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Archive for May, 2014

Haikuesday 05.27.14

It’s been a few weeks

since I sang in the shower.

But I did tonight.

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Categories: poetry Tags: , , , , , ,

Ready to fight.

I was at work and I could feel my insides eating themselves. Stress left me stiff and bent.  After work, I was supposed to talk with a young man who wants to be a social worker and offer some advice. Then I was supposed to go to my jiu jitsu practice, prepared to train. How was I supposed to help someone? And how was I to fight? Stiff shells don’t have much to offer.

As I sat down and heard this young man’s story and shared my social work path, I told him, “I like the fight.” I could feel the heat in me, the static electricity that builds before I get on the mat. I was a warrior again. I went to practice, ready to fight.

As I worked on the mat, I realized I wasn’t fighting. I was helping. I was supporting. I was rooting for the other person’s success. I was a social worker again.

I will go to work tomorrow, ready to fight.

Haikuesday 05.20.14

I define myself.

I’ll let no one else name me,

and I will be great.

In the moment.

There are certain nights when I leave judo and jiu jitsu and my body is peppered with finger print bruises. I’ll turn my wrist, glance at my ankle, and there they sit. I can usually tell which of my training partners left each mark. On a few occasions when I’ve remarked on my bruises, nurturing individuals in my life express their concern, uncomfortable with the proof of pain. Their discomfort always confuses me. I think, “No! The bruises are good! I love them.”

Tonight, as I showered after one of those electric nights of training that left me covered in bruises, I spent time thinking how to explain my satisfaction with those little black and blue marks. My bruises are the physical proof of time well spent. They are symbols of hard work and getting lost in the moment. Bruises to practitioners of judo and jiu jitsu are like smudges of paint on the face and hands of an artist–a sign of blissful, possessed consumption.In moments off the mat, when I feel frustrated, discouraged, or trapped, one glance at my bruises reminds me of the joy and passion that awaits me.

Haikuesday 05.13.14

I surround myself

with true homegrown role models

so I keep trying.

My cousin/big brother after speaking at the Hooding Ceremony for his graduate program: husband, father, dreamer, thinker, artist, designer, worker, leader.

My cousin/big brother and his oldest son after speaking at the Hooding Ceremony for his graduate program: husband, father, dreamer, thinker, artist, designer, worker, leader.

Categories: Uncategorized

Haikuesday 05.06.14

I’m not a tough girl.

I crumble, small and hidden

on the bathroom floor.

Categories: poetry Tags: , , ,

Commit.

May 1, 2014 1 comment

It was one of those days when I didn’t want to go. I wanted to leave work when work was done. I wanted to leave with nowhere else to go. I wanted to be free and spontaneous. I didn’t want to go to judo practice. Another job. Another responsibility. Another commitment. I didn’t want that. But habits are strong. I knew what would happen if I went back home. For a moment, I’d feel relief. For a moment. Then I’d feel all the stress, all the anger, all the day’s indignation and frustration build in each muscle fiber. Habits soothe, but they can also enslave. I can’t break the habit. It’s too hard. I can’t enjoy a Thursday evening of spring weather because of habit. Angry with myself, I got on the bus. I got on the bus to judo practice. I breathed and resigned, helpless and resentful.

Slowly, the work clothes came off. Slowly I changed into my gear, but I did not put on my gi. When I put my gi on, I’d feel the weight of routine. But when I put the gi and and when I tied my belt, I was different. I was a student. I was a quiet warrior. When it came time for randori, I thought of my judo goal. My judo goal is to commit when I throw. Even if I fall on my face. Commit to my throw. Create the opportunity and commit.

It was one of those days when I didn’t want to go. I wanted to leave work when work was done.  I didn’t want to go to judo practice. I didn’t want another commitment. But with each explosive movement, each muscle fiber released the day’s indignation and frustration. I just thought about commitment. Commit to the throw. Commit to judo. Commit to my practice. Commit to myself. Even if I fall on my face.