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Capital Adventures
July 27th, 2008
03:33 pm
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Curriculum vitae



My life as a succession of borrowed swords:


If I hadn't been in a relationship with Dany, I probably wouldn't have followed him to the iaido dojo, where I was loaned two iaito in succession.  The first was a short reproduction, chromed (yech),  in a blonde wood saya (sheath), ill balanced and never intended for actual use . The second was much nicer, a gift to the dojo from one of the sensei we regularly brought out from Japan. It had faded  purple  tsukamaki (cord binding the hilt) and  menuki (hilt decorations) in the shape of salmon. The gentleman who gave it to us was a keen fisherman.

If I hadn't done a fair amount of iaido, I probably wouldn't have  tried fencing at the university club, where I discovered mostly that I have no talent for fencing. The highlight of my attempts was the scoring of one (1) point at the university games. I was only there 'cause they needed another warm female body to make up the numbers, and the parties were good. I was up against a chick who'd been a national rep for the UK or something like that. I was using borrowed electric gear and was completely intimidated.
She took a step back and left an opening for me to attack into. I was attempting to hide behind my foil at this point - an idea made more ridiculous by the fact that I've never been what you could call slim - and didn't have the foggiest idea what to do about this, except for maintaining distance.  So I stepped forward, and continued to hide behind my foil.  She repeated her maneuver.  So did I.  We did this  two or three times more until she stepped  backwards off the piste! I think this pissed her off a little, because she proceeded to beat the snot out of me.
After about a year it was a question of either buying my own gear, or moving on. I moved on. To aikido.

The aikido dojo had an entire rack of sword-analogues available for borrowing, but at this point, having been-there-done-that with iaido, I wasn't that interested in doing any more Japanese sword work than was strictly necessary. Usually people do this the other way 'round, going from aikido to iaido. I did eventually buy my own rather nice white oak bokken (wooden sword).

Also training in aikido were Susi and Gert, who eventually persuaded me to go to dance lessons with them. No swords involved in salsa - well not that I've encountered. It was good fun with a great bunch of people and I got pretty deeply involved with the club. Every so often the dance club would have a series of lessons in some other style, and it was here I first tried bellydance.
I've since moved to Wellington and joined another bellydance school and now I'm a member of a small performance troupe of  bellydancers. Ten years, give or take, of martial arts and dance have left me with excellent posture and an unusual ability to balance stuff on my head. Now our teacher has  grand plans for a show in August , and I have yet another borrowed sword, a really cheesy piece of music and a sword dance to choreograph.

I wonder what my next borrowed sword will bring.


Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
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(11 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:wcg
Date:July 27th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
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The picture, by itself, is a good composition. With the added information the entire post provides a vignette into things I've seen mentioned, but never put together so completely before.

I'd lend you one of my swords, but the postal issues might prove problematical.
From:siliconshaman
Date:July 27th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
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Funny, I was going to say the same thing here...
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From:dianavilliers
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
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:s/Boston/Leeds

Tries to imagine scenario in which I am in either Boston or Leeds and requiring a sword.

From:siliconshaman
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
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Impromptu sword dance?
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From:dianavilliers
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. Making this many words is a bit of an effort for me so it's nice to know it's appreciated.
If I'm ever in Boston and in need of three-odd feet of steel, I'll look you up.;)

Edited at 2008-07-27 09:09 pm (UTC)
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From:wcg
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
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If you're in Boston I'll be only 450 miles away to the southwest. I'd happily drive up to visit with you, should you get there. Or for that matter pretty much anywhere within a day's drive of Baltimore.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
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I thought you were in Boston for some reason? Anyway, should I ever be in your vicinity I will definitely take you up on that offer.
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From:wcg
Date:July 27th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
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Here's a Google Maps link to my house, where you'll see my roof, my Saturn Ion, and rivka's Toyota Corrola parked out front.


View Larger Map

You should be able to follow that link to a regular Google map that you can use to view the surrounding countryside.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:July 28th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
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You make cyberstalking you far too easy. I seem to recall you saying something about the magnolia in the back yard.
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From:wcg
Date:July 28th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
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Yep! That huge pink thing is the magnolia tree.
From:siliconshaman
Date:July 27th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
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Excellent photo, but moreover fascinating story to go with it... it's certainly one of the more interesting 'this is the story behind this picture' things I've heard.
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