22 November 2011

Taoist Tai Chi ~ 2


Claire is a dazzling practitioner. Her tai chi is luxuriant: plush, creamy, seductive. Gentle energy beams from within. She has an unusually flexible spine, and the movement issues directly out of that deep source, entraining her whole body. It's not feet there, hands here. It's fluid movement, a continuous stream of chi.
Apart from this unity of moving body & spirit, the most striking thing about Claire is her "expressiveness." I watched her set; it was the first time I saw a complete set. The concentrated power in motion enchanted me; power and motion were one. She likes to move, and she thinks that's what she's doing. We think what we're seeing is movement. Actually, what she's doing is concentrating chi in her spine, so her tai chi comes out appearing as movement, but is really not movement at all. What we're seeing is chi.

18 November 2011

Blood


I like to donate blood. My body makes it, screenings accept it, and I can give again and again. I'm entrusted with a God given renewable resource. My type O negative blood is the universal blood. Everyone’s body accepts O negative blood. If needed, it's given to newborn infants and people in ER situations before their blood type is known. I give at MEDIC Regional Blood Center


My brother Tom and I were visiting, and I'd said I'd donated.
Really? Gee, Bill.
Some months before he'd told me he had leukemia.
Yeh, I've been donating for years, I said.
I didn't know that. It's really nice of you.
His cancer, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, gave him way too many white cells. He must've known about red cells by then.
Yeh, it's O-neg; I've got plenty. I can give, no problem.
Tom had made the connection, red cells, white cells, leukemia, needing blood, and giving blood. Tom and I lived apart. Donating blood was just one many things he did not know about me. He died 5 months later.

I’ve given seven gallons, or 56 pints, since I began donating in 1983. One pint of O-neg blood, according to the American Red Cross, can save the lives of up to three people. Donating blood extends lives, donating blood saves lives. Your blood can save lives but only if you donate. Please renew and recycle blood; donate your blood and you give life.

14 November 2011

Success

Am I successful? It rises in me like a tide and settles. I bob in the sea of the other's ocean of success. I get no satisfaction. I try, and I try, and I'm not satisfied. It's so boring.
My remedy is honesty. I know how to lie. I have lied, used as a survival tool. I know when I do it. I feel it, I tingle, and I don't like it. Plain simple honesty is best. I'm successful when I'm open and honest with myself and everyone else. I hope others respect and trust their sense of simple honesty. If other's don't like it, well, I let go; I move on.
My other remedy is persistence. A dear friend told me aggression is the stubborn persistence at getting what one wants. A civilized articulation, that, not one flakked about in capitalist and cultural medias. Persistence mostly comes from within. It can be learned; it's cultivated and practiced by the willing student and the compassionate teacher. The student must be ready. It's difficult, it's laborious, and sometimes painful. It's often unrecognized. Success is unknown without persistence. Its reward is only revealed in the fullness of ones effort.
Money does not replace persistence. Talent does not replace persistence. Genius does not replace persistence. Education does not replace persistence. Family, friends, and social networks do not replace persistence. Physical and mental health do not replace persistence, nor do the wonders of the medical arts and sciences; scientific discovery does not exist without persistence. Social customs and mores do not replace persistence. Spiritual observance does not replace persistence, though cultivating godly faith and a practicing belief in a higher power fuel persistence. Honesty and persistence, and practice, practice, practice, is success.

09 November 2011

Handgun


I just stared, mouth agape. The young man was openly carrying a holstered handgun on his hip. I noticed and no one else seemed to. He walked right to a teller window. I watched him. He glowered at me eyeballing him; pinned me with his eyes, no words spoken. I was intimidated standing in line in the bank.
I used to work as a head teller in Manhattan in a bank on Madison Avenue & 76th Street. There was always an armed guard. But no other person would be permitted to carry a gun of any kind inside.
My local Knoxville bank posts a compliance sign: no hats, no hoodies, no sunglasses. The entryway door sign implicitly declares everyone’s safety is important. OK, fair enough, when I enter I remove my sunglasses; makes reasonable sense.
I decided to have a word with the manager. Vice President Hobbs was open, courteous, professional, and I had her interest. She said she'd review the security tape. Many weeks passed and a new compliance sign appeared on the door: no knives, no guns. I’d never forgotten about the open carry. Much later I spoke with Vice President Hobbs and I told her I was happy about the new compliance sign. I was saddened to learn the bank had lost a customer as a result.
I guess an open holstered handgun on a hip is not socially acceptable on the North Broadway branch premises.