Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wait and Hope

It's been hard to have a mind turned towards anything except selling this stupid house. So far I've had two lessons this week and in both I've felt like I was stumbling around like a sedated rhino. I've been back and forth on going to the Kickoff this weekend; normally I think of fencing all the time, but it just seems like lately my heart hasn't been in it, hasn't been in anything. But I'm going to beg one more lesson on Friday and then go fight. There aren't many chances to fight only other women and I think it's important to test myself.

Last night I lost to my best sparring partner three times in a row 5-4. I don't often beat him at all, but three times (count 'em) it came to 4-4 and I couldn't pull it off. He is an excellent fencer, but I think I will fall back on blaming my defeats once again on my failure to analyze a bout DURING the bout.

When it comes to the strip, I live in the moment. There is no notion of past or future any more than there is a notion that we ought to stop the fighting and talk things over instead. My husband, who does not understand that his mental acuity far outstrips mine, explains to me rather simply that all you need to do is: Decide what you're going to do, decide what you'll do if that doesn't work, decide what you'll do if it works halfway, decide what you'll do if your opponent attacks first, know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, etc.,etc. Then you're ready for En Guarde.

But once the director calls Fence, I have a terrible time containing any information except for the action which I am executing at that very second. Bringing into play what has happened previously in the bout and what I will do should my execution not result in a touch happen only accidentally, if at all. My hope is that as executions become automated and I don't have to think about them specifically, there will be more room in my head for thinking about their causes and consequences.

Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words,--'Wait and hope'.
Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870), The Count of Monte Cristo

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