When you get a really special piece of cake, don’t you think it’s a waste to swallow the whole thing before chewing?
This is what someone said to me at a tournament today.
“Zac, when you eat cake, what’s it like? If it’s a really special piece of cake, do you just put it in your mouth and swallow? What a waste! Chew your cake, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the flavor. Swish it around in your mouth, let the flavors seep through your tongue and skin. Savor it. The same is with the kai (full draw). You’ve spent all this time getting there, but then just rush out of it. Take your time with this very special and precious opportunity in kyudo. There’s no need to rush.”
At first I didn’t know what this guy was talking about. Then when I saw the serious look in his eyes, and continued to listen to his analogy, I realized how interesting this idea is. Not only was I rushing through my full draw in shooting, without realizing it, I was also rushing through listening to this guy’s talk. Then I was rushing to have the tournament over, so I could rush home, so I could rush through dinner, so I could rush through the Sunday even, so I could get to Monday morning. Then I’m just rushing to the next weekend.
What a waste!
What a sad waste.
Excuse the language, but who gives a shit about hitting the target? Who gives a shit about impressing others and winning a prize. I’m not going to say these things are bad or wrong. I’m always trying to hit the target, impress others, and win the prize. But what the hell is the point if I don’t enjoy it, or let alone feel anything from it?
Kyudo enables us to not only think about, but experience with our bodies and minds, the great question of, “What the hell are we doing on this planet?”
Or how about a couple other biggies like:
“Why are we born?” “Why do we die?” “How should we live our lives?”
I’m not sure exactly about the answers to these big questions, but I do know this: I damn love cake, and I never want to waste another piece.
Well, I can tell you I enjoyed writing this piece. And now I’m going to go sit on the sofa with my wife and stare at the TV on this rainy Sunday evening, and enjoy just doing that.