Do not act following customary beliefs

It is the end of the year and we would not be a real blog if we did not leave some retrospective remarks on the past twelve months.

A year when, more than any other in recent recollection, terms such as unprecedented and decimated have been abused and misused beyond the bounds of tolerance.

From the School’s perspective, it has not been a bad year. We did not gain any new students, but then we did not loose any existing ones either.

For much of the year we have not had access to our usual training space, but it was not difficult for us to adapt to the changing circumstances. This is no surprise, we are, after all, an Aiki School. And, as I have mentioned on other occasions, the outdoor training has been both challenging and enjoyable.

Change is the nature of existence.

I will finish off with a poem, no, not another haiku; rather one of my favourite poems from one of my favourite American poets. It seems a fitting response to the year.

Kai Cho

Be Angry at the Sun

That public men publish falsehoods
Is nothing new. That America must accept
Like the historical republics corruption and empire
Has been known for years.

Be angry at the sun for setting
If these things anger you. Watch the wheel slope and turn,
They are all bound on the wheel, these people, those warriors.
This republic, Europe, Asia.

Observe them gesticulating,
Observe them going down. The gang serves lies, the passionate
Man plays his part; the cold passion for truth
Hunts in no pack.

You are not Catullus, you know,
To lampoon these crude sketches of Caesar. You are far
From Dante’s feet, but even farther from his dirty
Political hatreds.

Let boys want pleasure, and men
Struggle for power, and women perhaps for fame,
And the servile to serve a Leader and the dupes to be duped.
Yours is not theirs.

Robinson Jeffers

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