four-sake evening.

I went to the dojo tonight, because it's what I do, particularly on Wednesdays. I had a sort of zombified day at work: I popped wide awake at 5am, I guess because of everything on my mind. I got a little bit of work done, but mostly I stared off into space and went out and finally submitted my passport replacement application (my passport having disappeared when I moved in July 2003). After a nap, aikido was just what I needed. But the dojo was loaded, the air heavy with tension from yesterday's election, the fears of those of us who lost on such a large scale, conflicting with what I would assume is optimism on the part of the few Republicans in the group, and their awareness that they are vastly outnumbered. Conflict.

Aikido is good for conflict. The instructor felt the tension and immediately paced the class to be a rock-and-roll asskicker, to let everybody get it out of our systems. It was wonderful, and some of us went out for dinner at our flagship Japanese restaurant and had lovely food and sake. I highly recommend the Wakatake Onikoroshi Ginjo, if you ever see it.

I trained with an energetic beginner today who has training in another martial art, and seemed about ready to break me in half if she could; it's a good thing I'm twice her size, and I need to have a talk with her about that. And I got to train with the cute redhead, who smiles even more now.

I have a lot of ranting and bitterness, but that can wait until tomorrow. Tonight was perfect, a time to pull back for myself, my friends and family, my communities, my spiritual practice, and myself; the things I love, that are truly important, and that I can rely on where other things might fail.