Saturday, February 14, 2009


Yeah, so I rolled a bit tonight. What a workout. Really shows how soft I am on myself, with my other workouts. Cuz when you roll you can't just rest when you want to. With a workout, even timed, you can. And I wasn't rolling with weaklings. And I am, as we all agreed, rusty. So it's mostly strength, with me. Not my favorite game, but one does what one must to survive.

One of the fellas I rolled with, C, hadn't been aware of the circumstances of my departure from where I used to roll. When he was told I'd been "disinvited," he was bothered. Well, he is a gentleman. I said something along the lines that my personality hadn't been appreciated, and dismissed it as old news. No need to rehash the ugly, the stupid details. I do have some emotion about it -- I suppose I always will, diminishing into my dotage, when even as I forget my own name all such petty memories will come flooding back like torrential river ice. Some emotion, I say, since there was no opportunity for closure.

I'm not however about spreading poison. R and K are, as these things are counted, good guys. I can leave it alone. Publicly, at least. Privately, as here, I may be a bit more open. But I've said my piece -- I'd have liked things to have been handled in a more straightforward manner. Other than that, it's their business, and they can conduct it as they see fit.

On the way home I got to thinking though. C had supposed I'd just left, to train somewhere else or something. Fair enough. It's sort of true. But I was thinking. I wouldn't have done that. I wouldn't have just quit, just disappeared. I would have made my goodbyes. I did, sort of, but it wasn't meant to be permanent. And I would have stopped by once in a very great while, to say hello. Because that's the courteous thing to do. Because I cared about these people, after my silent way. Some of them I loved.

Well, behind all the foolishness that I play at, I do have a fair measure of pride. More than a fair share. And it is displeasing to me that it should be thought that I'd just quit, after three solid -- I might say faithful -- years, without having the common decency of making a meaningful farewell. A petty thing, and nothing I would ever bring up in a casual conversation. But there you go then -- I am allowed to be petty, here.

This coming Monday, it will be exactly four years since I started bjj. Feb 16. Just realized that. Exactly twenty two months after I started, I got my blue belt. Dec 16. Then I rolled as a blue belt for exactly 15 months. I stopped rolling where I'd trained after exactly three years -- end of March -- I don't count the two weeks and the month I took off, once for injuries, once as a planned rest. Almost two months with my son, then an injury, and it's been nine months off.

I'm like that. Tracking dates. My BA after all is history. And even when I'm not consciously aware of it, anniversaries have a way of making themselves felt. I had some tragedies once upon a time, at the end of February. I had a boy once who came to me and departed on the same day, three years apart, at the end of February. Why rehearse such chronologies? Because without order, there is chaos. It's why ritual and tradition is important. Why courtesy and formalities are important.

Ah well. We cannot control the future by organizing the past. I truly have no idea what lies ahead. I like predictability, but I know it's an illusion. Statistics is not a science of details -- individuals don't matter when only averages count. I wish I could consider life an adventure. I think of it as a duty. We find pleasure where we may.

And that's what bjj means to me. The end.


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