Tag: aikido

Random thoughts of violence

I began the day with sudden images and body remembrances of an escrima or arnis drill Morgan used to teach during weapons class years ago -- it utilizes a short stick or wakazashi in one hand, the other hand free, and consists of five steps on each side; when you finish one side, you do the other, because the drill is done with a partner.

I haven't done the drill for years, but I remembered all the nuances, all the little tips and secrets Morgan showed me over the year or two he continued teaching it. And I wanted desperately to do it with someone right that moment as I was getting out of bed so that I wouldn't lose it. But, of course, I had no such opportunity. The movement is still tracing its way through my body.

And this evening, we watched Fight Club. I still remember watching it in the theater, and how it affected me then -- and it affects me in many of the same ways now. There's some cultural references I 'get' more now -- references to Ikea, and now I understand groups and guided meditation and therapy better. And there's new references, too -- the image of the buildings falling is much different now that the WTC buildings have been viewed collapsing.

But the message, the message is still the same, still present. Do things own us, or do we own them? What do I most want to do before I die, and am I doing it? These are big questions for a film to raise, and I'm still surprised that Fight Club remains such a huge hit and success because of them. And they're not necessarily buried in the film -- though I can see how many people might simply glorify the violence in the film, and pass over the message. I find the violence is a part of the message -- can you teach yourself to live with pain, that pain is transient and ceases? can you learn to stop living in fear?

So my day was marked by violence, beginning and end. The middle was all consumer fluff. And hedonism. But hey, that's okay, too.

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