“Đi về đâu cũng là thế

Buồn kia còn trong dáng ngồi

…quên được không những điều đã bao giờ qua

…quên được không những điều đã chưa bao giờ”* 

I was on my way to my Taiji class when I was riding my bike home. A taste of freedom hinted by that aloneness that occupied my entire college career. I thought of my sifu, my fellow student martial artists – I have just left the door of my Aikido dojo.

Not that anything particular happened in class today. But that I was on the bike exploring the paths I never really went by myself in such a late night. I was almost always by myself in the late night. I haven’t, however, since I returned home and until today.

I was a bit sentimental. I am a bit sentimental.

It was because of taiji I always stayed out late. And so the words of my sifu kept pouring into my void: the turns and twists of life – I hope you will find other teachers who would guide you through those twists and turns of life.

Sifu, I just wish that I could stay a bit longer. A bit longer. Only a bit longer.

Sifu, a part of me never willing to go find another teacher to learn more about taiji – our metaphor of life. I guess that’s why I stay after stumbling in a dojo and continue to find another dojo. I feel more relaxed being around people who don’t do taiji but also share our principles.

I feel content practicing taiji by myself now – finding myself in the movements we practiced every Monday, every Wednesday, every Friday.

Sifu, today I am very sentimental. Because I finally know I can’t hold on to the past. That life goes on. That I have to move on.

Sifu, I still hate that I cannot stay in class another longer. I still hate myself I didn’t live more heartily, be more open when I still had you and everyone else around. I still hate that I cannot continue counting on the reasons to go back. Hate that I might be too late when I actually can…

Hate that I still get stuck in the flows of life.

Hate that I can’t let go.

Hate that I still hold on.

Sifu… now my taiji and aikido have met – yet I still don’t understand life.

I still don’t understand life.

still don’t understand life…

*Chưa bao giờ is a song about what hasn’t happened composed by Việt Anh.


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