Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spider-man 3 and more Warriors

Spider-man 3 is currently setting box-office records. As the third entry in this series, there is the very real fear that things are getting a bit watered down. Have no fears on that account, because this is a very solid entry. There is new territory explored, as Peter must deal with some rockiness in his relationship with Mary Jane, the hard won success of Spidey becoming a social icon, and ultimately the test of dealing with his own dark side. Also central to the film is the concept that force does not work. People have pointed out over the years that the super-hero concept that force must be met with greater force is basically a fascist concept. In this film Spidey must learn to embrace forgiveness and healing. And this is done in a way that does not diminish the super-hero action scenes. Good job!

The Warriors' 2 narrow defeats to the Jazz in round 2 bring up the very real question of what is victory? For years it has been possible to look at the team and the organization in very detached zen-like terms. Recent events have led to a resurgence of passion and caring and even craving victory. No calmness now. Every up and down is now heightened. Defeat hurts instead of being inevitable. Is this good, especially when one practices an art like Aikido, which empasizes center and balance?

One thing that came to me is that to be passionate in itself is a victory. So much is made of inner peace and detachment that the ego can feel very spiritual and superior. What happens when your whole world gets rocked and ones comfortable rut is exposed? How does one then deal with the fact that suddenly one not only wants but craves victory?

My sense at this time is that there is a difference between being passionate and being passionate about. The latter requires something external while the former just is. So there is a state where the tremendous energy from being passionate is balanced by a deep sense of calm. And those 2 things mix and create. Don Juan in one of the earlier books counsels Casteneda that a warrior does not just believe, a warrior HAS to believe. So a warrior is passionate about what he chooses to be passionate about, but then proceeds knowing that this is his controlled folly. The warriors winning the NBA title won't change the world, but from an inner perspective, learning from this current situation and then choosing to put this passion into things like deepening ones sense of self and the world can.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

even more warriors

Well the Warriors pulled off the biggest upset in NBA history by as aan 8th seed defeating the No. 1 seeded Mavericks in a best of 7 series. Tonite they play Utah in the first game of the second round. All talk about magic and destiny apart, this is a very good team. hopefully they will take on of the games in Utah, maybe starting tonight. The Following poem was written by Marcos Johnson, who trains with us at the noon classes. Enjoy


On the verge
Of one of the greatest upsets
In NBA history
The Warriors got tight

On the verge
Of one of the greatest miracles
I got tighter

When the wife was in
The delivery room
I was on ebay

I was in there too

And I wasn’t

I was busy
Seeing how well
My auctions were doing

Ignoring epidurals
And impending

Six years later
I was in another room
Awaiting delivery
Of my daughter

I was busy again

This time with a crack pipe

The tougher it got
The tighter I’d get

Just like the W’s
In big-d

But not last night

No, last night
Was for the losers

For the fans
Who witnessed
The miracle of 75
And the dismantling
Of the Webber era

Who lived through
The Parish trade,
Gus Williams
And Wilkes gone,
Pace Mannion,
Russell Cross,
JB Carroll,
And too, too
Many other

This was for the father

Who bought season tickets
And took his sons
To the games

For the son
Who wouldn’t listen
When he said:
“They’re good”

The son who wants to remember
Once playing
Like Baron
But without the beard

For Stephen Jackson
And every other misfit
Whose had his moment

Mine was last night
With my wife
And daughter

Little one
Laying next to me
Sound asleep

On the floor
Glued to the tube

Penalty free throws


Winning against all odds

Watching shot
After shot
After angry dunk
In improbable victory

Count it

It’s good