O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba taught that in order to achieve control of a situation – or even one’s life – in a spontaneous yet harmonious way, there should be only forward momentum. Aïkido just doe not recognize moving backwards as a suitable course of action. If one needs to go backwards, one is instead to move forward in a circular motion that will lead back where necessary. Granted, that is a subtle distinction. Yet it changes everything.

It also happens to be my excuse for running forward. As in run away, or escape. I would never lower myself to simply run back to where I came from, that is cheap, weak, that is what others do. Instead I hypocritically run forward. Never too long in one place, never too comfortable. But it seems responsibilities only start pilling up when one sits still long enough for them to incrust themselves like mussels on an old hull. So I keep the boat under way.

This time the step forward won’t lead me too far from where I pulled anchor. About ten kilometers to the west, the same number of storeys up, 100,000 people as my new immediate neighbors, and a park and a beach to convince me that I can actually do some real running forward while I escape. But who am I kidding? It’s more of the same. That little step allows me to temporarily avoid dealing with more pressing issues like having itchy feet and dreamy eyes. La fuite en avant s’arrêtera-t-elle un jour? Et où ?

This was written in Vancouver, when I moved from renting a room at an old friend’s house in the suburbs to the Beach Towers, in a downtown area right against English Bay and near Stanley Park. Very happy BC days followed, and I met Marie some six months later…