Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I don't write about politics much anymore, do I. Honestly, what's left to say? Illegals should comply with the law? Terrorists are bad? Traitors are reprehensible? I've said all that, in any number of ways. Now I've turned the piercing radiance of my genius upon myself. Well, it always was all about me anyway.

In a few days, when my back is recovered, I'll be starting strength training again. And running. I do have to find the balance -- these things seem to run in cycles, where I'm overflowing with energy, and then do too much. The obvious compromise is that I'll have to roll less. Impossible you say? Could be. But I do waste a lot of time there, just sitting. Some number of factors often combine to make me odd man out. Mostly it's that most people don't want to roll with me. In fact there's only one fella who's there regularly now, close to my weight, that I can count on. This does cause me some degree of consternation. I was really getting frustrated last night about it. Maybe feeling sorry for myself a little. Poor little big man.

Then there's the guy who always attacks my ankles. This I don't mind. Much. But I am not the only one who has noticed that he goes off into his own private place while he's doing it, and doesn't hear or feel the tap. Afraid I lost my temper with him last night about that. I might have been unreasonable. I might have been right. I don't know. I do know I'll have a click in my right ankle for the rest of my life, from rolling with him a few months back. I do know that running saved my life, and the lives of some others, perhaps. I know I'm neurotic about protecting myself from becoming a cripple. I don't think I'm wrong. I think there's an obligation to listen for the tap, rather than go for the submission. It's what I do. It's what every responsible person does. Well. It has to do with trust. I don't suppose I trust T to be safe. I'm a little embarrassed at the display of emotion. But only a little.

There it is then. I'm a bit dissatisfied with rolling. I'm not getting enough of it, or from it. I'll be adding some other things in an effort to compensate, but there is a finite amount of effort these cells can generate. I don't mind the pain. I'd miss it if it went. I'd rather ache than brood. It's a coping mechanism I devised a few years ago, to stay alive. I think it's a good one. Yes, I've utterly somatized the way I deal with emotion. So? Drag the monster out of its lair and beat it in the sunlight. False analogy? I don't care. As long as I'm honest, I don't have to be right.

Sometimes I make myself laugh.

Well? Don't I have some big philosophical point? I always do, almost. No. I don't. It's just me, talking. I can do that, right? I'm allowed to say what's on my mind. I'm allowed to have opinions. I can be angry, and a fool. I can be wrong. It's just me. Same as you. Human.



Galen said...

Hey Jack,

Maybe we should add kidney punches before taking a guy's back to make it more interesting haha...

I think that night was just nuts with 20 people showing up to roll. There wasn't enough space for half the peeps that showed up. We need to knock down that antiques store or that lame travel shop next door.

Anyways, ciao.

n said...

I assume it was a heel hook last night. If it weren’t for some stories I’ve heard about T, I would have found it very strange that I could hear you verbally tap about half dozen times or more from across the room while he’s right on your leg still trying to break your ankle off. Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised at what happened. As I’m sure you know, heel hooks don’t just mess up your ankle, they can twist and tear up your knee. I don’t think it was unreasonable for you to be upset. If some dude kept cranking a leg lock even after I tap a dozen times, I would be too. In fact, I would probably never roll with him. My safety and health are obviously more important than whatever feelings/perceptions that may result from my not rolling with whomever. I think it’s better to “blow up” to let him know cranking a submission after a dozen taps is unacceptable before he tears up your knee than after you’re all crippled. Why do I keep stating the obvious? Sorry. Anyway… I realize you do need people to roll with, so maybe you could set up some ground rules before you roll with him. “No heel hooks, no neck cranks, etc…” or something like that. Or maybe you could be all like, “Pay $#$*&$% attention when I’m $#$%^%# tapping. No more of this $#$$*#%& cranking on #$%^ when I’m $@##*%^ tapping a hundred $#$*%&^ times. What the $@%^, you crazy mother $@#$^&” Or, you know, whatever.

P.S. is training/rolling/jiu jitsu fun for you? Maybe fun’s not the right word.. do you enjoy it? I guess I’m basically asking, does it make you, dare I ask, somewhat happy or happier? Or maybe not happy, but less unhappy?

Jack H said...

Greetings G. I don't mind the crowd. More people to admire me. They should set up a webcam for me. I'm amazing. Kidney punches, liver licks, bladder blasts -- it's all the same to me. No one can beat me. I'm invinsible. Almost no one. Ha! Ha!

N. It's about the third time with T and me. Last time was an armlock, and I punched him on the leg as my final tap. Probably after he'd stopped. I'm so careful myself. I always look for the tap, and stop instantly. There's no excuse for anything else. It's not a fight. There is no small degree of ego involved in the way T rolls. You know it because he has a reputation for not tapping, himself. Well, who taps if they don't have to. But according to purple belt R, you can hear tendons snapping, with T, and he still won't tap. Hmm.

Good news is T got me in another ankle lock afterwards, and didn't crank. Maybe he's been chastened. Bad news is, he invited himself to roll with someone else after that. Did I hurt his feelings? One less person to roll with. He's the only guy who activates my ego. And I'm just at the point where I'm starting to be able to pass his guard.

Fun? Enjoy? Your Earth words are strange and confusing to me. Well. It's obviously important to me. It answers something that had never been dealt with in me. I've said before, if I'd done this thirty years ago, I'd be normal now. Too late now to be normal, but patches are better than holes, and scars are better than wounds.

There's the emotional aspect, of diffusing energy through activity. If you've looked through these pages, you'll have noticed I have more emotion than I show. Big surprise. There's the social aspect, of just being around people who share a common interest. There's the instinctive aspect, of honoring the masculine need to compete, and compete in the most direct and visceral way possible. These are very real needs, that rolling addresses. To have needs met must be a kind of happiness. Right?

It doesn't add meaning to my life, though, and that's an existential crisis I've been dealing with, or not dealing with. It holds my nose up close to the stink of my inadaquacies, which is at best a neutral proposition -- painful but conducive to improvement.

Perhaps you saw my little effort about being comfortable in one's skin. There's just no pleasing some people. Maybe I'm one of them. I don't think so, though. Happiness is a choice, just a habit of mind -- just an accepting of comfort from where ever it may be found. It's a sort of self-imposed simplicity. Accept it without questioning it. That doesn't sound easy. I suppose it comes down to trust. Is it safe to be happy? Or will it be stolen again, replaced with a curse like some evil changling goblin baby.

But I do go on.



n said...

You make happiness sound like a discipline… “a choice… habit of mind… self-imposed simplicity…” Nice... What about just moments of happiness? I clearly haven’t thought this through…

God knows I’m no expert at happiness… and I know I don’t understand the things you’ve gone through. I don’t even know how important happiness is to you. But I just feel like, you could be (much) happier if you really wanted to be. It may be a risk, but it’s worth it, right?

Jack H said...

I hope my little blog here doesn't make me sound wretched. Perhaps an odd agglutination of circumstances has formed what appears to be a constellation of evil stars. But of all the arcane arts, astrology is the stupidest. The fault lies in ourselves. Hence, a choice. A blind man cannot see, but he has all those other senses -- he may curse the darkness -- he might hear the music. Hardship buys only so much pity. After that it' a self indulgence.

You know the distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on what happens. Joy overflows from the soul. *Oh, I'm so HAPPY! I'm at Disnyland!!!* So ... what? You're not happy when you're not at Disnyland? Well of course not. But it does illustrate the nature of choice.

I suppose there are aspects of destiny and fate and whatnot in all this. Identical circumstances elicit different outcomes. We are subject to our character. Some turn right, some left. Some forgive, some revenge. Why? Schrödinger's cat. Randomness, as far as I can see. But I also see it as choice. For others, it's randomness -- since I have no say in the matter. For myself, well, we can turn even a battleship. It just takes 12 miles to show up.

We labour under the burden of our past. Or we shed the burden and feel free. I, it seems, am not done with my burdens. It's a little pathetic, but we all have different ideas about necessity and about justice. If we can't be gentle with ourselves, perhaps it's to teach us to be gentle with others. Who knows, maybe that's a necessity too. In ancient times the custom was to save one's tears in delicate jars, as if they had some meaning. I expect that old tears are meaningless. Maybe old happiness is meaningless too.

Brings us back to choice, doesn't it.