Sunday, June 29, 2014

Of Birthdays, Dragons, and other matters

It's been quite a month of June. Steve Tsao, one of the pillars of our dojo, re-located to Taiwan, hopefully not permanently. And of course another birthday has come and gone.  Classes continue at the dojo with a good new wave of new students along with our dedicated core of teachers and students. We are looking forward to the Santa Cruz Summer Retreat in July with special guest Motomichi Anno sensei. Fourth of July weekend coming up with reduced schedule Friday, full schedule Saturday(I intend to teach), Sunday off with regular schedule resuming on Monday. My father's birthday was July 4th so I always think of him this time of year.

Also this month was Fathers' Day, which I spent at the movies with my daughter Jennifer. She took me to see 'How to Train Your Dragon2'. The first was a movie I saw 5 years ago and really enjoyed. I've always been partial to dragons. I really liked the Elric books by Michael Moorcock, and of course Elric was being emperor of Melnibone, the dragon King. And in 'Stormbringer' he had to awaken the dragons with the horn of fate to bring in the new age. O sensei often referred to Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara RyuO, the dragon king of aikido. In fact during World War II in Iwama he was asked by the divine energies to accept the mantle of dragon king
This is a portrait of him as the dragon king. Dragons to me represent the raw pure focces or energies of creation. The king or queen would be he or she who accepts the mantle to wield those forces/energies according to the design of the universe/creation, mostly in the service of purification. In the first movie dragons are thought to be the enemies of the Vikings. Hiccup is a brave young man who must fight his conditioning to befriend one. Gaining the dragon's trust the dragon becomes both an ally and a friend.
I must admit watching the first movie the dragon Toothless(anything but) reminded me so much of Tiger, whom those of you from the days of the Japantown dojo may remember. Tiger and I were so close it reminded me of the bond between boy and dragon in the film...In the second film Hiccup has learned enough from the dragons to give himself both Star Wars and Batman technology. This is a cool touch and not to be missed.I really like this because for me technology comes out of the forces of creation, energies intended to help us fulfill our individual mission/purpose to reach our full potential. Since dragons are mythological, this extends that to the realm of archetype. When technology becomes too material, we have our present world. In Stan Lee's words, 'Nuff said....'......I am obviously pushing this film because I would like to see a 'How to Train Your Dragon3'.........

Below is a video I did commemorating the bond Tiger and I had:

And here is a poem I wrote about him:
You could run,
Feet flying
Above the ground
A streak of grey
And black lightning.
We would wrestle,
Your face a mask
Of some were-creature,
Exuding fierceness:
Your fangs and
Claws would never
Hurt me.
We could nestle
Like lovers,
Your chin so
Innocently perched
On my throat,
You body radiating
A light that
Kept me warm.
You've ascended
To be in the Energy
Never again to incarnate.
One with the universe
Waiting for me.
You are my best friend.
-Jack Wada
June 14, 2000

When I die,
I will soar with angels,
And when I die to the angels,
What I shall become
You cannot imagine.
-Jalaluddin Rumi