I’ve practiced aikido for the past eleven years, mostly here in Burlington, Vermont at Aikido of Champlain Valley. Along with my evolution as an aikidoka has walked the evolution of my identity as a photographer. An incredibly difficult and subtle martial art to learn, aikido is equally hard to capture on camera. My photos are rarely satisfying – lacking in the dynamic, poetic, beauty that is aikido. Yet the other morning, the day after completing my masters thesis, feeling utterly drained and exhausted, I stuck around for our “Mini-Matsuri” demo to take photos as promised. Sensei had turned the lights off, the artist in him, wanting to capture the beauty of the diffused light of the overcast day pouring in through the windows of our dojo. For lack of better options, I found myself across from the windows where the taiko drums were piled up, Ed perched next to them taking video. And in my exhausted state, I was able to let go of my brain and get lost in the clarity and the grain, the dark and light, and the place between movement and stillness that is aikido.