Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: yin-yang

The grand unification theory of me

This week, I finished two things. I’ve talked about both on this blog, and I’m going to do it again. The first is Spiritfarer by Thunder Lotus Games. It’s a game I had my eye on for quite some time, but I forgot about it because there was no chatter. Understandable as it’s an indie game that doesn’t neatly fit into any one genre, but, man, I really think it’s an underrated game. Those who played it and reviewed it LOVED it, but it’s not enough people. I’ve gone back and wandered about in a desultory fashion to find the secret chests I missed and because Med the community manager sent a newsletter with a BIG reveal that I didn’t get from the game itself. In retrospect, there were subtle hints, but they were easy to explain away or overlook at the time.

The other thing I finished this week was the Sabre Form in taiji. Or, as my teacher calls it, graduated from the form. The first time she said it was when she taught me the final posture of the Solo Form, and I nearly laughed in her face. I might have ‘known’ the whole form, but I wouldn’t be allowed to do it myself without heavy guidance. Now, many years later, I’ve done the form so many times, I could do it in my sleep. Well, I could have before it got radically changed by my teacher’s teacher. That’s another story for another day, though.

I can’t stop thinking about how much I hated the Sabre Form the first time my teacher taught it to me. I resented every minute, and I did not understand it at all. I wanted it to be the Sword Form, and it wasn’t. By the way, I’m beyond ecstatic that I’m learning a new Sword Form. It’s such a finesse weapon, which is not like me at all. Or at least….That’s the point of this post, and we’ll get to that later. For now, I’m musing about the Sabre Form and how it went from not to hot. While the sword is still my beloved, the saber has become my bestest friend. The karambit is the the honey of the moment, and the cane is that entertaining friend that always makes you feel better when you see them (as long as it’s not TOO often).

The saber is an infantry weapon. It’s not a thinking person’s weapon, and taiji is the scholar’s martial art. It’s about power, and I do feel powerful when I brandish it. Sometimes, I feel like a swashbuckler and sometimes I feel like a Hun. I feel as if I can do anything–and it feels good. I feel like I’m saying, “Don’t fuck with me!”, and I’m backing it all the way the fuck up.

The Sword Form is still my favorite, but it’s not about the power. It’s about elegance and grace, and it’s a finesse form. It’s about cutting someone before they know that you’ve even moved, and it’s about severing tendons. That doesn’t sound elegant or graceful, does it? The saber is about smashing and cleaving. That’s more in keeping with the nature of the weapon.

Side note: Just because the sword is a finesse weapon, it doesn’t mean it’s not deadly. It is; it’s just not the main point of the weapon.

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Feeling Like Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

hiding behind my mask.
The best of me and the worst of me.

I am periodically reminded that other people have a vastly different way of viewing me than how I see myself. They see me as charming, witty, fun to be around, attractive, lively, political, sympathetic, and a good listening ear. I know because I’ve heard all of these things from other people, and twenty years ago, I would nod my head but cringe inside because I thought they were completely wrong. Well, not completely, but mostly. They only thought that because they didn’t live with me or even worse, because they weren’t me. They didn’t understand that what I showed them was a facade, one I’ve perfected over the years. I felt as if I were a living doll, carefully created to give the perfect response to any given situation.

Charming? I couldn’t deny that, but I saw it in a negative life. My father is an extremely charming man, and I saw how people (mostly women) flocked to him as if moths to a bright light. He could make you feel as if you’re the only person in the world, and, yet, to him, it was just a way to boost his ego, and not because he actually cared about the other person. I knew I had that in me, that ability to make someone feel as if they’re oh-so-special. I have a fantastic memory for names and details, and it was almost automatic for me to use my arsenal of knowledge to impress and dazzle other people. Because of what I saw in my childhood, I didn’t trust the charm I could effortlessly pour in any given situation. In addition, I have a psychology background, so I know people’s weak points. I struggle to keep my temper under control because I could destroy someone with a barrage of well-pointed barbs if I so choose.

Sensitive, yes, I’ll give you that, and my mother often told me I was overly so. Personally, I think it was her way of deflecting responsibility when she was insensitive to me and my needs, but that’s another post for another day. I am what some people would call an empath, which means I feel other people’s emotions as if they’re my own. The worst part is that I feel the negative emotions more strongly, so when I walk into a crowded room, I’m overcome with anger, sadness, depression, jealousy, and pain, among other strong emotions. Twenty years ago, I had no ability to block out these emotions, so going anywhere was agony. I could just look at someone and know that she’s being beaten at home or that he has lost his job and feels utterly hopeless. I could feel the positive emotions, too, but they were more muted. I remember one time my mom talked me into going to the State Fair, which is something I abhor. She actually tells the story about how when I was a baby and my brother was three or four, she’d take us to the State Fair because my brother loved it (he still does), and she couldn’t get a babysitter for me. I’d scream my head off the whole time, which is still how I feel about it today. Anyway, that time my mother convinced me to go about twenty years ago, I lasted half an hour before I had to leave because I was overwhelmed by the flood of negative emotions swirling around me.
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