Poem 26 — Clouds

This draft is kind of funky, maybe a kind of zuihitsu style thing about clouds.  It starts out with just thinking about clouds, lying on a hill with the kids and then shifts to the evening before my nidan test.  Carl, who was also taking his nidan test but had been practicing longer and had put off the test for a long time, was and is much more advanced than I am.  That week had been pretty brutal.  I have a weird ankle and it went out on the 2nd day of camp.  I basically rested it, and with the help of Sioux Hall-sensei and Bonnie Veysey-sensei had tried out a few variations of wrapping to stabilize my ankle for the test.  The one consideration I had to get was to opt-out of suwari-waza, which was too bad, since that’s more or less my specialty.  In Carl’s case, he was working out hard, pushing himself pretty much to exhaustion, and he had a couple of broken fingers and toes.  By the night before though, he was sitting, resting, looking at the evening clouds and was at peace.  He had achieved self-victory.  I was a bundle of nerves and it took until about an hour before the test to get myself together.  I made it through and the “boot” held.  I took a pretty good hit to the head, but with the adrenaline I only realized it when I someone mentioned it and I saw it on the tape.  Carl was a force of nature and blew through his test.  It was pretty awesome.

Anyway, that’s the back story.

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