Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kyudo in the backyard

Wonderfully beneficial acupuncturing, today. Got the usual things fixed, got some very unusual things needled; things with very mystical names, names that portend momentous changes.

Perhaps the first momentous change... has already occurred.

Months ago, I bought an archery target, so I could continue to practice with the bow and arrow without having to journey to/brave the local range. It has sat in my room for those many, may months, because it has been so @$#$ing cold outside.

Suddenly, here in Southern California, it's warm. Delightfully warm. Magically warm, even.

So, after wending my way home from the doctor/acupuncturing, I hauled the target out of its box, put it on a table, and for the first time in I really don't want to think about how long, I took out the bow and arrow. And hauled all of those things, plus a drumset stool so I'd have somewhere to perch while drawing the bow, out to the back yard. Man, was that hard. Took a long, long time, too. But I did it. Eventually; and "somehow."

Nearly nastily injured myself simply stringing the bow. There are several ways to string a Japanese bow, and they're all very easy and straightforward. When the archer is able-bodied, that is... It wasn't a case of "the bow tried to push me over," it was even nastier; I put the bow in the position that one puts the bow, and one's self, and... the repeated "nearly falling over and injuring myself by falling nastily on the concrete patio" immediately began.

Well, I finally got the damned thing strung. Doing the traditional hassetsu, the eight steps of kyudo, are hard enough when you're not doing them for the first time from a chair (for which they really weren't designed). Very strange, trying to adapt/reinvent the form to be used from a chair. And clearly, my "bow-drawing muscles" are not even vaguely close to what they used to be, simply drawing the bow was much harder than I remember it ever being. And there was a lot about this shot that wasn't even close to "correct." But... still...

Yes, I shoot from close range and not from any real distance, but... it could have gone much worse than it did. Like "not hit the target at all," for example, which has happened to me more than once while shooting from a standing, non-M.S.-accessorized, position.

The world is very different, now that I can go out into it and not regret having done so. That may change once the July/August triple-digit-heat kicks in, but still...

Simply being able to go outside, and enjoy being outside, and to do something that matters outside... this is wonderful. 

The Japanese phrase "issha, zetsumei" is often translated as "one shot, one life," but more literally, it means "one shot, then breathe one's last breath." Or more succinctly, "One shot, then die." 

Why I somehow feel like I need permission to live like this, I do not know. But today, I feel like I have received it.

Kyudo in the back yard. A wonderful way to participate in the renewal of the season of the Wood element; in the special magic of springtime. 

1 comment:

Muffie said...

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