So, Mr. Rory Miller was in town again over the weekend. I only signed up for the “Logic of Violence” Friday night lecture/workshop and the Monday night “play date” that he does. I was in Yosemite Saturday and Sunday. Those two days Rory did his infighting stuff. I was exposed to a bit of that in Seattle when he came to Kris Wilder’s dojo for a brief workshop so I’m not sure how much more I was missing. But I’m sure I’ll get more of it in the future.
The main thing I wanted to reflect on here isn’t so much on the play date itself. Although that was a great experience and right now we are working on scenario training. There is so much detail and delicacy and attention that needs to be paid to that to make it happen that it hasn’t yet rolled off the line yet. But Peter at Soja has been busy, so that’s a good excuse. It’s really on the students and people interested now who are going to be stepping up and getting something regular going. If any of you are curious, I’m not actually a member of Soja, more like “extended family” as Peter would say. But with their new expansion I think I am going to get more involved with not just the self-defense stuff, but in seeing if I can get my own idea going there as well. We’ll see. I’m feelin’ fresh and ready to be back in Oaktown and lookin’ to get down. For real.
But so the thing I wanted to reflect on happened when, at the end of class as we all mingled and talked, I came over to Rory to shake his hand and tell him he was awesome. And we did one of those “man-hugs” (you know, not the full embrace, just like, handshake-pull-it-into-a-half-chest-touch). And then he said:
“James, when are you going to relax around me?”
And then I was like,
“Huh? Ummm. When I can stop thinking of you as ‘Rory Miller’.”
And he was like,
“You know that’s all ham…”
And what he meant was, in case you never heard that expression, was that whatever image or idea I’ve cultivated in my head about him was all over-exaggerated anyway. And he’s right actually. Rory’s is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning from but he’s just a regular guy too. Except that he’s an old semi-retired wolf also. And that definitely makes him a unique ordinary guy.
That comment really made me think about myself. My social-anxiety. My shyness. How people perceive me vs. how I perceive myself. If I could respond to him again, I would’ve said, “I”ll relax when I feel I’ve found my groove in life, cause right now I’m not even sure I know who I am”. And my stiff formality comes mostly from my insecurities. But also too, I think Rory was just fuckin’ with me and he wasn’t totally serious. But there’s some truth to what he says. I don’t feel totally relaxed into myself. As I’ve blogged previously, I’m dealin’ with a self-dislike/hatred virus and in my quiet moments sometimes I do contemplate suicide.
You know, it’s not just Rory though. I was like that with Grace in Detroit, although she never made a comment like that to me. I guess it just has to do with people I really admire and dig a lot. Or their ideas at least. I just get nervous. I mean, when I’m reading their books I’m talking to them in the margins going like “Hell yeah! Holy crap! This is Awe-some!”. And then I see them in person and I’m just shy. But then you know, you see ’em in person and you see all their farts and flaws and you’re like, “Shit. They’re just people. What was I so excited about?”. But the ideas and the philosophy remains and that’s what draws me.
But whatever being in Seattle did for me, that voice isn’t so strong right now. I just found myself a fairly chill and easy j-o-b recently. I’m gonna check out some training options. And I’m looking to volunteer my time with some “troubled” young people. Plus, like I mentioned, I may be able to work with Soja to get my idea going. Just a small little “karate play group” thing. So, although I’m only gettin paid California minimum wage, I’m fulfilling the bottom portion of Maslow’s hierarchy at least. And yeah, the esteem and self-actualization will come in time. But it needs some time.
All in all, I’ve made the right decision to be back in California. It’s a goddamn gorgeous day today. Yesterday too. Actually all weekend it was awesome. California…not too hot, not too cold, just…chill. Goddamn you gotta love it. And apparently so do 38.8 million others.
But yeah, work, training, volunteer. That’s my holy trinity right now. Gonna see how that works out. Still not sure if I’m gonna cease and desist on this blog or not. I love to reflect. But sometimes there’s just so much stuff that runs through my head that I just don’t even know where to start and I just go cross-eyed and my head falls off.
Oops. There it goes again. Gotta go. Here’s a nice pic: