Reub's journey

15 October 2012

Wave hands like clouds

 It was my 63rd trip around the sun today, and the first October of my life since the age of five that I could do as I pleased, all day. No job, no agenda. Only adoring creatures are allowed near me today: husband (frosting a cake for me), dogs (at my feet), foster kittens (on my shoulder, purring in my ear).





I am a person so lacking in coordination that I cannot learn dance moves, card tricks, juggling. I can't do that cool way of jumping on a bicycle, placing one foot on the pedal and swinging your leg over to the other side as you roll forward. I am completely amazed by people who can play the piano. Never the less, feeling the need for something new,  I signed up for a Tai Chi class this fall. We perform in front of mirrors, like a ballet class. But everybody is old. We are perfecting a move called "Wave Hands Like Clouds," an exquisite name for an elegant series of steps and gestures.




 I guess I'm the youngest person in the group; one fellow is on oxygen and every 10 seconds I hear the blip of his O2 pump, a snort of oxygen and a constant reminder of the passing time.  I watch myself in the mirror and I watch my classmates. In their socks and sweat pants they are so beautiful I can barely stand it.



"You must flow like a river" says the teacher. And so, awkwardly taking my place among the old beautiful people, I do. Outside, finally after the long drought of summer, it is raining hard.


29 comments:

  1. first of all, happy, happy, happy birthday! second, congratulations on doing the tai chi class! awesome! third, your description of the people in the class made my heart swell. "In their socks and sweat pants they are so beautiful I can barely stand it." how amazingly wonderful.

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    1. Thank you twg, for all of your kind words.

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  3. Wow what a thrilling post. Many more happy and wonderful returns Birthday Girl ! Hope you have a swell time painting your town in every conceivable colour and downing all possible kinds of alcoholic brews ! Tai Chi at 63 years? Incredible and brave.
    Happy Birthday once again. Best Wishes Ram

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    1. Thank you RR. The tai chi is a challenge for me, but the class is geared for leisurely learning pace so it's just about right. I don't have to be too brave!

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  4. Happy Birthday ... I too am a klutz but unlike you my prose does not sound like poetry ...

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  5. happy birthday. what a beautiful post. I've wanted to learn Tai Chi for a long time. I see such beauty in old faces but when I see my own in the mirror it escapes me.

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    1. I know just what you mean. Who IS that lady in the mirror looking back at me curiously? So weird.

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  6. Happy birthday! And congratulations on a totally free October! I think that's very cool that you signed up for Tai Chi. My recently widowed mother-in-law just started taking it and loves it. She says she's the oldest in her class!

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    1. Good for your m.i.l.; she will find it as Laoch says below, very soothing. It's funny that she's the oldest & I'm the youngest in our classes! Am I in the wrong class?

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  7. One hopes your birthday was filled with grace and joy. Tai chi is nice, very soothing.

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    1. Thanks Laoch. You're right about tai chi being a soothing exercise; it's also great for balance.

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  8. Belated Happy Birthday to you, Kerry. I see that you do not lack coordination with your words. They flow just like that river.

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    1. Thank you so much Hilary. Some things just write themselves.

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  9. Happy Birthday. I bought a dance exercise video and even with the slow demo I can't keep up. So it sits on the shelf.

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    1. The thing I like about tai chi is its slowness. Finally something my speed.

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  10. Happy birthday, a little late! You may not be able to jump on a bike but you can reply to comments!!!! How cool is that!

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    1. Let it be said that I am a good replier! It's half the fun of blogging.

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  11. I know this is a few days late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

    This was a beautiful post.

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  12. What a sweet picture you painted for us. I wish you a very happy (belated) birthday! I hope you have fun in your Tai Chi class. :)

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    1. I like it that you say I painted this.

      Tai chi is great.

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  13. If only we could flow like rivers all the time - what a relaxing thought! Happy 63!

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