Okay, here’s the second video that was missing from my post yesterday. Finally sorted out what the problem was. I tried to get fancy and close in tight on the clip toward the end, with all the minnows swimming upstream, and that was throwing my crappy video-editing software off. So I guess you’ll just have to imagine what they would look like close up. Although I didn’t talk about it at the time, what these minnows are doing is a fairly significant phenological event. There’s an endless stream of them moving upriver right now. I’ve often considered netting them for a half-hour or so in this season, drying them out, grinding them up, and making fish-balls with them, for soups and such. I think the only reason I haven’t done so is because I’m a little concerned about the parasites they might carry in their guts, and it’s not like they can be cleaned. But I don’t know… this kind of concern doesn’t affect me with a lot of other foods, and I often drink untreated water straight from puddles and streams. I think it’s good to build up a diverse microbial community inside my body. I mean, isn’t it odd that all the other animals can get by drinking this water, but our constitution is somehow too weak to do so?
Anyway… here it is. Again, there are no ‘martial arts’ per say in this video, but it is very much about MY kung fu. At some point, I will try to articulate my thoughts on this matter a bit more clearly than I do here, though I’m sure you’ll get the gist. A huge part of my life is wrapped up in the active (i.e. not literature-based) study of local ecology, and how to be a part of that as a real human being. My challenge at present is to find a comfortable merge between this engagement with the total reality, and my affection for unarmed (or spontaneously armed) combat arts. Both passions hit me at age twelve, and I have yet to learn how to balance or weave them. There’s an obvious confluence in the area of diet and nutrition. But I think it can be more than that. In fact, I find it very interesting that the weapons of traditional martial arts are often also the tools of hunting and harvest. I’m also interested in styles of fighting that are explicitly influenced by observations of animals. This is very much aligned with my general perspective, which is that one’s way of life should be learned-from and fit-in-with the other species we co-exist with. Perhaps my ultimate response to Sifu’s challenge, to be an artist rather than a collector, will be to develop my own practices inspired by the animals of my immediate region. We shall see. But in any case, urban or rural, I highly recommend getting interested in the foods that naturally occur near your home. The plants and animals are waiting for us to behave like humans again.
Some photographs I took along the way...
Viceroy Butterfly On Golden Currant