Here’s the thing about taiji weapons. They’re like Lay’s: you cannot eat just one. Er, I mean. It’s really addictive–at least when it finally clicked in my brain. My brain is broken on many levels. One, I have a hard time doing anything—even things I like. Someone in the weekend thread on Ask A Manager asked how to make themselves do exercise on the regular. Other people gave good advice, but the one that I had to counter was to do it when you felt like doing it. Why? Because I never felt like doing anything. I related how when I first started practicing taiji at home, it was literally five minutes a day. The way I did it was to put it on my to-do list. Get up, brush teeth, feed cat, do taiji. I emphasized that it wasn’t a YOU HAVE TO DO THIS YOU LAZY ASSHOLE, but more matter-of-fact like, oh, right. Do the taiji thing. It expanded to ten minutes, then fifteen, and now, with my new-found love affair with the weapons, it’s 45 minutes to an hour.
I didn’t get into it, but the five minutes a day was so resentful on my part. In fact, before I started practicing at home, I went from one to two to three classes a week because I wasn’t practicing at home. When I started practicing, it was a quick section of the Solo Form (or part of a section) and then some stretches. The stretches were fine, but the Solo Form was not. I still am not a huge fan, but the Medium Form is way more my jam than the Long Form.
I’ve documented how I fell in love with the sword and it’s still very dear to my heart. Then, my struggles with the Sabre Form that has turned into a deep appreciation. Currently, I am intoxicatingly infatuated with the Double Sabre Form. It’s my everything and I would do it all day long if I could.
When I think about the weapons, it’s all about the feelings they invoke. The sword makes me want to dance and Carly Rae Jepson’s Call Me Maybe is the perfect song to dance with the sword to. I mentioned in the aforementioned forum that before taiji, the only exercise I liked was dancing. Weightlifting was tolerable and I hated the rest of it. Now, I’m pleased to be able to combine dancing with taiji weapons because they are my two favorite physical activities (well, excluding sex*). I have chronic depression and it’s hard for me to find joy in anything.
I can find quiet moments of contentment such as chilling with my cat. I can be engaged by activities such as playing video games. I can be pleased chatting with friends. My brother came over last night and we tried the new Thai restaurant down the street. That was a really enjoyable time. But all of these are very muted. Which, to be fair, is my style in general. It’s partly just my demeanor and partly the depression.
All that changes when i grab my double sabers and wait for the music to start. Or not. Even when I practice with no music, there is joy in my heart as I move the double sabers in the air. I am someone who feels chained in so many ways, but when I do the Double Saber Form, I’m free.