23 January 2014

Taoist Tai Chi ~ 9

My son said, “You use your hands when you talk.” I’d been opining and in my unconsciousness, with my captive audience, I was gesturing. I took it as a cue to stop talking. Oddly, I don't know when I began gesturing with my hands. My wife said, “Yes, he does.” so their observations increase the probability of veracity. When I’m opining I’m unconscious of my body, my arms & hands. In my son’s moment my hand & arm motions are probably akin to those I've learned and practices in Taoist Tai Chi. Hand & arm motion is integral to practice. My limited set leading experience tells me arm & hand motion is a focus of beginning Taoist Tai Chi practitioners’ observation; the movement is enchanting.
I’ve been working on keeping my hands a little further apart, more in keeping with my shoulder width. This means my arms separate a bit. I must think about this at first to practice. I want my Tai Chi stance to open, not close in, as if swinging doors, my arms & hands, were halfway shut...or open. I don’t want to seal off my stance to within. I want to be open in stance to without. I feel like my balance steadies.
As a boy my father opined I had weak ankles, like it was a character defect. Thank you Dr. Science; he was a business executive. He always sounded judgmental; he couldn’t help it; I learned late to ignore this personality element. Yet his observation of my natural stance was correct; my knees tend to knock in too. I’ve improved my sense of my balance by keeping my hands & arms and feet just a wee bit more apart than I’m naturally accustomed too. It’s a subtle, micro adjustment. My Taoist Tai Chi stance has opened. I appear more open. I’m steadier. I feel quieter. I appear stiller…even though I’m in constant movement, as I trust the form of Taoist Tai Chi. Why can this be?
Taoist Tai Chi contributes to and reinforces cultivating my sense of my anatomy. I use the, Wolf-Heidegger ~ The Color Atlas of Human Anatomy book to supplement; it’s got great images. The shoulder, arm, and hand interconnection is called the upper limb. Seeing the anatomy reinforces the complex integration of tissue, muscle, bone and mind in my practice. I also go to The Tiger's Mouth and click on the Anatomy and Physiology category.
As for my rhetorical question, I sense it’s due to my feet’s foundation within the Taoist Tai Chi form. Beginners tend to not watch the master’s feet; the hands & arms are so distracting, so beautiful. My sense of my feet is so integrated into my consciousness I never think of where they are. My feet within my Taoist Tai Chi form are the cornerstone for my balance and feeling stillness while my body continuously moves.

09 January 2014

Non-Fiction

An HourGlass, a Slate, & a Letter Opener
It’s a techie-term somebody dreamt up to reassure some sap that what he was reading was real. This means based upon behaviors and actions the writer witnessed. A person who “journals” writes “non-fiction.” In other words the stuff I write I can not make up! Really! The phrase non-fiction is for people who can’t tell the difference between amusement and news on television. Television? The word’s an anachronism; wireless streaming entertainment content is more like it. Cable TV? What a dumb dedicated content pipeline.
When I was 14 I had to take a school course in, get this, penmanship. Yup, the technique of writing legibly by hand; Salisbury School, Salisbury, CT, summer of ’65, all boys, no girls. Penmanship. I don’t think there was a Boy Scout penmanship merit badge. I have every other merit badge. I don’t do penmanship now. I stopped when my late ‘60’s early ‘70’s professors wanted assigned homework essays typed. I used the Olivetti Lettera32 portable. University students today cannot read their professor’s hand written notes on their HP – whatever - printed-paper. Students, legal adults, cannot read cursive hand written notes. The students complain. I can still do a legible cursive.
Anyway. I type. I cut & paste. I type again. I scroll up down left right. I click, double click. I don’t use a pencil or a pen. I don’t use paper, though I may print what I’ve typed into my computer onto paper, or I guess, written, no, wait, composed. Yeh, it’s composition. Nope. It’s content now. Nope, sorry, it’s text. And in and out it flows through a big stupid pipe-cast-line.
Hey, Bill, how are ya?
“Oh,” I nod & bob my faccia’s head up & down, “I guess I’m good.”
Yeah? It’s good to see you. What d’ya been doin’? I don’t see you.
“You see me now. I make content. Where you been, Dennis?”
What?
“Content. I write content for a blog.”  
I don’t tell him it’s about my spiritual renovation; he wouldn't get that; it pays me nothing.
Really? A What? 
Dennis used to earn a really good living as a really good lawyer. He’s a curmudgeon deep into retirement. He once said, “Every word is important!” with a feeling of frustration. He turns up his hearing aid takes oxygen tubes from his nose and says, Do you want some? 
“And I mow lawns in the growing season,” ignoring him.
Really? I didn’t know. Wait a minute, what are you talkin’ about?
“Yeah, I walk and push; it’s lawn care. It’s trim, mow, and blow, a lawn care gig. I don’t ride. 1Man/1Mower. Why should you know? Nancy mows your lawn three times a week.”
Really? Are you kidding? What are you sayin’? I don’t know what you’re sayin’.
“I know; that’s OK.”
No. I’m not kiddin’, it’s just text or content. And I don’t use a moleskin. Moleskin is a particular fabric, a hard-wearing cotton fabric of twill weave used for work clothes. Ernest Hemingway didn’t write on moleskin. Go ahead show me one photo of EH using a fountain pen, or pencil, writing in a moleskine, back-in-the-day, notebook. OK, he may’ve used moleskine, which was a particular handmade binder of paper created by French mom & pop bookbinders that supplied them to stationery shops. Moleskine is not moleskin. What a bunch of hooey.
I type on a screen, a cathode ray tube (CRT), but, not even called that, except by out of touch viejo-burros like me. Tube? Maybe you know what it’s really called. Screen? I used to think screen is what keeps bugs out. And bug is just something that fucks up my program, makes it sick, when I click on a porn site.
English is kŭhhh-rā-zeee. Or maybe it’s just our quantified gee whiz market culture. I don’t feel like I can even use the word our. I mean, just what is that our anyway? In market culture only the market-me, and maybe collective aggregated quantified clicks, which might kinda-sorta resemble my market-me, has market value. HAL 9000 knows what it is. Market-Me is my avatar, my Mini-Me, a click construct, a really sophisticated digital guess construct.
Everything else is I-can’t-get-no-satisfaction. I’m just knocking days off my calendar tryin’ to figure out an authentic living. I want to feel useful and meaningful and of value to my self and to anyone else who’d care and listen and do and who might desire I’d think they’re my beloveds.
My everydayness and attending church takes me nowhere but out the church door back to the sidewalk to the parking lot to my car to drive itself home to continue being the invisible man nobody listened to before when I thought church was taking me somewhere and I believed people did listen. In the right now my our feels like it’s kicked to the curb. Well, no, not really, one and two, and maybe a third, and some spiritual friends and what my non-fiction blog is. I’m lucky; I can still count my wee blessings.

Non-fiction, is it real? Feels like it but I’m not so sure, ‘cause sometimes my everydayness just feels like fiction.

07 January 2014

Henry Elliot Savage

Sgt. Henry E. Savage, 1862
Death of Henry Elliot Savage
A Beloved, Kind Hearted Citizen Passes to His Last Rest
THE BERLIN NEWS, THURSDAY, JAN. 10, 1907
All that remained mortal of Henry E. Savage, one of the earth’s noblemen, was laid to rest in the Wilcox cemetery, Monday afternoon, January 7th. He died at his home on the hill, Friday morning at ten o’clock. Some four years ago Mr. Savage was stricken with paralysis which so effected him, both bodily and mentally that he was unable to leave his home, take any part in the management of his affairs or have intercourse with anyone outside of his family, who have been most devoted to him through all the trying years of his sickness. The final cause of his death was a severe attack of the grip.
Mr. Savage was born in Berlin, in the house where he died and had lived all his active, useful life. It was the homestead where his father had also been born. As a young man, in August 1862, he enlisted, went to the front with Co. G of the 16th C.V. (Connecticut Volunteers), and took part in numerous battles and skirmishes, notably Antietam. At the close of the war he returned to his home and the farm, a vocation in which he was eminently successful. He had been a worker and faithful member of Berlin Grange, Berlin Agricultural Society, of which he had been president, of the Connecticut Dairymens Association and a most valuable citizen of his native town, exemplifying in every act of his life the truest traits of Christian manhood and brotherly love. He is survived by his wife, three sons, one daughter and a brother, Willis M. Savage of Wethersfield.
The funeral services were held at the Berlin Congregational church of which he was a member and had been chosen deacon many years ago. A large gathering of friends assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of the man they so loved and honored. Rev. Mr. Fiske, in conducting the service paid a simple eloquent eulogy to the sterling qualities and Christian life of the departed.
A number of his friends and G.A.R. comrades from out of town were present. Among them the following from Hartford, members of the same regiment, the 16th C.V.: Geo. Q. Whitney, Theo. E. Denison, John Gemmill, H.M. Adams, Ira E. Forbes.
The pall bearers were: H. L. Porter, Francis Deming, H. Bushnell, W.E. Penfield, Edwin I. Clark, F.H. Shaw.

The following is from The Hartford Courant, contributed by Mr. Ira E. Forbes.
The funeral of Henry E. Savage of Berlin, who was one of the best known members of the Sixteenth Connecticut was held at the Second Congregational church, Berlin, Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Rev. Samuel A. Fiske, pastor of the church conducting the services. Mr. Savage was a deacon in the church and had been a man of recognized influence in the community for the past forty years.

The members of the Sixteenth Regiment who were present at the church services were Captain T. B. Robinson of Bristol, William G. Hooker of Meriden, Colonel John Gemmill, Major George Q. Whitney, George E. Denison, ex-superintendent Henry M. Adams of the Hartford County Home and Ira E. Forbes, all of Hartford, and Past Commander Huber Bushnell of Berlin, and Postmaster H. L. Porter of that town. Stanley Post, G.A.R. of New Britain, was represented by Past Commander Patrick Marr and John Northend. The delegates from Merriam Post of Meriden, of which the deceased was a member, consisted of Horace Robinson, B. A. Robinson, Charles R. Potter, Cornelius Lyneh and George Kelley; Merriam Post also furnished the national colors that was placed on the casket. The townsmen of Mr. Savage, who held him high personal regard, were represented by ex-Senator Frank L. Wilcox, J.E. Beale of the Berlin News, Deacon Francis Deming of the Second Congregational church and F.H. Shaw of the Berlin Grange. There were choice floral offerings from family and friends. The pastor, Mr. Fiske, paid an appreciative tribute from the pulpit to the memory and life of Deacon Savage. There were two selections from Mrs. Proudman and Miss Bunce of New Britain, Miss Clara Bidwell acting as organist. The burial was in Wilcox cemetery in East Berlin. The bearers were Henry L. Porter, Huber Bushnell, Edwin J. Clark and Walter E. Penfield, all veterans of the Civil War, F. A. Shaw and Francis Deming. Taps was sounded at the grave by Thomas Coffey of East Berlin. The wife and daughter of Deacon Savage were unable to attend the funeral, both being severely ill at home.