tai chi

Chi Gung

we stand still, legs apart, feet forward,
hands held up, palms inward,
and we breathe as if we are mountains,
we breathe as if we are geological

skin swollen and mind pushed out to the walls
fingers the size of trees and legs of black iron
legs like sea volcanos growing and steaming
we are the continent of ourselves

with our eyes closed we become the room
we push into each other's space and breathe each other
we don't think of it as strange
we don't suffocate or panic or cry

and if our arms burn or our legs shake
we don't feel sorry for ourselves
we don't wonder why we are here
isn't it strange that we don't wonder

Tyrannosaurus Rex

      In a return to the kind of dreams I used to have all the time when I was younger, my family and I were being chased all around a gigantic house and garden by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. I don't know where it came from. It started off quite small, but soon it was huge, slavering and thunderous, like something out of Jurassic Park. It ate my dad, who for some reason was a total stranger to me, so I wasn't as upset as I should have been when I saw his head and upper body disappear into the monster's jaws. I was trying to find Lindsay to make sure she was safe, but then the Tyrannosaur came after me. For a long time I was able to elude it, hiding under beds and behind doors while it stalked heavily through the doorways of ballroom-sized bedrooms.

      Eventually, though, it found me under one of the beds, and started roaring and trying to push its jaws under the bed. I cowered all the way back against the wall, and it couldn't seem to move the bed, but then it started shrinking again. Its jaws became smaller and smaller, and it wouldn't be long before it was small enough to fit underneath and come to get me. I decided I preferred a cliffhanger ending to getting eaten, so I left the dream.

      I was 'pushing hands' with a small Chinese girl who was expert in Tai Chi. Even though I'd never done it before, I found it came naturally - all you have to do is follow the natural flow of energy in your body, the way your arms want to move along the path of least resistance, the way you can feel someone else's flow and spiral around it with your own.

      I got too excited once, and used too much strength. She frowned at me, and I said "Sorry," because I knew that I was there to learn about energy, not to demonstrate how much stronger I was than her. We pushed hands together for a while longer, and then the lesson was finished, and so was the dream.