Sunday, December 21, 2008

Running to stand still

Liham ng kumadre sa
AM just now learning the concept of kronos compared to the staid and definitive linear time even as my culture memory is steeped in it. Asian--particularly, the Filipino-- sensibility flows on circular movement of time where the point of a start or of an end is never acutely discernible. It is a blessing and a curse. Therein lies your child-like grip to a firmly-grounded present as well as Nietzsche’s concept of eternal return. He was sensible enough to glance at the world as if time was gone in order to understand such cycle. Must have been a challenge had you faced each other in a time continuum that brought you holding and accepting kismet and fate as cursives to a present we HAVE to believe in; even, as he looked how crooked things can look straight when knowing that the world is spinning between here and no longer.

You know, I will go back to our lessons in aikido to expound on my evolving meditative awareness. It is completely different from the one I learned in my profession and as different as the writer's muse whispering ear-worms. I am now in beginner's level 2. My body is responding voluntarily and easily to daily pilatesian and yogic summons and it is good. My boy-mentor just reached his 7th hundred-years, it seems, last week and he challenges me still by his ability to stand or sit in stillness when he should be driving everyone crazy. Can they really be so young and yet so old? I am now learning to stand still and listen to decibels beyond the hearing of the ordinary listeners. Yes, I know how it feels to be looked at like an alien or a crazed being just because I am developing new modes of communicating and understanding. Wala akong pakialam. Why, that feels good, saying that.

Another part of the course is walking. A course in walking? Yes, barefoot. With thin cardboard slippers. In Nike walk-abouts. In Goretex hikers. On pebble. On sand. On cement. On wood. On green, green grass. On hot. On cold. On ice. In water. Against sand. In a minute. In five. In an hour. For hours on a pair of shoes the sensei will choose-- that will be my final exam for this course. (Btw, I did so well in the falling exam, I won a bamboo sword. How about that? But between us, I felt like a thief getting one while the little ones clapped on.) I look forward towards the torment and joyous enlightenment my sensei promises. In this course, the feet rules. The world rests on it and perceptions of the experience defines how a student will finish the complete beginner's level.

Hilam ng kumpadre sa
ASTIG talaga ‘yung batang binanggit mo—it takes mental mettle to rein the body to a stillness of sorts… well, life’s a whirl… even a snail’s shell configures a swirl of winds hurling out even shadows on its path.

Remember Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder”— at a point in a time continuum, a wee butterfly was crushed underfoot… And so much was lost, generations of greens that could have fed multitudes and sprung forth civilizations, gone in a careless… senseless… insensate step…

Taking steps can be so sublime. I can’t let you in on how walking the walk is done. Can’t share my sturdy nimble legs… and they tell me I’ve been investing lots of time, exertions, and insertions between some damsels’ legs… mwa-ha-ha-ha-haw!

Martial elders have it, it takes around 30 years to absorb the spirit of the108 movements in taikiken… and the learner has to gain mastery over those moves before moving on to walking meditation… aikido is moving meditation, poetry in motion… malupit talaga ano? And all it boils down to is nurturing that all-aware feeling of being at home in one’s body—beyond the confines of kinesiology, anthropometrics, milieu, time or terrain…

“Time won’t leave me as I am, but time won’t take out the child in this man,” so ululated U2’s Bono in allusion to Jesus Christ’s counsel to worldly-wise savant Joseph of Arimathea, “Unless you become a child again, you will not enter the kingdom of God.”

Christmas is for kids like Musa and the kid in you and me— no kidding.

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