I’m up in Metropolis (a.k.a. Calgary, Alberta) for the night, camped out in a hotel again. This is the city where they filmed the Christopher Reeves Superman movies. It’s big. Not like Chicago big, but more than a million people. Cities like this are pretty overwhelming for naturalists like myself. I just look around at the skyscrapers and crowds, and think to myself, “Oh my god, how is our society ever going to find our way to living sustainably again? How much plastic do these people buy and throw away every day? How many cows does it take to feed them? How much electricity goes to lighting this place up in the long winter nights?” One million people equates to at least ten million gallons of water in toilet flushes alone every day. It’s amazing. I don’t even know how we’re able to keep it going
I find it’s best to just get out of my mind and try to see this place through someone else’s eyes. To most of the birds, for instance, especially synanthropes like crows and magpies, cities like this are massive forests full of resources. Even the snowy owls, like the one I photographed this morning on my way into town, seem to enjoy this place. These birds know how to be themselves here, totally present in the now, unencumbered with my worries about ethics or future. What I need to do is focus on being a real human in this place. Not one of the cultural zombies, but a fully human animal. How would a real human see this place? What would a real human do here? He would constantly test his skills and abilities in movement, strength, agility, and balance, that much I am sure. The other animals do this, all the time
I should be outside, in the evening snowfall, dangling from the architecture, scaling walls, running the streets and parks. At least I’ve brought my PowerTwister and dumbbells up to this room with me. And of course, one does not need a lot of space to practice wushu. I’m keeping myself busy. Perhaps in the morning I’ll go play outside
So that’s my thought tangent for the evening. As far as my weekly update goes, all has been pretty routine. I think my TKD performance is improving quite a bit...
...though I’m very aware that my hips don’t want to turn all the way over for some of the kicks. That, by the way, is a product of sloppy habit. I’ve been doing hook kicks and reverse-hooks since I was twelve years old, and found that I could actually hit fairly hard without turning my hips all the way. And so I stuck with that, because it was easier. Unfortunately, now I’m decades older and less flexible. Had I taken the time to make sure I was doing it proper earlier on, my muscles and joints would already have that movement in memory. Moral of the story, do it right from the start, even if it has to be slow and low. It’ll get fast and high in time, and with a more powerful and appropriate form
Potentially big news! I have been asked to travel to the Canadian capitol Ottawa on for a meeting with some government representatives on March 21st. I figure, since I’m going to be so far east, I might as well request that I be allowed to bump down to Chicago for a few days afterward, to conduct a bit of research at the Field Museum, and of course to train at the FMK studio. I mentioned this interest informally to the president of my college this morning, and she didn’t seem to have any problem with it. So I’ll keep you all posted, but it seems fairly likely that I’ll be able to visit Chicago around the 22nd-25th of March. We shall see