Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Courage and Karate

In certain forms of martial arts, if you hurt yourself during practice, it's customary to wipe your blood on your belt. The stains are intended to help a student learn from their mistakes, speak to their experience, and strengthen their confidence; proof that they can suffer a blow and fight another day.

A bit morbid, maybe, but I still appreciate that taking a hit earns honor points and the guts n' grit to get back into the fray. If only the blood spill after a kick in the heart came with the same thing. There's a good many of us out there who could use a little assurance that we can roll with the punches.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

My belt earned a smudge of honor this past week when Harry left for England. He was in a hurry to jump on the train, so I was able to throw my arms around him and plant a kiss on his neck in the last fleeting moments, but I didn't have time to say anything meaningful or even look into his eyes. The train door shut between us, and I was assailed by a ninja star to the heart. I took the hit. So here I am, alive to fight another day, but still waiting for the subsequent pride and courage.

Last night, TMI and I had what-could-be-called an intimate experience cozied and naked on the couch until the wee hours, wasting a startling amount of time discussing the potential hurt of learning to love one another. We've both been victim to several degrees of ouch, so while we should be weathered and courageous warriors, we're acting like a pair of teenage scardey-pants.

Harry left me a scooter named Berlioz and I rode him nostalgically home in the early hours of dawn. I thought about courage and karate. Can you imagine how many of us are sneaking around on eggshells while we have belts so drenched in heart break we could have armies pledging their allegiance and masters bowing their heads? I have to wonder: when it comes to our feelings above the belt: why don't our battle scars make us stronger?

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