Latent exhiliration.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
1/17/2006 1:06
Two humbling cultural experiences today: returning a DVD and inadvertently making my aikido teacher angry.

First, I went to return a Jennifer Lopez music DVD that I had bought because it had had a scratch that caused it to misplay in my player, and also because the curse words had all been edited out.

It took me an hour before I was able to get store credit, because the clerk checked every part where I said there was a read error. It would have been simpler if I'd said in the beginning that it was really because of the curse words, rather than the scratch.

I was happy that I brought it to an agreeable compromise, but I need to be really careful about CDs and DVDs now, because others are likely censored, too.

As a result of that negotiation, I was late to Aikido. It was my first time this year, after a one-wk interim after my first two classes ever under him.Class was insightful. I spoke with the teacher at the end."I forgot my student agreement at home." I said."I have to decide whether to let you in, first.""Can I join your class?""No. We don't need students like you who don't keep promises. You said you'd come but you didn't."I didn't say when I would come, though.""I don't need to hear excuses.""I didn't have your contact info. There was no way I could get in touch with you.""And you're not sensitive to the people around you. We don't need students like you. Ones who don't keep promises and are insensitive to their surroundings. You don't have to bother coming.""One of the reasons I'm here is to learn.""You don't have to bother coming."

Lessons Learned: say what you mean from the beginning. If I'd said that it was the curse words being deleted that bothered me, I would have arrived at a solution sooner. If I'd apologized immediately for not contacting the teacher (thought a little more before responding), he may have been less upset at me.

I intend to continue proving my credibility to my Aikido teacher.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

1/15/2006 14:08

We had two new members at church today - a single mother and her child. She was very kind. When the child cried, she would not reproach him. And when she fed the child, she would pick up a small portion with her chopsticks, place it in front of his mouth, and ask "Do you want to eat more?"

After lunch, they played. The boy was 8 months old, and couldn't yet walk, so he would pull himself up on chairs. "You want to stand, don't you?" said the mother. "But you want to walk, too." And at another time, she picked up the boy under his armpits, and turned around in circles. And when the boy would crawl, she would ask "Are you looking for an adventure?" And she would let the child crawl over her, as she lied down, propped on one elbow, with one leg straight, and one leg bent with the foot pulled up to her knee. The boy would pull himself up on her bent leg, and she would watch without lending a hand, letting the boy manage for himself.
I got down on the floor and crawled with the boy, and spoke with the mother. I felt in me, for the first time I can remember, a strong protective instinct for a woman and a child. She was 36, but looked much younger, but she radiated kindness and understanding. The child was green and curious. The instinct was there, and I wanted to share with the mother how wonderful I thought she was with her child, and how much I wished for their happiness, but was unsure of how to do it.

Instead, I tried to get the feeling across by sitting on the floor with the mother and child, talking with the mom, and playing with the boy.

Maybe the boy is often with women. The mother said to the boy at one of the times when he was looking from the floor to where we four men were sitting at the table, and said "Look - other males, like you!"

I thought she was so graceful and natural, and I know better about how I want the wife of my children to be.

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