Saturday, August 30, 2008

Well, Just Put Some Bleachers Out in the Sun/

Tahkenitch Dune, August, 1983

/And have it on highway 61 ...

Each year, somewhere not-too-far from our birthdays, my wife and I try to get down to the Oregon coast, around Florence, whereat the big sand dunes shift and swirl. We happened upon the area by accident decades back, and were drawn to it enough to renew our wedding vows there twenty or so years ago. (The area was part of the inspiration for Frank Herbert's Dune, in case you didn't know. Things go on for miles.)

This year, it happened our annual trip kept me away from silat class.

I try to make it to every session -- the gathering at Maha Guru Plinck's is one of the highlights of my week, and for a long time, I was afraid I'd miss something. There have been several years when I had perfect attendance. (And given Murphy's Law, if I can't get to one class in six months, that will be the one where new djurus get handed out, and those are generally offered at long intervals, could be eighteen months to two years before another chance ...)

But while the big epiphanies don't come too often these days -- the universe is unfolding as it should, vanilla is not the opposite of chocolate -- now and again a small one bubbles up. I got one of those regarding my training when I realized I wouldn't get back in time for class this week. Yeah, I'd rather not miss the workout, but it came to me that I wasn't going to fall behind if I did. Because no matter what Guru showed the group, I would have already been exposed to the principles behind it; and since we would certainly see it again, I wouldn't really have that much trouble catching up.

It's not that there's nothing new under the sun, it's that the sun today is pretty much the same one that shone yesterday ...

Part of this came from the recent silat gathering in Las Vegas, when, exposed to many variations of our art, I realized how much of a through-line our version had. And that the principles of motion, of strategy and tactics, of philosophy at the core of the art, are what matter, not the myriad variations of applications.

It doesn't really matter which of the many brands of claw hammers you pick up -- if you know how to drive a nail properly, you can make any of them work.

Seems like such a no-brainer, that realization, but we come to them when we come to them.

So, yeah, I would rather make it to class than not; on the other hand, I am finally starting to get enough of a handle on things so that sweating the small stuff is not such a worry as once it was.

Live and learn ...

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