Thanks Mrs Ukita for the pasalubong!
Spiritual Reflections

Learning to Stand

“Your swings are good,” our dojo’s sensei said, “but where’s your footwork?”

Two months into training, I still find myself frustrated: how can something so basic and simple as a proper stance be so difficult to memorize? I practice in front of the mirror and whenever I can. I get the feel of it. Then training sessions come, and my feet forget what it was supposed to do. Sometimes, I just awkwardly execute the footworks; most of the time, I lose focus and at worst, my balance.

At the end of each sequence, I glance at my feet, adjust them back to their proper places, annoyed. Ugh. I just want to swing my shinai like Kenshin Himura; why do I have to do this boring routine every time?

 

Even when I was doing Muay Thai, I had the same problem: my strikes were good (I think), my balance was bad. I’d get reprimanded over and over again about it— and for a good reason. No matter how powerful my punches or kicks were, it’s useless if I lose my balance and fall down whenever I move or block a hit. And the same was true with kendo: even though my swings were improving, I still trip on my footwork.

Practice at home, our trainor keeps encouraging us. Practice wherever you can.

I stare at my ugly toes, wriggling them into position. How can something so simple as standing become so complicated? I can’t help but remember that oft-neglected phrase at the beginning of Ephesians 6:14— Stand firm then. Continue reading

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Spiritual Reflections

Crucifixation

“Crucify him!” The crowd chanted in passionate frenzy. Here they were: united, one nation upholding their belief, crying out against a blasphemer of their faith. This is justice, they thought. We are doing this for righteousness.

“Burn the witches!” The crowd chanted in passionate frenzy. Here they were: united, one community purging an evil in their midst, freeing themselves from the clutches of fear. This is justice, they thought. We are doing this for righteousness.

“Kill the criminals!” “Impeach him!” “He does not deserve to be honoured and buried!” “Why should they be forgiven?!” “She deserved this!” 

Everyday, we crucify people: politicians, celebrities, strangers, friends, family. Some of us heckle, some of us shake our fists in rage, some of us smirk condescendingly at their plight. They are wrong, we assure ourselves. We are in the right of things.

And in our unsaid thoughts, we judge: Crucify them.

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imjustarat
Short Story | Fiction

Just A Rat

Someone screamed again.

The relative silence that separated our worlds was broken by a brief commotion. The girl was halfway-up on her chair, her face contorted by childlike terror. Fellow ladies stood back, away from their cubicles, as if some horrible creature lurked in the shadows beneath respective desks. The guys looked amused, grinning.

It was a small rat, one that our utility personnel had a hard time getting rid of.

I shrugged.

As long as it stays away from my area, it’s not my concern.

* * * Continue reading

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