New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Friday, February 18, 2005


I'm back from Manhattan, fed, showered, and listening to reggae on Music Choice channel 632, which recently informed me via their on-screen artist facts that Dennis Brown's dreadlocks famously hung down to his knees.

It's 5:33 p.m. and I feel very good. My 1:30 p.m. karate and 2:30 p.m. meditation classes were excellent. Again I was a sort of squad leader in meditation class, along with two other black belts and one advanced brown belt named Ash. Ash is an actor, and he's playing a cop in a new Crest commercial with Emeril as well as an upcoming Law & Order. Go Ash!

Anyway, we received our ceremonial wooden swords and bowed to the shinzen and to Kaicho and to each other and walked in unison along the rows of karateka meditating in seiza position, turning toward some and giving them ceremonial strikes with the swords upon their shoulders. As always there were three candles in an otherwise dim room with a shiny wooden floor. A little bit of light came in from the edges of the window shades as well as the faint roar of traffic on 23rd and Sixth.

After we returned our swords to the shinzen, kaicho wrote the Japanese characters for possible and impossible on the chalkboard and explained how we sometimes consider a challenge impossible at first and should instead try to see everything as possible. He gave as an example the story of how the blind program was begun (there were four people from the program in the meditation class). Twenty years ago someone from the Japanese consulate inquired about teaching karate classes to a blind person (who also had physical disabilities), and Kaicho agreed and was very touched by the experience, and thus began programs for the blind as well as the hearing impaired, mentally impaired, and victims of domestic violence, that continue to this day.

Then he told us the story of a very inspiring Japanese woman named Hisako-san Nakamura (worth reading--scroll down) who lived in the early 20th century. When she was two and three years old she developed a disease that eventually claimed both her arms and legs, yet she was very determined and learned how to do amazing things. She grew up to become very famous for her poetry, calligraphy, cooking, and kimono-making and once presented a Japanese doll to Dr. Helen Keller, who had come to Japan to meet a group of blind people. The point is, you are capable of amazing feats if you don't allow yourself to become discouraged by your circumstances and what you perceive to be your limits.

After I got dressed I went across the street to the Best Buy on Sixth Avenue. What a hassle. I was there to buy two different lengths of ethernet cable and a spindle of blank cds (I bought a hundred). The cables were sold in different places all over the store, and the line took over fifteen minutes to get through. When people actually want to give you their money, you should make it easy for them, not hard. The experience almost undid my meditation, but not quite.

I'm not making any promises but I might try to install an ethernet card into Jenn's computer tonight so I can plug it into the new router, thus putting broadband internet on her machine. I've never taken apart a computer to install a chip before, so I'm a bit apprehensive, but willing to try. I'll report results anon, if not sooner.


Blogger Jenn said...

I am reading this blog entry (and posting this comment) from my newly connected computer, thanks to my husband's amazing feat.

7:44 PM  

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