Saturday, November 25, 2006

Karate lessons in the everyday

Today, my wife and I took a walk with a friend and his family down the "fisherman's wharf." It was a fairly quiet day filled with many opportunities for introspection and even some intelligent conversation as we observed the plants and animals in the area.
A quiet day takes an unexpected turn
While waiting outside a shop, I noticed two seagulls fighting over a perch on a rock. The fight got pretty intense and the white bird scared the brown bird completely away. Having won a relatively minor victory (there were plenty of similar perches available) the bird then merely glared at all the other birds as if to dare them to try to take his perch. The other birds, not to be dragged into his petty games, simply flew off. I admired them as they stretched their wings and swooped about and I pitied the white gull who grumpily contented himself to his poop-streaked lonely rock.
Later, we noticed different varieties of cacti and stopped to have a look. I've always thought that cacti were ugly and have never really taken the time to really see how they really are. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I also realized that it is true what they say "No matter where you look, there is something to see." How can such a thing exist? Spawned from torment and affliction, yet it obviously has such a serene and gentle disposition.
The challenge
The challenge then, is for everyone to open their eyes and see the world they live in. When just a few days ago I stopped a co-worker to point out a spider wrapping a fly, it was as if a fire had been lit inside him he got so excited! It is essential for us to strike out with renewed vigor and tap the limitless wisdom that awaits us in the mundane. Where can we find a better teacher than in those simple creatures who truly live in and for the moment.


Blogger Andrea said...

having children is another way for us to appreciate the mundane- to them, everything is new, so in teaching them and seeing the world from their eyes, you are treated to a new view of life, or maybe just a reminder of the old view.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Stripes said...

SENSEI! It's Katie Tippie. Perhaps you remember be as a blonde white belt who did her kata wrong and threw up one day at training.

Anyway.... i got the link (again) from kate and it's nice to read words from you again and knowt that you still update it. It brings back memories of exhaustion and bruises, but much happiness. My younger brother, Sam, is currently taking karate. it's a korean form similiar to ours, but i've forgotten the name.... It makes me miss the old days.

How are you doing? What is going on in your life at the moment? (and if you wish to email me you can at

2:15 PM  

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