I took a sociology class in high school. Looking back on it, it was more like an anthropology class because we studied different regions and their customs/religions.
It was in this class my love of all things Eastern was solidified. I have a strange and passionate love of Eastern cultures…all of them. I love their food. I love their exotic landscapes. I love their ideologies. I don’t know why. I’ve oft said we need a word for a lover of Eastern things like anglophile or Francophile. I guess the region is too big and diverse to sum up so succinctly.
Anyway, one of the things we studied was Tai Chi. And for my final project I found possibly the only Chinese american in New Orleans who was a master Tai Chi instructor and brought him to class. Shout out to my best friend at the time Liz who was 1st generation Chinese American and her parents who led me to him.
The ‘tricks’ he showed us like when he moved his hands around one of ours in a square and all of a sudden you could feel the heat or energy bouncing around your hand. Or when with a flat palm and what looked like a gentle touch that diminutive man launched one of my football player classmates (who’d volunteered) halfway across the room. Try doing that now in school. I’m kidding don’t. Unless you’re looking to get sued.
All of it was done with such grace and humility something that seems to be a threaded truth to all of the countries in that region. So was born my life’s interest in these ideas. I’ve read all the surface level books like The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a bible of mine for years. The Art of War. Tao Te Ching. And many others. I did my thesis on Buddhism. I practice TaeKwonDo, Muay Thai and Krav Maga (disclaimer: I know that’s middle eastern, but I kinda love that region too).
So you see I have a thing for the Eastern ways and people. Maybe I’ve romanticized the idea of these cultures but I don’t care.
I am a romantic after all. In case you haven’t read any of my books.