A Stretch?

One beer and I’m buzzed and thinking about karate. What gives?

It’s late, the night sky as thick as molasses up here on Fork Mountain, clouds suffocating the stars and all the whispers of winter like the voices of so many distant lovers. My old mind came back to me today, remembering DD and how ready I was to make it work—then just how much I misunderstood, how far I’d leapt without even seeing it myself. My new mind says this: I can ride this vulnerability out for six more months. Right now I am married to writing and I’m proving myself to it. The time for socializing, letting loose, unscheduled days, and late nights will be later (maybe). In the end, I’ll have a thesis and the beginning of the next phase of my writing life to show for it.

How does this relate to karate? Practicing at home last night, I finally figured out how Hanshi makes his gi snap at the end of each punch. It’s a distinct sound, like a muted, hollow clap, only muffled by the canvas-like cloth of the gi. But the fist, when held at the trigger point just above the obi at the side of the body, never really twists or moves until the final millisecond before the impact. The arm extends, the body starts to exhale, and at the last second the fist is turned knuckles down, snapping into place and snapping the gi along with it. Sounds simple enough. But I just concluded 4 weeks (all totaled) of lessons and I’m sure Hanshi instructed on this before, despite the fact that I am only now getting it for myself.

Which is to say the thesis will be the final impact of the blow, the snap of the gi, the sound that life makes after so much preparation and focus.

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