So I went to see The Martian with Jboy and India. It was awesome and does the book justice, several times I nearly cried, which happens now and then. India…..turns out that India’s on/off thing with her friend is off again and there’s that mutual sexual attraction. I’m not going to lie every time she went to the bar I found myself admiring her behind and legs. She’s small, blonde, slim, fit…….she’s in training for a fight at the end of the month.. Actually because of that I’m tempted and the relationship thing, to sit back and see what happens, except that this is often what I do and it never ends well. I find that while I’m doing the socially acceptable thing of giving someone space some other douche charges in and gets the girl.

Meh. Think I’d rather just focus on Aikido at the moment. There’s a serenity to Aikido; to do it well requires letting go of everything, you can’t afford to get emotionally involved and what you need to do is minutely prescribed. Front foot must go here at this angle, back foot must go here at that angle, hips must be here, hands must be here, back must be straight, head must be up. Do all this and even in four man attack you’re this calm little centre at the heart of the storm of bodies flying everywhere. Sometimes it’s even possible to cut yourself out of it totally: they’re not trying to punch you, they’re just making a punch: that’s an awesome feeling, shin no mushin, the mind of no mind.

You feel everything around you, you don’t see it, or hear it, you feel it, you feel everything in the room: The guy storming down the mat at you, the feet of another person just missing you as you throw them, the third one getting up, the forth one behind you on your right that you’re going to throw the first one into before charging down the third one, Sensei sitting at the edge of the mat, the class, the energy of the room; the canvas under your feet, the cooling breeze from the window, how your keikogi is on your body; your sleeve slipping over your elbow, the snap of the wrists that lifts the sleeve back up just as you meet the next attacker, the steady rhythm of inhalation, exhalation, inhalation, exhalation, but it’s all happening out there somewhere. Inside everything is calm, silent, peacefully at rest; like a mountain pool simply reflecting the world around it like a mirror.


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