Morning. I open the wall cabinet hanging in my room, a cabinet that was my first big undertaking. A wave of a fresh lemony smell, Port Orford Cedar. I open a drawer, sweet and pungent Olive… And with the smell a deep nostalgie. A time of devotion. Forest and ocean. A master and his family, fellow students on the path. Full days that are exhilarating and draining. Intriguing wealth of knowledge. Excitement and success mixed with fear and despair. Hands looking for their right position and starting out as a child again, to eventually, finally, taste mastery.
Inside Passage will change you. For better or worse, that’s up to you. Everything is given - the wood, the experience, the huge heart. Close your heart and it will be your adversary, will manifest your unravelled knots, disappoint, and will worry you and those around you. Open and it will carry you, will be an anchor to rely on, a wonder and a delight, and so you will become a better version of yourself. You will get a chance to love.
It’s not going to be easy. Yet it is the easiest thing to do. It will kick your ass, and it will hug you and be a home. It’s real. Accept the challenge, listen, be humble and try your best. You will fall, because you’re human. You can get up - everything is available here for you to do so, even if it’s not perfect, as you aren’t. Before you know it you will have an arsenal of tools, techniques and approaches that are rare, that take folks decades to figure out, if at all. That’s what it feels like to be part of a tradition, a belonging that can run through your emotion as much as it does through your mind and hands.
I don’t know what I would have been without Inside Passage. I know that it has shaped me further than I can explain, and I gave it what I could. I walk in the world as a different man. For that, all I feel is gratitude.