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T’ai chi

“When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets.”
    ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The two of us stand nude facing south
On the deck
As it calmly disintegrates beneath us
The landscape vanishes along with it
Leaving us in the ocean’s midst
Lighter than feathers
As morning sun enters all our pores
We feel its warmth on our upturned palms
Slowly we gather it inward
Breathing it in
Our hands arcing together
Sweep down toward our centers
As we sink
Yet without breaking the glistening surface
Now each loosely grasping a golden ball of this warm light
We turn left toes eastward
Along with upper bodies
Keeping right knees slightly bent
Propelling our golden balls eastward before us
Increasing their size and intensity
Opening them above our left toes
Breathing out
We step forward like gossamer on waves
Again acquire and expand these balls of light
This time bringing them from a loose grasp at left
To open them above right toes
Another breath cycle is complete
We step forward again on the calm sea
Grasp and expand the balls from the right again
Only this time as left palms come to face south
We repeat the right-hand arc as at the start
Bring the light to our centers again
And push light forward
We step forward again and again
Suspended on fluid
Arcing hand over hand
Bringing in the light
Pushing light forward
Two more breaths complete
Now with golden balls before us
Sinking further
We stretch back with right feet
Reach back with right hands
Expand the balls far as we can
Breathing out
Compress them with more intensity than before
At left
Breathing in
Stepping back lightly
Stretching back with left hands and left feet
Repeating this reverse-move four times step by step
Four more breaths complete
Still facing east
Still loosely grasping these compressed golden balls
We move their light forward
Let go
Reach again with right fingers to touch yet outstretched left palms
Breathing in
We gently lunge out across the smoothness
Pushing the light before us
Breathing out
We face west
Repeat the gentle lunge and the push
Another breath complete
As right feet stretch behind us
We rotate to face south again
Circle left palms upward toward the west
And right palms downward toward the east
We trace circles with palms turned inward
Our right palms circle over our hearts
As we breathe in
Left palms circling noses
Deepen our stances
Sidestepping east
We breathe out as the circles continue
Left hands past hearts
Right hands past faces
All the golden light radiating inward
Reflecting the sunlight drenching us
As we continue eastward four more steps
Four more simultaneous circles
Four more breaths
Until right hands expand the turning
Reaching to the right and behind
To grasp the light in fingers
As left hands expand the downturn
Over left knees
We breathe out
Right hands continue downward grasping tighter
We step with right feet forward
Sweeping left hands to front
To pass beyond the right
We breathe in
We let go
We stretch back
We push the light forward
We reach down
To grasp with both hands the ball of light that has dropped
To float at feet
Above which we loosely hold
Then carry it to centers
As it carries us forward into front kicks
We breathe out
Into eye-level punches
From this forward stance
Grabbing the golden ball that’s dropped to feet again
Rotating our bodies from the feet upward
We face west
To loosely hold again
Kick and punch again
From opposite side
Until back in opposite forward stance
With another breath cycle complete
We reach with right hands above heads
Descend breathing in
Compressing the light
Ever descending and compressing
Reaching through the surface on which we gently stand
We don’t always walk on water
Sometimes it’s air
Fire earth or wood
Yet always a sea whose surface we stretch through
Until right hands have descended clear to its floor
And the ball has formed but a tiny pearl
Which we leave in these dark still depths
To brighten them forever
As we breathe out
Closing circling hands outward
Till they face out and up to our sides
We breathe in
Standing straight
Facing north
Hands circling inward as bodies rotate clockwise
To throw left-hand punches
Then pushing the light on toward the west
Stepping forward
Facing south
Breathing out
Once more we grasp the golden light at our feet
Carry it inward as we stand straight again
And breathe

Thanks always returns

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