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The Journal of Trisha De Gracia

Patience
12/05/2008 07:42 a.m.
I can't really explain it, but I think taekwondo is, other than writing, the closest thing I have to God. The blank page and the empty, mirrored room are like altars. They are both waiting to be filled, one with thoughts, one with deeds. When you do each enough, it's like they reverse. What started as thoughts, you realize have become a kind of action, a kind of motion. What started as deeds and motions are really just physical manifestations of thoughts. Except neither is on purpose. The ideas on the page are akin to the whole of my mind pressed through the pinhole of language, one letter, one word, one phrase as a time. A serial stream of idea after idea, like bricks coming together one by one to make a wall. In the same way, all the things that my body can do are focused into the action at hand, the watching of an opponent and the feel without seeing of where each limb and joint reside. Your mind has to be there, in that space, and no where else. You think with your muscles, your head is clear. You are not actively trying not to think. And you're not not thinking. You are just being. You just are, and your body just does, and all the while you are paying attention. Same with this stream of thoughts. I am not editing. I am not backspacing and I am not pausing to make sure that when you read it it has flair or style. I just am. These words just are. This is where I find my tao. These places are where I find the closest thing I've ever felt to the thing that people with easy faith call God. I envy them. I find that I find the most repose, the most centre, the most calm in the middle of these things. When life gets too hectic, or too off the path, these are the places I go and the things I like to do.

I hope surgery becomes this. This is what I aim to make surgery into when I am a doctor. The flow. The focus. The unhurried "zone" that athletes know, where every instant is pregnant with the thousands of things you could mold it into. You have so much time its like there is no time at all while the ball speeds at you and you catch it with perfect form. I will be the hand that holds the knife I am. There is no stress here. No worry. No anxiety. Just do. Even when things go wrong, you know, you know where to leap and you know what action you must execute to save a life and you do it with perfection, a guided hand. I want an exciting job that I can sink into like that. That I can become.

The more I explore it, the more I realize the world turns much smoother on the wheels of relaxed readiness. Not tension, but poise. A coiled spring. I need to cultivate more patience.

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