Real Life Is Busy

First, the news...

A father and son were arrested for trespassing--in a mall--for wearing anti-war t-shirts.

A German carnival float--not really worksafe if anyone can see your monitor.

And, best of all, and this has come to me multiple times in the past couple weeks: a 20-year U.S. diplomat resigns with an eloquent letter. Sad that this should happen, but I think he describes the situation with a heart and expression and acumen, and the fact that our diplomats are resigning in protest can be added to the weight of evidence that the U.S. is on a path of self-destruction.

Trained in Berkeley tonight, which was just wonderful, the first time since Saturday (I showed up last night, but we ended up going to San Leandro--long story). I feel really off and awkward when I don't train there often enough, like I've lost a lot of my fluidity and relaxation in movement. I don't know that my aikido suffers in the long run, but on an emotional level I really want to maintain the connection to those people. I got to train with Sensei, too, which is a really valuable thing to me. I talked to her after class about the differences between training here and at Aikido West, how besides the still-unfamiliar surroundings down there, I tend to go to the later class and train with people way out of my league, whereas we have a sort of cadre of beginners in Berkeley who have all started in the same six-month period, so we're all sort of developing and training at more or less the same rate; as Sensei pointed out, in three years, if we keep going, we're going to be the senior students. Which is a strange thought, but fun, and there's so many of us (around 15-20). It's really a growing dojo that way, since we've got four or five black belts, a handful of people two or three levels below black belt (second or third kyu), and then a whole bunch of us who are either unranked or are sixth and fifth kyu (and our dojo is unusual in bothering with sixth kyu, most dojos have fifth as their first test). So it's a young dojo in that way, but lots of love and enthusiasm.

I stared at my computer for several hours today without really getting a good sense of what I need to do for this project. Ah well. Win a few, lose a few.

I'm still dancing on the edge of the cliff, and will be for a while; everyone involved knows that, so I guess it's okay? The outside observer would say that I'm just gunning to repeat my mistakes, because it's maybe a bit early in the process to tell for sure whether I'm doing anything differently. Except I am, and I can tell that even as I refuse to give myself credit for it, starting with repeating the sentence "You know I have a history of being a lying asshole and my honesty at the moment could just be a subconscious plot to be manipulative and get what I want?". I think that's a healthy level of skepticism for me to maintain.

Hey, it's my life, and I think I can do this without spiraling into hell and taking a couple of people with me. So screw the rest of you. Thbbbt.

That's not really necessary, because people who read my journal either (a) don't know the story behind what I'm talking about, or (b) are friends with me on a deep enough level that they may raise eyebrows but will withold judgement to see how everything turns out.

It's been a cranky week at work, and I recognize that the cranky comes from my being tired and emotionally loaded, and I've decided that the Zen response, rather than to try and feel something other than cranky, is to just sit in and feel cranky, let the irritation wash over me, and then it fades quickly when I get home and rest.

The analogy I hit on yesterday was that the feeling of being grounded and still is like a rope we can catch onto as we're swept along in a river of feelings. With the rope, we can break even, have some time to think about and react to our situation, so it's a very good thing, much better than getting bashed against rocks. But even when we're stable and locked on to the rope, the water is still flowing into and around us. The rope doesn't make the water go away.

I have a firm grip on the rope; there's just a lot of river.