I can’t help but remember breaking up with a girlfriend I had in college.
We had been together about a month. She was amazing. But it just didn’t fit.
It was something I thought about for a long time. When it happened, I said we were finished, and she didn’t really understand why, but also did.
I had tears of sadness and frustration, listened to loud music, and indulged in herbal remedies not uncommon for a student in San Francisco.
But then I felt better, and it was something that needed to happen.
That’s kind of how I feel right now.
I just called my iai sensei and said that I’m doing too much and that I’m going to quit iai for now. We talked about this at length before and it’s not completely out of the blue.
I dreaded making the phone call, but knew I couldn’t put it off any more. (This is something I feel like I’ve gotten stronger at with age … dealing with these types of things immediately and swiftly.) Sensei was super understanding and accomodating and said I am welcome back in the dojo anytime.
That made me happy. I respect him greatly as a teacher in this.
I feel bad and want to do something to compensate for the feelings, but there is nothing to be done or said. Just move on to the next step in life.
Iai is great. The dojo here is awesome. But trying to fit iai into my life is too much.
It’s extra money to be sucked out every month when I’m worrying about bills.
It’s a day taken away from kyudo which I only want to practice more.
Perhaps I could move the iai day to Thursday when the kyudo dojo is closed, but then I’m full everyday. I haven’t been to the mountains in so long. I haven’t comfortably relaxed on a weekday morning in a long time. Writing projects keep getting moved back for training. Time spent in the house is overcome by the desire to swing the sword.
I just have too much going on right now with things I want to progress. I had a great couple months with iai and feel like I learned a lot … far too much to write here now, but there are a lot of important subjects I will touch on in the near future.
Generally, I feel like I have made some large steps in my mind and heart concerning budo practice.
We only need one.
If that one is good, it will be complete, and worthy of your whole attention. For now, kyudo is that for me.
Budo is not my entire life, and does not deserve all of my free time. I thought maybe it did, which is why I started iaido, along with a genuine curiousity. But it is not everything.
Budo is a very important part of my life, but just a part of the whole.
Budo is my study of life, in a very physical, intuitive way. It is a practice that is made rich by the people I meet along the way. I don’t think I could live happy without my budo practice now, but that does not mean there aren’t other similar things as well.
I also work full time. I’m looking for more work. I’m studying Japanese.
And that’s just the bolts and nuts not so important stuff.
I’m also a husband, a son, and a brother. I have a life to live and experience.
In the big picture … it’s just that …
A big picture.