Being American, I want to walk into a room and flip a switch to turn on the lights. Bright overhead illumination to flood the room and instantly make everything visible.

There is another way to light a room. If you have been to a Catholic Mass at the Easter Vigil, you have seen it. The church is dark. Each person as they enter is given an unlighted candle. A new fire is made. From that fire one candle is lit. The room is no longer completely dark.

Another candle is lit from the first, then another. Those are used to light still more. Each person sharing their light and fire with others who are waiting. Finally, everyone present is holding a lighted candle. Each bit of light and fire contributes to the whole and the church is illuminated.

Learning Aikido is like lighting candles in an infinite room. Always more shadows and always more candles to be lit. Never a time when I can say, "There, I see it all." The most I can say is that the room is no longer completely dark.

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