There’s no point in beating around the bush, really. I’m helping my girlfriend pack up her house; she’s moving in with me tomorrow. This is joyful and crazy and tedious and all of the things which moving often and usually is. And there’s still a lot to do today.
But in the midst of all of that, tai chi. I got up this morning about 6:30, and did two qi gong forms, four tai chi forms, and got a good workout with light sweat and all the rest of it. Nice.
But although I did four forms, I can’t speak to their quality. I mean, I usually do tai chi at home in a room that’s essentially square, where all the furniture has been pushed to the sides of the room. That leaves a nice big hole in the middle for me to do tai chi in. I even took out the rug from the middle of the room because it was too slippery, and my feet preferred bare wood despite an occasional splinter.
But for now, I’m doing tai chi in her old house. And increasingly, I’m having to do tai chi in the gradually-narrowing space between the already-packed boxes. This house was never quite the right house for tai chi to begin with. Now it’s less so, as the best spaces to do tai chi in, have become more and more irregular in shape. The walls are oriented to the cardinal directions… but the boxes, bags, baskets and hampers? Are not.
As a result, it’s been an interesting exercise in warping the form to fit the available space. I’ve done this in hotel rooms and guest spaces at other people’s houses, but that’s often just for a night or two — and the space remains stable day after day. This one changes hour by hour. It’s been an interesting game to adjust to it.
But it’s been a worthwhile exercise, too. Oh, look, the milk-crate is exactly where I should put my foot next? Should I go to the inside, and try to move the milk crate with my foot? Lift the leg over and step to the outside?
I think my choices were generally and inherently conservative. I’m no Jackie Chan, still less a Bruce Lee. I’m not one to go leaping and cavorting about in order to complete my exercises for the day. But it was interesting to discover how my brain and body go about solving these sorts of problems on a given day. When an object is in the way of a particular daily routine, how do we avoid it or manage our movements so that it makes sense?
I don’t know that I know the answer to these questions. I do know that the practice raised the questions… and it’s likely that the answer is to be found in more practice.