#21. Child Delivers Letter

 Dear Constable McCluskey,

 I just wanted to thank you for your assistance with that little matter down at the park last week. The situation now appears to be resolved. I am sure it must all seem very silly to you – the two of us filing harassment complaints against each other. Point taken about kids in a sandbox. Fortunately the swords don’t have real edges. I hope this doesn’t wrongly colour your impression of Tai Chi. It is actually an excellent tool for reducing stress and calming the mind. 

(From Ride Backwards on Dragon)

True story. ‘Nuff said. (Although if I were plied with sufficient Hobnobs and Extreme Green, a few more specifics might be forthcoming 😉 )

But on the subject of the meaning of this 21st movement within our Liuhebafa practice, I do have a few thoughts. I am unaware of any alchemical interpretation for the phrase “Child delivers letter”. However, in terms of imagery and intention, this move is an expression of giving, of innocence, of service – even dedication, for the child tries three times to deliver the letter. At a martial level, this “innocent” child is actually warding off a quick succession of three attacks while advancing forward. (Who says those ancient Taoist sages weren’t droll?)

The Chinese phrase for this movement can also be translated as “Student Delivers Book.” And in a way, that is what I have done in distilling my own experience with Liuhebafa into my book Ride Backwards on Dragon, and dedicating the book (“delivering” it, essentially) to my teacher Josh Crossley.

May you be parting clouds,

Kim Goldberg

Text and photos (c) Kim Goldberg

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet and journalist and the author of 7 books. Latest titles: UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact: goldberg@ncf.ca
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