Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Peony Yuki and the Way of Ma

This is the photo of Peony Yuki that has been on my phone since I got my phone. She's really young here but you can already see her wise eyes.

Every animal that comes into my life has something to teach me.

Peony Yuki is powerful medicine, let me tell you, and she is constantly teaching me more.

She is a very affectionate cat and demands that I take the time to hold her, sometimes getting on me before I can grab my phone or a book so that I "have to" just sit with her. And she can sit for a very long time. Nothing distracts her from this activity.  I've never met a cat so...settled.

As she passed her one year birthday, I've noticed her showing signs of some White-Cat-Itis. They tend to be a little more...neurotic than even a typical cat.

Recently, she has started displaying some symptoms of Cat OCD.

This made me pretty sad. She's had a really good childhood, so to speak. She gets a lot of attention and is really well taken care of and adores all her siblings.

But then I realized that this was not about any of that.

The more I take the time to just play with her or hold her or just BE. QUIET. with her, the less she acts out.


Which brought to mind today the idea of MA in Japanese culture. (For a really good overview of the concept, go here.)

MA means negative space.

Things are interesting because of the negative space around them.

Think Japanese art, theatre, dance...all of it seems to be encapsulated in silence, stillness, peace.

There's never "too much."

I find a lot of music lately suffers from "too much-ness."  Too many instruments. Over produced. Too much speed.

In Japanese culture, also think of the tea house and the practice of tea itself.  Every movement is necessary. Nothing is overdone.

This applies too to their sense of time. If you pack too much into the day, there is not transition time to think about what you've done and what you're about to do. (Notice the photo in that article I linked to of office workers taking time for sitting meditation.)

Months ago, I came across this idea of MA and decided it needed to be applied to dance and so I took it into classes.

Now I see that Peony Yuki is asking that I apply it to my whole life.