I went looking for the thing, doing squats and toe touches all around the room until I found it. I suppose you could call that tai chi, but it wasn’t any form I’d ever heard of, myself. Eventually, I found it. Then I proceeded with Five Golden Coins and Eight Pieces of Silk,followed by the tai chi form twice. I only did twenty minutes of formal tai chi — but my search pattern for the broken needle had consumed at least ten minutes.
Doctor Yang said “practice in good shoes” but I’ve always practiced barefoot if I could help it. But after this, I thought about all the stuff that often winds up on the floor of my studio — everything from broken sewing needles to wood shavings from the plane, to scraps of ceramic from when I broke a crucible. It’s a dangerous business, stepping out of your bedroom. Maybe I should invest in good shoes. Even though I always clean up carefully.