Seven Quick Takes No. 1

1. I thought that this would be relatively easy given that I already have my list of seven things that I'd like to share about how things have been going this week, but I'm already finding myself tongue-tied. I find this happens fairly predictably whenever I become too aware that someone might actually be reading my blog. Curious, eh? I am perfectly comfortable writing to myself about my spiritual journey (at least, in my better moods, I hope that is what it is) and I am eager to find others who are also interested in thinking about the relationship between disciplines like fencing (or yoga) and prayer, but I'm not always very good about reaching out to make new contacts. I'm grateful to Jennifer at Conversion Diary for giving us this opportunity to find new ways to connect.

2. My feet have been hurting quite a lot lately after fencing practice, particularly the instep on my left, that is, back foot. I don't know whether it has to do with the way that I'm lunging or simply the way that I hold on guard, but I'm anxious that it has not gotten any better despite the tart cherry juice that my friend Barb recommended. I read somewhere last year about the benefits of running barefoot, so when my husband said that he was keen on getting a pair of Vibram's Fivefingers "unshoes," I thought why not give it a go? Other martial artists practice barefoot, after all. While I have to confess that I'm hoping somehow to connect with my inner fencer in a way that I haven't been able to before, the main thing I've noticed after wearing my "toe-shoes" at practice this week is how tired my toes are now that they actually get to do some of the work.

3. Let's hear it for muscle memory! Twice this week in yoga class, we've had the opportunity to try coming up from backbends (Chakrasana) using the wall. Walking my hands up was surprisingly easy, but then I've been known to stand up from backbends in the not-so-distant past. Not so the other way, taking my feet up over my head. But when I walked my feet up the wall on Tuesday, suddenly the memory was there and I found myself pushing back over just like I used to do in gymnastics. Who knows? Maybe one day I might actually be able to do a back walk-over again.

4. The flowers on campus are particularly lovely this summer, possibly thanks to how cool it's been. I see these on my way into my office every morning (and, yes, I've finally managed to get myself back to the book).

5. Speaking of the book, I'm finding that less really is more as I try to ease myself into chapter 3. I'm keeping myself fairly strictly to my page-a-day rule. Initially, this was to keep myself from panicking about how I was ever going to finish a draft before classes begin (end of September for us), but now I am realizing that it is just as important to keep myself from writing too fast, particularly at the outset. It would be all too easy at this point to start chasing rabbit trails, making apologies that I don't need to make, avoiding what it is that I really most want to say if I let myself write more than a page at a time. This way, for the moment at least, I seem to be keeping on track. Lesson for how to write introductions: go slow!

6. It's been over a week and I'm still trying to get the hang of my new progressive lenses. I was talking to my son last night on the phone (he's in his last week of math camp), saying how I don't seem to be able to make the world bend quite as easily as I did when I first got the lenses but that it worries me to think that what is actually happening is that my eyes are simply learning where not to look and that to do so requires that I in fact move them less. Maybe I should be doing eye exercises, I joked. My son answered: "Just think of it as your eyes having good posture. They're learning to sit up straight. Everybody else's eyes are much lazier." Footnote: my son doesn't wear glasses--lucky him!

7. I was wrong about there being nothing in the Christian tradition that could help us prepare to engage in the martial arts, I just didn't think where to look. This past week I've been practicing--or, rather, not practicing, as the whole point is not so much to try do something as to be receptive to what might come--centering prayer. I'm most definitely not very good at it yet, but the thing that I like about it most is that while, as with Zen meditation, it would seem to be a practice of "doing nothing," it is rather a practice of waiting for God. It will be interesting to see whether I can translate this receptivity and stillness onto the strip, not to mention into my life more generally.



  2. Lovely chant and images--thank you!

  3. Enjoying exploring your blog! Always great to meet another female INTJ out there . . . doesn't seem to be a whole lot of us. Also appreciate meeting another comics fan. God bless. :)

  4. Great to meet another female comics fan! I think we're even rarer than female INTJs!


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