TKD Tenet inspired! Also published on my poetry blog! Insufficientgrace.wordpress.com
For every tournament since earning my high red belt, I’ve worked on the same breaking combination; the vertically stacked low, middle,and high back swing kick. I always miss one. It’s never the same one, but there’s always one.
Breaking is a fun part of the Tae Kwon Do show, but it’s also more – it’s about getting through to that next level and pushing yourself past what you’ve done before. And typically at tournament, with the low, middle, high kick, the metaphor smacks me strongly in the heel of my right foot, leaving both a physical and emotional bruise.
The Low: What are all those things that bring us down? Telling us we’re too old or not strong enough. And why is it so much easier to believe the negative over the positive?
The Middle: What keeps us stuck in our status-quo? The familiar is easy and routines comfortable. But have we become lazy or are we honestly doing our best?
The High: Look ahead! What’s your next goal? We are always moving forward, as my Sabonim reminds with “constant and never ending improvement.”
It wasn’t by far the flashiest of breaks at the competition. But it reminded me that with perseverance, practice and faith in yourself all things are possible.
Now I need to find some new kicks.
The best part of tomorrow
My children mock me because it’s October and I already have the holiday music station already playing. But I say the season is too short. I’ve been reflecting on the why. I think it’s about that sense of home.
And then I was cleaning out my phone and came across this note (written as part of the Writing 101 challenge which included a profusion of poems that never made it here but are scattered across random mediums):
I know a place where “can’t” is profane,
Where small steps become journeys,
And possibilities are endless.
That’s what keeps me training and what brings me back here, time and again, even after long absences.
Thus was my performance in a recent class described. And although affronted, I couldn’t argue as it was accurate for the portion witnessed. When working on my own stuff, my attitude is poor. It’s not limited to class. My writing time is put off (my first entry in a month). My morning meditation skipped. Poetry abandoned. Practice minimal.
The second half of that same class, I taught someone the next 12 movements of their new form. When assisting others, I focus on the present task. I am happy to help, necessary and validated. I am positive and encouraging even when they make a mistake.
So the trick will be to become a teacher to myself. Stop letting perceived inadequacies limit growth. Reclaim time for what’s important to my own success.
This weekend, I renewed my commitment to meditation. Poetry is a still surprising and welcome by-product.
It’s hard to be sad in the morning,
when all around nature wakes to
knowing only today.
It’s beautiful this winter, but also isolating. Sometimes our silence is the same. Be sure to find your Poetry or Martial Art (your outlet). Written in response to the DP Challenge.
The Silent Storm
A season’s shunning
Colder than I’ve ever been
Bereft of presence
I sometimes have concerns about sharing my blog due to content. How much do you let friends or acquaintances or co-workers or your mother see? I self censor myself rather harshly but even the hint of someone else telling me what I can or cannot share through my writing has me up in arms. It made me remember this original poem – written as a response to a censorship discussion. (It might appear in this blog previously but a search didn’t pull it up. It can be found in my book!)In Defense of Fairy Tales
Distressing damsels vainly wait
in unreachable dark towers,
while poker playing princes
yawn at the late hour.
Wolves walk right past Grandma’s house;
the dwarves stay underground;
sirens see from fathoms deep,
but do not make a sound.
Giants hide in mountaintops,
where dragons breathing smoke,
watch the wizards magic fail,
and jesters tire of jokes.
Witches spells remain uncast,
no one wins or loses,
quests kept unaccomplished
by vanquishing the muses.
Children safely under wraps,
looking through the glass,
the forest is so harshly lit,
all can lamely pass.
Fairies fret and sadly wonder
why we must be burned,
and fail to see within their tales
lessons to be learned.