There’s Only This

Three essays about living in the moment.

周六在政治大學上合氣道,有做名為後兩手取腕㧕的技法。此技法是對手從後方抓手脖時將他帶到前方、通過一肢手向下壓制 。再練習當中,先輩問我:
我點點頭 。然後試試將他帶到前方後,不推而讓他靠近我身体之處將他指導下去。此時做得好。


Saturday evening Kizomba class
The lead teacher is a Brazilian woman with skin the color of a milky café latte and big bright eyes. She shakes my hand, in greeting, and as we exchange names she continues to hold my hand, and maintains eye contact. I feel connected, and the rest of the room falls away, and I feel as if the rest of the room has fallen away for her, too. It feels completely natural, but not sexual. It was like sharing a glass of water with a friend on a hot day.

When we break contact, she becomes teacher again, and I assume my role as student. I feel a deep admiration, and wonder if I will ever be able to make people feel as comfortable.

During one set, she sees that we are uncomfortable with each other. Many of us are meeting each other for the first time, and kizomba is a dance done in close proximity. “Ok,” she says kindly, “hug it out. I want you to hug each other, get it all out. Connect with your partner.” She leaves a moment of silence, and then continues with teaching us another move sequence.

There is a male instructor. I ask him a question about leading a move called the Estrella. He shows me by facing the same direction as me and connecting his right hip with my left hip, and he counts beats and moves. I move with him, and instantly understand.

After the kizomba class, I go with B, O, and K to a salsa party, B (who is Taiwanese) said of a Taiwanese instructor that he was the “best Taiwanese instructor, excluding foreigners,” because she said “there is something the foreign teachers have that Taiwanese teachers don’t have.”

I think I know what it is – I felt it in the way the female teacher made time stop a little for self-introductions by holding onto my hand a little longer. I felt it in the way the male teacher took me through the timing for the Estrella without using any words to explain. I think it is in the way Brazilian or other Latin American people are so comfortable with touch. They use it just as fluently as they use words to talk. Americans feel like they need to talk to stay connected. Japanese people feel like they need to maintain a respectful distance. Taiwanese people use touch a little bit more, but Latin American people are carrying on entire conversations with touch. I felt a little homesick for a place I’ve never been.

踊ってない女性に聞いた 「オンツーでしょう?」


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