Monday, February 11, 2008

The karate lessons found in a cold house

Two days of no heat from my furnace.. ah.. it truly brings out the creative side of my karate training. As Sensei Gichin Funakoshi states "Always be ready to release your mind."

Well.. I had to do this to figure out how to keep my family warm in the intense cold weather that we have been experiencing until a new furnace could be installed.

It was no easy task as we live in a large home. Space heaters barely take the chill out of the air. I looked at all possibilities, and said to myself "One candle in the dark.. is worth much.." I used a plethora of emergency heat sources, lit votive candles, the oven, the dryer, I boiled soup for meals, and baked cookies. We walked around in parkas, and drank hot chocolate. Every little thing that could contribute some heat to the house was used.

I had the children place their mattresses on the floor of the family room, and the group of them, including me, sleeped there together with a space heater warming up just that space. It was fine until one child stole my cover, and the other child, dreaming that she was defending herself, started punching my back.

It was so cold in the house that the cat was scratching that the family room door to be let in, then she'd want to be let out, then let in again, then let out. AArgh..

Yet, the children are thrilled, and all of them are walking around saying "Mom.. this is going to be one of those memories where we all sit together in the future saying "Do you remember when the furnace broke down?"

And that is where the karate lesson struck me the most, I needed to release my mind of the assumptions, and concerns that were plaguing me, and see this moment from a different perspective. I had to see the issues from it's true vantage point to understand it, know it, embrace it, and be victorious over it. It's just like when I'm sparring. I cannot stand there thinking "If my opponent sends a front kick, I will do this, then I'm going to do that.." because I'll be so focused on him sending a front kick that I'll miss the other action. I have to release my mind, and see the potentials, and react to the moment. Now I understand a little deeper the lesson of how a karate ka needs to learn how to 'dance' with their opponent. It is by releasing the mind, and responding to what is happening.


Michele said...

Very thought provoking post.

I had ACL reconstruction 9 months ago. I am back in the dojo but I may be thinking too much. I have been analyzing my stances and movement. Perhaps I need to release my mind and just practice the kata. Just yesterday I ran up a flight of steps and it was only when I reached the top that I realized what I had done. I did not think about it ... I just did it.

supergroup7 said...

Ooo.. ACL reconstruction! OUCH! You aren't the first person that I've heard that had to go through this. I don't blame you for being extra careful to work on your stances, and to compensate for your damaged knee. I would encourage this action continually so that you do not suffer in the future. Please take care, and do what is right for your body.

Disclaimer: I do not have any medical certification. I am not a nurse, or a doctor. I did take some biology in University when I was around 20 years old. (2 years of Biology) I really enjoyed learning about life systems. Although I found the lab work to be very offensive. Formaldehyde smells something awful. Dissecting a dead rat really made an impression on me, and I realized that I really didn't want to continue in the medical field. I truly appreciate, and honor those people who have achieved the position of nurse/doctor. My opinion is only of my own in this instance.