May 2020

“You start when you start.”

Those are the words of my sensei, Harvey Konigsberg, 7th dan Shihan, when potential aikido students think they’re too old to begin learning this martial art. Those of us who have been practicing for a long time remember the first time we stepped onto the mat.

It’s with this same attitude that I begin this blog. I’ve never considered myself a writer, but I’ve been told that I write well (my previous job required it). And, for some reason, I’ve felt compelled, pulled into, in fact, to transfer my thoughts to paper— I’m stepping onto the mat!

I moved to Beacon from Woodstock on March 2 of this year. The reason for doing so is to be a little closer to NYC and my oldest sister, and to live in a town that’s a little more lively than Woodstock. The first two weeks were great! I went to Denning’s Point Distillery with a friend to listen to her husband’s band play, met a new friend on the street, went to the Yankee Clipper Diner with my sister and brother-in-law, took a hike up Mt. Beacon with a friend from Cold Spring. . .

And then Covid-19 hit.

The corona virus has put us in an unusual and precarious situation. Americans have been told to lock down, stay home, wear a mask, keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others. Without our permission, a little virus has wreaked havoc and in too many cases caused death, forcing us to go against our human nature to gather and socialize. For those of us who live alone, without companionship, even of the four-legged kind, it has been a challenge. I crave human touch, hugs, kisses. Heck, just being able to stand close to another person would be wonderful!

So, how do I deal with this new way of living? The same way I approach every new challenge and adventure —by stepping onto the mat.

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