I feel like the Ugly Duckling... not because I think I am ugly, although my body has changed and I am having some trouble getting used to it, but rather because I am walking around asking two questions.... one of them is “Are you my teacher.” Before I got sick I was talking with Nathan in the garden and out of nowhere I said, “I think I am ready for a teacher.” I think I shocked us both as I have generally avoided having "teachers" because of my experiences in public schools. I imagine that what I am supposed to learn is that the teacher is inside of me but for now I want a real teacher who doesn't live inside of me; an elder. I want it to be someone who can sense things that I cannot yet sense, someone who has experienced life and can help me not have to reinvent the wheel, someone who feels drawn to me in some way, someone who I feel drawn to for no clear reason but just because I do. I am guessing that my teacher might need to be a man since I generally raise my hackles at men who I perceive to be in a position of power, and sometimes miss out on good things because of it. I wonder if Tom Tam is my teacher. He certainly speaks cryptically to me like I imagine my teacher to do. It drives me crazy...its probably the point. Maybe its Eleanor or Monica...Maybe everyone is my teacher.
The other question I am asking is “what do you think chi is and how do you feel it.” All this talk of chi. I am starting to buy the idea that it exists but I want to feel it. I saw Tom play with some Tai Chi students. The game appeared to be about the students trying to push Tom and get him to move. Each student ended up pushing with all of their might, breath increasing, sweat dripping down their flushed faces while Tom stood there holding them back with one hand, sometimes seemingly freezing them in place, one foot in front of the other, eyes fixed on their bellies never breaking a sweat or increasing his respiration. Sometimes the student would go flying backwards with the slightest nudge from Toms hands. Is that Chi and if it is can he focus it on my tumors and make them go away... it seems like pretty powerful stuff.... maybe he is doing that when he taps the doll before my acupuncture sessions...or when he focuses on my belly and holds his hands around the invisible orb in front of his belly. Or when he seemingly throws the needles like little darts into my back (it rarely hurts I just always imagine that he is standing far away and throwing the needles at me because his techniques feels so different than the other three acupuncturists I have been to).
There was a secret (not so secret now) part of me that imagined that I could play the push game with Tom and get him to move. This thought seems kind of bold to me when people who have studied Tai Chi for years couldn't do it and I have not even been able to meditate still. I really wanted to try but felt too shy. Eleanor told me that there is some etiquette to the game and I felt worried about offending people with my naivety. I don't know why I am worried about offending people now. Maybe it was better left in my imagination anyway..... but what does it feel like to be frozen by someones chi? Or to fly from the power of someone elses' chi? Maybe ti is like those movies that Ted and Sara like to watch that I of course cant remember the names of.