Friday, December 28, 2007


All I need is an hour and a half, and I'm fine. Is that too much to ask? I don't see how it could be, given that this is a sport, a rigorous sport and we'd expect the people who engage in it to actually engage in it. So, today, I'm satisfied. I didn't know that I needed an hour and a half. Never thought to put a number on it. But that's it.

Rolled with brown belt R for an hour. Really satisfying. There is a part of me that wants to be in tough places -- don't actually want to lose, but I'd like to fight my way out of a hard place. How else will I learn? And R is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. Really generous with his time, gracious in victory and in defeat. He has a consistent character. I remember once we were rolling, and someone was joking around about him, with moderate insults -- guy stuff. And something was said, don't even remember what, so that I had to pipe up, all bundled up from underneath R. "Hey," I said, "I have never seen ego out of R. He is one of the very few people that I have a real respect for." Sort of revealing, and way too friendly to come from me. More schmoozy than anything I'd ever think to say. But I didn't think. I had to say it, because it was true. So we rolled hard tonight, for an hour.

And earlier I rolled with D, a tough strong white belt. For a half hour or so. He wastes a lot of energy in superfluous motion, but he has a lot of energy, so there you go. I finally figured out that I have to make rules for myself, with him. No closed guard. No holding the back. These are my comfort places. My next rule, at least some of the time, is going to be no playing from my back -- my real comfort zone. It's how I used to fight with my older brothers, in the '60s. I must be built that way. But it's not about making it easy. I'm not there to win.

I can't roll hard with the little guys. Not with most of them anyway. There's J, who should be a purple belt -- he makes me work. Natural athlete, and just fast. And N, who's just at the place where he's going to get me. Really coming together. Better technique than me, but I am what I am, and I use it when I need it. When he finds his aggression he'll get me. But not if I find mine first.

So I am content. It's like I figured something out. I won't always get what I need, or at least want, but it's a goal, and that's the foundation of success. My energy is changing. It's my hope that some of my weirdness has run its course. It's like with rolling. When I started, I really sucked, in terms of learning and moving. Then I figured out that the part of my brain that was in charge of complex motor learning was retarded, after 28 years of doing nothing. When I figured that out, I knew it was just a matter of time, and my brain would develop into a sort of normality. So I felt no need for impatience or frustration. I'm good like that. I can handle the inevitable.

Well? Same thing now, I figure. For whatever reason I've been shut down and immobilized, there was a reason. It's far more complex than I understand, but I don't have to understand. I'm along for the ride, and maybe heading for another direction. We'll see. Part of it is reflected in this blog. I'm not planning on closing it down. I expect, and frankly hope, that I will be writing less, here. It is not a productive use of my energies, speaking from a personal level.

My several steady readers, and those who occasionally drop by, will not be desolated by my change of interests, if it turns out that way. Hardly anyone has been with me from the beginning, so will have nothing to complain about until all the archives have been explored. If anyone has been through the entire magnum opus, well, first, thank you for your interest. I have striven to be worthy of your attention. I have brought my integrity and whatever talent I possess to these efforts, and I hope that I have brought amusement and something to think about, if briefly. And, as I say, I'm not done here. I just hope to be busy with other things. No one would begrudge me that.

I hope that I've shown something of the love I hold in my heart. I know that I've exposed some of the pain. It's more than I have dared to do, with the people in my life. Maybe that will change too. But not yet. Softly. Softly. It is, after all, safe to care about safe things. I'm safe, for you. You're safe for me. This isn't enough, but it's part of enough. And thank you for that, then, too.

Did you read it? My thing on Hitchens and Christmas? Did you see how it ended? "I never ever say it. But I will say it, this once. Merry Christmas. Easter is more powerful, but we shouldn't neglect beginnings. So, then, happy, happy, happy Christmas. May your light shine always, with an eightfold brightness. May it push back the darkness that no candlelight can pierce." That's why I will continue with this blog. Because sometimes, once in a while, something beautiful shows up, as a gift from God to me and to you. It's no small thing, to be a blessing, however small. The blessing to me is that I can share it with you. As I say, I am content.


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