Life is a Stage

Stage is a nice word. There are two kinds of stages that I like, the ones at the theatre and the ones that equate to phases.

I stumble on stories every day. Real life stories and most of the time they mean nothing to me. What is it like to tell stories and what is it like to be an actor on stage?

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I returned from Aikido training Thursday evening – almost a week ago – feeling above all, rather detached from it all. It was still summer vacation in Berne and the Matte was in a rather precarious situation as the Aare is threatening to jump the river bed. We were only four at training that is, Barbara Sensei, Ivo, Heinz and I. Hard work, full concentration, totally lost my mind in a good way. Then Friday’s training was just Ivo and I, and that was again intense, no breaks, just training. I am starting to really enjoy the fact that training requires my full attention and that then nothing else could possibly matter. What happens is however fascinating. Such intense concentration does increase my presence and awareness outside of the dojo.

Meanwhile school started in Berne, and with it a new stage of my life. I am not quite sure how I am going to deal with it, but so far it looks like adventure from A to Z or Z to A. I am also starting to get a bit bored with blogging, and my need to scream out loud has somehow been quenched. There is lots happening in my life – and everybody’s lives too – and frankly neither all of it is too terribly interesting, nor do I care to make it all public right now. There is also something that I call a matter of scale, and some events are actually a collection of events that then culminate into something that can be wrapped in a nice little factual story. This week has taken me by surprise on several occasions.

Sometimes my needs to communicate are a bit more intimate then what I feel comfortable with here on this very personal blog, and then I go for email and write an old fashioned letter, or even a handwritten letter. I grew up writing letters to far away relatives, and somehow there is something that I like about the activity. Sometimes I also reach for the phone, but phone calls are a whole lot more intrusive than emails or letters, and they are also rather disruptive. Do not get me wrong, I love a good conversation, even on the phone, but I also like silence. I love music, but that too is distracting. Usually I tune into the surrounding noise and blank it out, and do not even listen to music.

On Saturday I had an email exchange with a friend in Paris after I tried called her and ended up chatting up her answering machine. She is busy on a deadline with a book, and when one is on that anvil called a deadline, then one shifts into concentration overdrive and fends off all distractions regardless of how pleasurable they may be. This behaviour is hard on the people who do not understand how this kind of work gets done. I am fortunate that those close to me either know first hand how it is, or they have over the years gained some respect for my needs.

At today’s training lead by Barbara Sensei, we had a surprise visit, Guido. It is always great to train with him, and it is seldom that I have had both Barbara and Guido on the tatami during a normal training. I must be at different stage in training right now as I feel no need to share what is happening on the tatami these days. It could also be that something is brewing, and it needs to be kept under a lid until it is ready. Whatever is happening – and lots is happening – it is not ready.

So far the week has really been fantastic. Yesterday I met with Remo on his last day of vacation, and we had a most enjoyable discussion over dinner at the Ringgenberg. At one point I suggested to him that what he might want to consider is to look up a certain fellow out in California and go there for one year or two to work on an area that from all that I can tell fascinates him. I liked the way his eyes brightened up, and he got that look of possibility all across his face.

How could I possibly have done something like that? This is one of my closest friends, and here I am suggesting that he go to California thousand of miles away, nine hours behind Berne? But then, my son is also in California, and as much as I miss him, I am happy that he is doing what he wants to do.

Ah! This happens once in a blue moon, but on occasions, I do get home sick for California.

When is it that we are not acting?

Do we act out our fantasies, or our realities?