Afternoon Snapshot


I wrestled a triplet of hoops from the pile in my room and hightailed it to the park today. I needed to bust out and spin without fear of lamps and plants and scuff marks. I've been indoors too long. My movement craving wasn't being satisfied by yoga and safe indoor activities.

The lunch crowd was thinning as I plopped my bag down on the pavement at the top of the park and gave the fluoro green hoop a try. Within sixty seconds I was stripping off my hoodie and grabbing another hoop. It felt so good to let go.

Hane-san was doing his sets of qi gong and walking. We nodded amicably each time he passed by my station. I worked on kick-ups and level changes. I drilled moves I've been playing with and generally got myself well warmed up in the breezy, blue sky afternoon.

Jack came along after a while and we talked. He's been getting offers of money in the mail. Suspicious stuff. His wife signed him up for a karaoke club so he can keep his mind sharp by learning new songs. I can't imagine his mind ever going dull.

Just as I was beginning to cool down, we agreed to focus on our sports. I moved my gear out of his way so he could swing his practice sword. I hooped lower in the park in a patch of sunshine. Put on some music and let myself dance and match the rhythms with the hoop.

In an unusual move, Jack came down from his practice to compliment me on my strength and grace, so that was the end of hooping for a bit. I think he was bored with kendo today. We assessed the new playground equipment - not as good as the old stuff and more dangerous too boot - then wandered over to test it out.

Earlier a young man had been doing admirable handstands and backflips for a small crowd of kids and moms. When he saw us playing on the rings he came over to chat. He is a 22-year old gymnast, cook, and architect, but I never did get his name. The conversation dynamic was strange. Jack's bilingual, I struggle in Japanese, and the young man speaks no English. It was an awkward triangle at times, but fun getting to know someone new at odd angles.

I eventually excused myself to squeeze in a few more minutes of spinning and they flew by too quickly. I flailed my way through some three hoop splits, danced just a tiny bit more and then reached my mark. I'd set a two hour limit on my excursion and sure enough, the sun was falling behind the buildings and it was getting cold when 3 pm arrived. I said my goodbyes and headed up the hill to home.

I hope its sunny again soon.


Hi -

Just wanted to let you know I really enjoy reading your blog, your observations and all the crafty ideas you post here. I stumbled on this page about a year ago when I was looking for a lobster pattern to make for a Christmas present. I adapted your 'Tasty' pattern (my lobster is red and not furry) and loved it! Keep up the good work.

Sounds like a perfect little afternoon out. Hoop splits?! Awesome.

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