During her first Japanese tea ceremony Sachiko Knappman prepared tea and served it to her guest when Sachiko herself was ready. After much rigorous training, Sachiko realized that the person drinking the tea also needed to be ready and open to receive. The practice of Chado or tea ceremony took observation, timing, sensitivity and grace — all of which she learned later. Usually this Japanese ritual which is centuries old, involves the guest, who observes the performance of the preparation and presentation of the tea, then eats traditional Japanese confections to enhance the taste of tea. After consuming the sweets the guest drinks green tea in a formalized manner. The untrained person makes the tea according to her own schedule, but [...]
Dawn isn’t my usual hour to train in Aikido but I wanted to run through my 4th kyu test from start to finish so I tumbled myself out of bed and drove to the dojo (training hall). A couple of black belts volunteer to train anyone who wants to work on specific throws, techniques or to train for tests. I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning, but I roused myself because I wanted the practice so I could have some semblance of comfort…which turned out to be a pipe dream. Half way through the first practice run one of the black belts said sternly, “You need to remember two things for your test. Don’t talk. And even if [...]
The second I chucked my Jimmy Choo shoes in favor of flats I read about Stiletto Spy School for Women. Power has always been an aphrodisiac — for men. But when a woman is called powerful it’s often code Bitch. Combining sexiness with power creates the potent combustion of a femme fatale, a woman who is feared and desired. Men may even delight being controlled by her while conspiring to take her down. Think Angelina Jolie in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith and the current film Salt. Of course, unlike most of us, Angelina Jolie, is sexy in sneakers.