A letter to a friend

You have a passion for the sword and your passion rubs off on those around you. You start training and others look to you for guidance. If you train well, and you are becoming a decent instructor, you will notice that training others makes you think on your own fencing. You will start seeing the students progress and what is now your club attracts more people. Soon you will realise that the new guy has been with you for three years and he’s getting pretty good. There will be people having cliques in the club, which you are not in. Some will start families in the club. Some will leave because they break up. You will one day realise that you cannot joke with everyone in the club because you are no longer just one of the guys, but an instructor. A leader. You will notice that people go through phases as they progress where they need to attack you at some point. You will see it coming from a mile away and you will teach yourself to wait them out. Because you have become the father figure and you will have to get used to that. You’ll have students with mental issues, students who go through grief, students who are too much into something, students who are quiet, and those who are loud. You will meet those younger than you that you admire. You will wish you were younger when you started. You will understand that by teaching you are being taught. And then after decades you’ll still think that you know nothing. Even so, you just figured out a new thing. And then another thing. At some point you will sit and look at a sword and remember what a sword used to be to you, and you will marvel at what it is now. You will ask yourself a bunch of questions about its use until you know you have to answer them. You will see a deeper meaning that resonates with you because it reveals your weakness.

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