Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Single Whip into Fist Under Elbow

Before last night's Tai Chi class, I was confused about the transition from Wave Hands Like Clouds into Single Whip. My Single Whip is still wrong, but in the past couple of weeks, it's gone from being hilariously wrong to merely amusingly wrong. I am the one doing most of the laughing. I watch Sifu, and somehow my effort at any new move does not resemble what she shows me, not in the least, not for months. After years of playing only to my strengths, it's kind of refreshing to be a slow learner about something. By the end of last night's class, I was twice as confused about Single Whip as I had been when I arrived. Before, I was mostly confused about how to get into Single Whip. Now, I'm confused about how to get out again, because now I've been shown Fist Under Elbow. Naturally, in Fist Under Elbow, the fist does not at any point actually go under the elbow, not if you're doing it right, and I'm fine with that, I really am. My problem is all in the footwork.

After watching me try to figure out a way to name what it was about the footwork that confused me, Sifu said, "You do not feel the move. You are hurrying to finish the move."

What does it say about my prospects in Tai Chi that I thought first of my novel? "Yes. Of course. You're right."

"I've seen you feel a move before," said my teacher. "You know how to do that."

True enough. I love Brush Knee And Push, regardless of whether I'm doing it well on any given day.

You can tell Sifu is ready for class to end so she can eat dinner when she starts likening the art to chocolate, and it was nearly eight o'clock. "If you were eating a block of really excellent dark chocolate, you wouldn't chew it and wash it down to be done with it. You'd savor it as slowly as you could. You'd let it melt. It's no different."

Well, not very different.

Today, I'm still confused about Single Whip, coming and going, but Chapter 10 is delicious again. It does more and more of the things it's supposed to do, and fixing it was fun today. Today, I didn't give a damn whether I ever finished, so of course, I was awesomely productive and checked off several hefty items on my fix list. Who but me would be surprised about that?
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