I went to the dojo last night after taking a few days off. My elbow’s been a bit dodgy, and while it wasn’t yet fully healed, I felt the need for…contact.

Life’s been stressful lately. I mentioned to a friend that you can’t push the river - you’ll just get water up your nose. I could hardly breathe for the water up my nose, so I decided that the benefits of the class in terms of regaining my centre out-weighed the risk of re-injuring my elbow. I get such a lift when I go to aikido.

Sensei must’ve been mindful of my absence, as he bestowed upon me the privilege of leading warm-ups. (Don’t tell anyone, but I like to lead warm ups!)

When it was time to do kihon dosa, I directed everyone one to form up in lines, a grid of glory as it were. I suggested that there would be more power and harmony generated if we were all mindful of moving together, that…we are all one.

It’s a marvelous sight to see 30 or 40 people moving in unison. Can you picture it?

Ichi…ni

All those kamae, eagerly reaching forward to grasp the future, to grasp life…

Ichi…ni

The brisk susurrance of suriashi mingled with the gentle rustle of dogi

Ichi…ni

The living poem of mass movement, like fields of grain swaying in the breeze..

As the scene unfolded before me, I could feel what we were creating, together, and a forgotten poem came to mind:

“Warriors, warriors we call ourselves.”

Ichi…ni

“We fight for splendid virtue,”

Ichi…ni

“for high endeavour,”

Ichi…ni

“for sublime wisdom,”

Ichi…ni

“therefore we call ourselves warriors.” 

My fellow aikidoka, I salute you.

Kevin

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