Tai Chi Y4D99: At odds

Today’s tai chi practice was at odds with what I’ve been trying to do — extend my practice to a daily half-hour.  I did the tai chi form first. Then I found myself wandering around the house, and I had to go back, and do my 20 push-ups. Then I was wandering for a bit, and getting lost in my own house about what I wanted to achieve today.  And then I woke up to what I wanted to do, and went back to work, doing the qi gong forms.

My body is definitely not happy with what my brain has said it wants to do. And this lack of structure called summertime is not helping.   I got in a half-hour of practice, but it was in this weird combination of fits and starts.  Not ideal, really.

Hemmed arm holesI finished building that sleeveless cloak, and began hemming it.  It is not an ideal shape for me.  It’s not wide enough in the chest, and too long across the body (although hemming will take care of some of that).  It is clear that this is not being made as “my” garment.  I don’t know who it’s for yet, but it will not be on my body for much longer than it takes to confirm that it is finished-ish.

Part of me is bothered by this.  As a larger fellow, I’m unnerved by the amount of time it takes to make clothes that

  • look good (on me)
  • are useful
  • are well-made
  • have some style

Actually, I’m dismayed and unnerved by how much time it takes to make clothes at all, much less good ones.  And how much the fabric costs, and the thread, and the equipment, and on and on and on.

Tai chi is a much cheaper hobby. 🙂

But I feel as though I’m still learning from this process, and still gaining from the insights and training I’m giving myself. It’s akin to those first few weeks of tai chi, really, when I was just starting out.  I had to do the work, then, a little at a time, and make mistakes, and find and notice them, and correct them, and figure out how to do it better.  And then, I had to do it again.  So even though I’ve been talking about sewing for the last few paragraphs, I’m also talking about tai chi. Actually, I’m really talking about practice — one of my contact staff instructors, when I was learning to spin fire, said, “if you’re saying OW, that’s good. It means you’re practicing. And that’s the only way to get better at this.”

Likewise, I think that this pile of not-very-good clothes I’m making are gradually leading me forward (I hope) into making better clothes.  Just as the mistakes that I made four years ago led me to be a better tai chi practitioner today; and as the daily challenges I’m finding in my practice now may one day make me a better tailor in the future.  May it prove to be so!

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  1. Keep at it! Making clothes is more expensive and time consuming, yes, but if you put in the time and the effort, go slow, and become best friends with your seam ripper, you will have absolutely beautiful results that are far and away worth the effort and the price tag. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create!

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