High drama available here: I believe I'm quitting swords, at least for a while. At one school my swords get lost or break, at another they're never given to me. I'm superstitious about swords, so I'm definitely taking this as a sign that it's time to give up.
This is for the best, anyway. I'm turning 39 this year. Historically, most swordsmen were dead before they ever reached that age, or crippled at the very least, by which we infer that swords come with an age limit. Also, I'm quite old enough to be a grandmother. Go ahead, picture your granny with a sword. Get my point yet?
The only thing I regret is that I have absolutely nothing to show for these nine years. I'm still the clumsy, uncoordinated fool I was when I first set foot in the Jakomäki salle. I advanced once, but it's been downhill for a very long time, all the way down to the bottom. And I don't even have a sword because, you know, they're all either lost, broken or never received. I would have liked to keep at least one for when I'm actually a grandmother, to show little Raimo and Ritva and tell them "This used to be granny's weapon!" And their eyes would shine, and they'd go: "Oh g'wan, pull the other one!" And then I'd take out The Swordsman's Companion and show them my picture, and they'd be all "Wow, granny! You used to be really thin!"
Of course, I do have something to show for it all: friends. For a little while, at least, until they move on with their studies and I move on with home life and work, and we become too different to have anything to say to each other.
You know, right now I really need someone to tell me that it'll be okay, that swords are not the only thing worth having in the world.
I'll probably delete this post tomorrow, swallow my anger and go back. I always go back. I've swallowed too much crap at this point to refuse this load, big though it is. (But if you swallow too much crap, do you turn to crap inside?) (And is it possible to feel too sorry for yourself to keep living?)
EDIT: and then I found this picture.