26 June 2014
Ukemi, The Art of Receiving
"In my daydreams, the kindergartener is all grown now, and she has a man or a woman she loves, and the two of them have gone on dates to the pool―my daughter’s backstroke is amazing; the lifeguards make comments about it―and to the local Sonic for cheeseburgers. In the afternoons, between class sessions, she and her boyfriend or girlfriend will tell each other their histories while their roommates are out on errands for birth control. They’ll gossip about mutual friends and they’ll compare notes about the sports they played and how strange their parents’ behaviors are. My daughter’s love interest at college or culinary school will ask her about the photo I’ve sent with her, the one where she’s receiving her orange belt from Master Ochiai and looking into the space above the camera.
“What’s that from?”
“I took karate when I was little,” she’ll say. And this is where I hope she’ll continue with “And I stayed with it through high school. I’m a shodan black belt.”
And her significant other will say, “Show me,” and they’ll clear a space in the middle of the dorm room’s floor, kicking over bean bags and Calculus books. They will bow to each other and spar playfully there on the third floor of an expensive room-and-board dormitory, where my daughter will land her friend into a scarf choke on the area rug and will feel the tap-tap-tap of a hand, a matte, a signal to let up. And my daughter will smile because she will feel safe and equal to this person in her life. She will know full well how to cut off circulation to carotids and jugulars, but, more importantly, she’ll know when to release."
From Ukemi, The Art of Receiving By Barrett Bowlin for The Rumpus.
Click HERE to read the piece in full. It's brilliant.
(Image by Estevan Guzman.)
Posted by Rachel Johnston at 9:01 am