My knuckles are cut up punching and doing push ups on my fists. The bruises on my arms are almost healed, but I’ll have new ones tomorrow. The cut inside my mouth is almost healed, It’s from a spinning elbow I wasn’t expecting. I can still taste the Chinese herbs from my tea, and I ache all over. I really miss this feeling.
There is something good about this kind of exhaustion, the kind you earn, the pain that makes you stronger. I sleep so much better after I’ve been fighting, and I rarely have felt better in my life. There is a connection between people when you fight them. Hurting them as they hurt you. The conditioning, the practice hits, the stray punches that get through your guard, all of it brings you closer. Why do we do it? That is one of the secrets of Kung Fu, passed down to me by my teachers.
I am glad I decided to switch schools. I was going to the Wushu place, but that style is for little people who can jump high and land soft. I am a bear, and bears don’t fly very well. It sucks, I always wanted to fly. I moved over to the school run by some of my Kung Fu family. Well, two schools. One is Hung Gar, tiger crane style. The other is just an hour of beating the crap out of each other twice a week. I feel more at home with the people in those schools than I have since I left San Diego.
It’s strange how quickly people accept you in Kung Fu. I’m used to taking my time, getting to know people slowly, and finding my way into the group by feel. Here, the comment I hear is, “eres familia.” In a way, I’ve been looking for this since I got here. A family of my own, people I can rely on. I have found a few along the way, but every time I find more I am surprised.
No matter how close I get to people, I always feel the distance between us. Not every moment, but it’s there in the quiet, the questions that I hold so tight to. That’s the problem with having too much faith in questions. The Buddha taught that you should question everything, accept no teaching without trying it for yourself. I tend to follow that advice, but at some point you have to begin accepting the answers that you find. You have to find faith in something more than questions.
That’s one of the issues I have. Faith in people, trust in anything. I’ve spent too long holding back, not letting go, not feeling, or just being. No matter how much I do, no matter how far I go, I always could have gone further. There is always more I could have done. That last little push to excel, to become glorious.
The rest here is silence. I haven’t done much since I began, too much time eaten up with work, school, Spanish, English, Mandarin, music, editing, and whatever social time I find I need. None of it is difficult, but it all takes time. I miss San Diego, if only because I don’t have to waste as much time sleeping. I really enjoy my naps, but sleeping twelve hours on Saturday really eats up my time.
That’s where I stand, finally at a good place, where I want to be. I just wish I had looked for it when I got here, because it was always here. I’ve heard the words before, but until now I never really found I could accept it. “Eres familia.”
I’ll post the pictures when the internet stops making me angry.