by Sarah Luna

I’ve been home for five days, and I’m already restless. It has rained nonstop since I’ve been home (so no half-marathon training yet), and today I didn’t even leave the house.

Instead, I cleaned the living room. I took photographs. I changed the setting in the dining room. I gave Simon a bath. I played three games of chess with my brother (and lost each one). I made my Honey Orange Chicken recipe for dinner and cleaned up after. And I read about 200 pages of my new book…

Much of the book I’m reading takes place in Korea. So when the author mentioned the mountain Keumgang, just like what happened with the Student Creed, the memory of Tae Kwon Do flickered and then burned brightly in my mind. The required form for a 2nd degree black belt is named in honor of this mountain. It requires strength, balance, and a certain gravity of motion. It is a very mature expression of power and has a solemn beauty.

The Korean people have named the most beautiful mountain in the Korean peninsula Kuemgang-san which is located in the Taebaek range of mountain, call diamond the hardest known substance, Keumgang-seok. Accordingly, ‘Keumgang’ in Taekwondo means movement based on spiritual strength that is as beautiful and majestic as the Diamond Mountains and hard and adamant as the diamond. [/source]

(Taebaek is the 3rd degree form and is a foil to Keumgang emphasizing a more ethereal strength.)

I was restless before contemplating my forms. I was waiting for things to happen even though my weeks away from Ithaca are supposed to be a time of rest. But now I’m going through Keumgang in my head (I’d wake everyone up if I did it with my body), and I feel calmer. What better way to contemplate calm and patience than by meditating on a mountain form?

I’m not very good at doing nothing nor at patiently waiting, but something (in my life? in the world?) worth waiting for is about to happen.