I found out what happened to my shoulder--Rebekah, the non-hearing student at the dojo (she doesn't mind being called "deaf", but apparently the "deaf community" as such really hates it) took judo for a bunch of years, and a very common injury there is a separated shoulder. The clavicle sort of sits on top of the shoulder, and with a hard enough hit to the top of the shoulder joint--say, a 200-pound Chris falling on it--the clavicle and shoulder separate, and the muscles underneath the clavicle get bruised, and the surrounding tendons get overstretched. She said since I have my full range of motion, it's almost certainly a mild case. I need to be really easy on it, not roll on that shoulder, and even so it will take a while to heal: anti-inflammatories, alternating heat and ice, and not putting it in any weird positions. Also she said it will probably be fine, and then come back to haunt me when I'm 40. Woo hoo!

It's so frustrating to be injured. I really, really like training hard, taking lots of falls, going at it hardcore. Now, as Sensei said, my challenge is to slow myself down and take it easy.

Stupid patience.

I'm feeling better about my test on Friday, though. Sensei says I know the material better than anyone, and the technique I was having trouble with (ikkyo omote-waza) seemed to come back to me today. I'm also feeling like I did take some of the energy back with me from Saturday--I was teaching morote-dori kokyu-ho to one of the new guys (I have to say that I like knowing some of this stuff well enough to explain to someone else)...I feel like kokyu ho is a pretty deep technique, because it's difficult to muscle through, and it really requires moving and projecting through your and your partner's centers to do it properly. The kid I was working with is huge--normal proportions, but I come up to his chin, and even with me exercising, he's way stronger than I am. So I can't knock him over by sheer force, especially with my right side, which has the damaged shoulder. But I remembered the lesson and the feeling of being a breeze blowing past a person, and when you step through their center of balance, they fall down...I might have overdone it a bit, because the kid kind of went flying, a bit harder than he was expecting (which was my fault, and I'll be more careful next time). It was probably instructive as far as how it feels when done pretty correctly; in any case he did it right a few times.

I can feel the energy flowing through my hands, though. It's neat.

That said, it's been an extraordinarily apathetic day. I haven't really cared about much of what's going on in my life; it's a defense against the fact that so much of it is negative, up to and including the fact that I'm injured and can't do aikido at the level I'd like to. I went to class anyway, of course: going when you don't want to is part of discipline.

It all kind of hurts, you know? I hate that I'm out of work (I'm taking a screening test for a job tomorrow, whoopee), that I fucked up a really good relationship, that I miss my now ex-girlfriend, that for any number of reasons I can't emotionally handle either going and getting laid, or getting back together; and I especially hate that I now have to restrict how much effort I put into the one thing that lets me set all that aside and be my plain simple self for a little while.

Anyway. There's my self-pity and bitching for the evening. My brain hurts. Thanks for listening.

Wow, when I use a heating pad to increase the blood flow to my shoulder, it hurts more. Means it's healing, I guess.

So busy whining, I forget to mention I went to see the Leonid meteor showers last night. I drove up to Tilden Regional Park and found a hill facing east into Orinda and Walnut Creek, occupied by dozens of UC Berkeley students. That brought back a lot of memories; college was a lot of fun for me, all told, and there are things I still miss about it sometimes. The general lack of responsibility, for example, but also the contact personal contact with everyone, what a friend from high school called "always somebody down the hall willing to play with you". Very...collegial, I guess.

The meteors were terrific. I didn't know they left atmosphere trails: depending on how bright it was, there's a trail left in the sky for up to a couple of seconds. I saw a lot of meteors, some wonderfully bright, but not the constant rapid-fire I've heard about. Eventually being cold and tired and hungry got the best of me, and I meandered along home.

I've said before that one of the ways I measure my life is whether, if I were to die right now and face a Creator, I could honestly look her/him/it in the eye (or avert my eyes as close as possible, if it's the sort of Creator that causes destruction on being viewed) and say, "Hey, I did the best I could". I'm slowly coming back to that.