Thursday, March 05, 2009

On engagement

No not that sort of engagement mother, please take off that ridiculous hat!

I've recently been fencing quite a bit. Fencing is really quite a strange thing i suppose. Mostly, on account of having a sword but simultaneously wearing enough protective clothing that a duel results in only minor bruising (in my case, perhaps not others'). You have to 'want' to hurt the other person enough to attack them or at least make them believe you will, but simultaneously you are safe in the knowledge that you really can't.

One principle that I've learnt over recent weeks is that of engagement. This refers to the 'the point at which the fencers are close enough to join blades, and have met one another in an encouter of sufficient proximity that makes an effective attack possible'. At this point, with blades touching, each can feel the others movements, and their motives. One may feel a confident and certain pressure, aiming to push your weapon away, but equally they too may feel the gentle submission of your blade that will allow their force to push his advance wide.

To engage is to propose an attack, not to make one and not defend against one. They say nothing in particular and acheive nothing towards victory or defeat. The provide only possibility. Possibilities are a wonderful. Even the possibility of being attacked (with or without a sword). Perhaps this is why I wish to be endlessly engaged and hope for nothing more than to be engaging perhaps once or twice in this lifetime.

And now... for balloons! Beautiful balloons! (more on this later)

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