Conscious Incompetence- Shodan Style

In psychology, they say there are four stages of competence. They rise like this:

1) Unconscious Incompetence, when you suck so bad you don’t even know how bad you suck, 2) Conscious Incompetence, when you know you suck and just exactly how badly, 3) Conscious Competence, when you are good but you really gotta concentrate to succeed, and 4) Unconscious Competence, when you are so good at something you don’t even have to think about it.

I recently reach rank if shodan, first dan, kind of like a black belt in calligraphy. I’m totally stage two incompetent. I now know just how much I have to learn. And it’s a lot.

Till now, every month I used to submit a work that was a direct copy. Now, I have to choose how to write it. No copying. Gotta come from me. I feel like I’ve been taking classical piano lessons for years and then told to just improvise some jazz. Needless to say, I’m feeling very insecure about the following. The only part that looks decent is my name.

It is, of course, another poem. The words in modern Japanese are:




Or, just in hiragana:




The romanized words are:

kimi matsu to

waga koi hiworeba waga yado no

sudare ugokashi aki no kaze fuku

My translation (be gentle, I’m not a translator by trade)

As I wait for you, I long to be with you again, the autumn wind blows the reed doorway of my home


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