Tuesday, May 30, 2006

s t r e n g t h

As part of her graduation gift, I bought for my sister a small polished riverstone which had the word "Strength" carved into it. I thought this a fitting wish and sentiment for someone just beginning in a new world. But if one could be anointed with such a ballast by the bestowing of so small a gift, then for myself I would buy a dozen and line my pockets with them.

Strength and I are strangers; that is, a strength of mind: I have all my life sought to make up for my lack of mental strength with that of the physical realm. Long hard labor is not a problem, having a disagreement can be debilitating. If my partner and I have an argument I am always the one to give in first, preferring resignation to tumult no matter where I feel the fault might lie. Where this overarching weakness intersects with fencing is...well, everywhere. If I fall behind, if my opponent has unconventional attacks, if for any reason I become uncertain, I lose all confidence; I am quickly steered to the depths of self-doubt by my opponent. Efforts to gain control of my own mind are as successful (but persistent) as a bulldog facing off against Godzilla.

Here she goes again with the 'woe is me' palaver

Strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians xii.

Can I then, baptized by my own fire, come out on the other side stronger than I would have if I had been gifted with a normal allotment of self-confidence? Well, that's what it says in the Bible, and who am I to argue?

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