Underneath my yellow skin

I knew I loved you before I met you

I have a confession to make. It’s really hard for met to admit this because I feel as if I’m cheating. I have had one love for several years and now….There’s a new game in town and I can’t help but be drawn to it. I’ve tried to deny it, but I have to let my feelings out. I’m just going to say it so I don’t have to have it preying on my mind, unspoken, any longer.

*covers sword and puts it away in a safe place*

I am in love with the double sabers.

Whew! I feel so much better now that I’m gotten that off my chest. I can move on with my life now.

I know it sounds silly, but I do have mixed feelings about the double sabers. Let me rephrase that. I have mixed feelings about my feelings for the double sabers. There’s no mixed feelings about the double sabers themselves.

I feel a passion for them I haven’t felt in ages. When they’re in my hands, I am filled with a joy that I can’t describe without being reduced to using trite soundbites. And, it’s different than the feeling I have about my sword–which is the same with the different energy each weapon has. The love I have for the sword is deep and abiding. Holding it in my hand is coming home again, wrapping myself in a cooling weighted blanket, and sipping a cup of raspberry tea. The double sabers, on the other hand, are an exhilarating kind of love. It’s a put on your fanciest outfit and dance the night away before having hot sex for hours kind of love.

If I were in a monogamous relationship with  the sword, I would definitely be cheating on it with the double sabers. So, I feel a bit guilty because I have always said that the sword is my true love (jestingly, of course) and while I wasn’t being serious about it, it was the weapon that changed my life. It’s what got me to totally buy into taiji after five or six years. It felt so natural in my hand as if it was meant to be there. It was an extension of my arm and learning the left side of the form was as natural as breathing to me.

When I saw my teacher demonstrate with the double sabers, I felt an excitement that I hadn’t felt–well, ever. As I said, my love for the sword is different and I never had that NRE with it. It has always been like a long-lasting and stable relationship in which there is happiness, deep satisfaction, and an emotional fulfillment, but not the passion, the butterflies in the stomach, and the sense of  naughtiness.

When I pick up the sword, there is a bond there that is unbreakable. I trust it to do what I need to do without any huge mental effort. There is a peace in my heart whenever I practice the Sword Form. I can exhale and just…be. With the double sabers, on the other hand, I feel like dancing–and I actually do dance while practicing. At the last demo (Zoom), two women did forms to music and it blew my mind. Before that, I thought of the forms as…I dunno, just something to practice in total silence, I guess. Something serious, for sure. It never occurred to me that I could be playful with it. It’s an ancient martial art with an impressive lineage. I can dance? Shake my hips? Be sassy? Hell to the yes!

Side note: Before taiji, I used to dance as away to exercise. I took tap, ballet, and jazz classes when I was a kid and enjoyed all of it. Story lore goes that I could do a front somersault by age one and my mom thought it a good idea to enroll me in dance class when I was two. There are pictures of me in a brown leotard with a peanut design on the front (we were all candy? I think?) from those classes. I stayed in them until 14, which would have been the start of toe shoe. I tried it, but it was so painful and I begged my mother to allow me to quit. She did, which I actually regret. I liked dancing, but just not the classes. It’s really bad for your body, though. Not like taiji at all.

Anyway, I hate almost all forms of exercise, but dancing is an exception. I can put on music and dance for hours. Well, I could. Music moves me (basic statement) and adding movement to it is a pure joy. I have no idea why I didn’t think of pairing it with taiji, but I’m glad that I saw it in the demo. I also saw one of my teacher’s classmates (in last year’s demo, which was in-person) demonstrate the Double Sabre Form and fell even more in love with it.

It’s been a love affair that has really swept me off my feet. My teacher is taking this week off for vacation (which she so richly deserves), which means that I won’t have my private lesson this Thursday. So, I’ve started watching the video of my teacher’s teacher doing the Double Sabre Form so I can fix some issues, but also so I can teach myself more. I appreciate the fact that my teacher encourages me to teach myself in between classes. She can always clean up any mistakes before they become set in stone.

I want to learn the Double Sabre Form as fast as possible because I adore it so much. In the past, I struggled many times in taiji because my personality is such that even when I enjoy something, it takes a lot of energy for me to do it. With the Double Sabre Form, however, I have to make myself quit when I feel my muscles fatiguing. It’s a weight-bearing exercise, by the way, even though the sabres themselves are fairly lightweight.

By they way, the video I included is a great song to do the Double Sabre Form to because of the beat. It makes me smile every time. I am becoming the human blender and I could not be happier.

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