The trouble with keys

Saturday, October-06-2012

My teacher says that it’s preferable to write in longhand but I’m tired and lazy today, having got up at five o’clock this morning, but at least I’m writing, or trying to, first my attempt at a blog – I signed up at the website recommended by my teacher, writing a few lines before giving up, then the same blog on Word, for just a sentence and then stopping.

I was going to write about hating fidgeting and fumbling with my keys, with currently five more than I usually have, now that I have a job (worth two keys) and an apartment in Montreal (worth three keys). In fact, I hate fumbling of all kinds, the accidental knocking of dishes or glasses when I wash after a meal, the slopping of dish soap onto the floor due to my energetic washing, the awkwardness when the straps of my various bags get wrapped around each other (I must carry a fair number of shoulder bags when I travel from country house to apartment and back again) or get stuck in the zipper as I try to zip them shut.

I love neatness and orderliness and lack of fumbling. This is what I wanted to write about in my first blog, make it sound kind of funny. Lately, I get frustrated trying to find the right key to my apartment; it’s stuck at the bottom of the three interlocking rings between two other keys, one for the top bolt which we never use and the other for the front door to the apartment block D where we live. I want to have the smooth movements like the kind you see as a sushi chef prepares his meal. Smoothness, that’s key (no pun intended). I like smooth talkers who don’t swallow their words or stumble on them, and smooth movements, and I feel clumsy much of the time, except when I’m on the computer. And my bicycle — I’m smooth on the bicycle. And driving, too, come to think of it.

I have a suspicion that my old tai-chi teacher would say that I have a chi imbalance and I must admit that sometimes following her class I did feel very smooth, like an accomplished ballet dancer, every movement perfect and gliding through space. My chi must, on most days, be all over the place, out of whack in my arms and legs and the coordination between the two. Not ready to take up tai chi again, I’ve joined a fitness centre in Montreal and am hoping that lifting heavy weights repeatedly will coerce my chi into submission and make me a ‘smoothy’ again. But I find that, for now, I’m still clumsy and often fumbling with zippers and straps and dishes and shoes and knocking things over, over and over again. Even my thoughts are fumbling, criss-crossing my mind like balls in a video game, and this from a meditation practitioner of many years.

Now, this might sound funny, but I blame environmental factors although I will take full responsibility for eventually reaching a level where my physical actions will be smooth and flowing. What environmental factors could these be? Environmental stress. Stress in the environment. Stress which I am sensitive to and which overcomes any calmness I might be feeling, particularly the calmness that comes from and leads to smooth physical motion. This stress may not be all external-becoming-internal so it’s wrong to completely blame the environment. Either way, I am committed to taking responsibility to work on both my mind and body so that I can move in a manner which is calm, energy efficient and smooth. Taking out the keys to my apartment from my bag in a smooth manner. Finding the proper key out of all my keys without too much fuss. Closing all my shoulder bags without getting the various straps caught in the insides of the bag as I zip them shut. All the many, many physical actions I perform each day, but do them in a graceful, slower fashion. I don’t know if I will have to slow down my motions or be more mindful of them. I’m not sure if the stress is coming from within or without. But I do know my goal and look forward to moving in a different manner.

Sunday, October 7th

Wife and I went cycling this morning, parking the car in Frelighsburg (Quebec) and cycling in the direction of Pigeon Hill (you are all invited to check out Google Map to get a feeling to where this in on the planet). Looking up I noticed that very few geese flocks(?, families?) were flying in the famous V-formation. There were lots of straight lines and one very lopsided V-formation with most of the geese on one arm of the V and only a few one the other. Of course, this is probably the normal way for geese to fly, but look at any country-style painting, even if the subject is kitschy, and you will always see that perfect V-shape. C’mon Canada Geese, get with the program!


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