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Itīs Autumn.The  leaves had started to fall turning into sepia and brown the green Avellaneda park. As I say in my novels, “ Autumn is beautiful in Buenos Aires”. But, I wasnīt able to appreciate that beauty. It  was in the morning.

My upset spirit didnīt match with the armony of the nature .A horrible Summer had passed. Panic attacks causing anguish , they had taken me apart from what It made for me,  my  life pleased : Literature, love, friendship, I had not even interested in the others. There were only a few friend left. Only the fear existed, covering everything, forbiden me to enjoy living. That Sunday morning, at that time, the worst day of the week , the anguish and the lonliness were my only company. They surrounded me up to drown me. I had gone to the park  with no ilusions to know something which could make me feel joyful.

 From there , I saw a group of people who seemed to be doing gym. I came along. I liked the heterogenous composition : young and old ones, women an men. At first, I saw, then I got closer and asked if I could take part of it.

When I was younger, I had seen a dancer and then I had always done gym;

At that moment, It had been six month since I didnīt do anything because I was afraid of going to the club where I practised and talking to my old mates.

Somebody told me yes,I could enter the class ;  I started  to move clumsily but with the inevitable ability that, as “the cell remembers”, gave me  many years of physical exercises. My movement were smal , as if I was annoying the world . A young man , later I know he was one of my teachers, accompanied me and eaplained me, in pair work, what they were doing.

 For me, It was fantastic. At once, I noticed they werenīt competitive people , like the ones I was used to be in the club, there were companionship. That  same day, after the class, a young man, who treated me with sweetness, taught me some exercices, I didnīt know who he was.

As time went by, I consdered him as “my Master”. He was noble, sensitive, and had the authority which comes from who really knows his métier. I learnt, as long as I was learning more , the secret of the armony : in him , the perfection of the movements matched with the beauty of his spirit.

He saw me many times with tears in my eyes, without any will, and distressed because of my deep suffering , he always had the proper word to take me out of it and make me do my best, each day a bit more.

I had to forget bad habits which the Occidental gym had instilled me and replace the anxiety to success with the patience and the satisfation of the everyday achievement.

At the beginning, my movements had been like my own world: small, frightening, ditherer. Little by little, I was gaining trust and amplitude. I moved better. I stopped being inscrutable , I avoided them to know me and started to trust . One day , I made up my mind shily and after the class stayed to have mate .

I loved that meetings but I felt rejected, as if I wasnīt able to understand their codes. It was a part of my illness . But the cordiality of my mates made me take part of the laugh ,  jokes, and then the conversation.

Finally, I felt openly part of the group.

As time went by, my body was improving, and my mind too.I moved with confidence, I laughed naturally and start to forget my tears.

The I chuan Tao have taught me to be in a way where  the most interesting is the continous learning. I īve learnt to see in my mates their comprehensive expression and to value my master  pushing me to  improve

Having goals and persisting on it.

Itīs Autumn again. The sepia leaves cover the paths and the trees keep perennially green. A year has passed since I came along trembling to this group of strangers to whom I didnīt know how to greet,  with that ritual greeting , since they let me  start in that class of odd movements for me.

But it wasnīt only that ; sometimes the grass and the trees were covered by dew  or the sun on Sunday mornings, and Itīs me , again, capable to appreciate and enjoy everything, cold or hot , the rain.

Iīm not afraid . Itīs better to breathe and feel the great pleasure to be alive.


                                                                   Carmen Ortiz

                                                                    I chuan Tao practising

                                                                     May 2002