Good unwind weekend. Talk, swing swords at each other, mix it up unarmed a little, talk some more. Got some of my internal assumptions identified and challenged. And all bleeding (on my end) was minimal. Someday I will learn that no matter how much fun I am having, I tend to bit my tongue when I'm smiling and get clipped. But it's hard to imagine brawling without smiling.
Later, K said, "That's a good group. I haven't seen people who can play at that level that safely in years. I might even play next time." That would be cool. She moved away from this kind of play when the injuries started stacking up.
At the same time, I don't think anyone else would look at this group and think, "Safe." But it is. Everyone involved, whether because they play with swords or because it was a professional requirement, needed to be utterly precise and controlled. Almost everyone in that room had hurt people, hurt them badly... but not by accident.
There's a friend I haven't seen in years. Barry is one of the knife gods. Fast, ruthless, skilled. And it is absurdly simple to defend yourself from this very dangerous man: don't threaten his family. That's all. Like most dangerous good guys he is very, very dangerous in certain ways and to certain people and under certain circumstances. And outside of those circumstances, you are safer if he is around.
This was a room full of this group. And it was fun. Maija is working on a manuscript on deception in dueling. She demonstrated some and more and more I love the way her mind works. R is a blast. I love playing with someone big, strong, skilled and ruthless. And with the control and trust to not hurt each other (or my gimpy knee, got the 'good' knee popped sideways a few weeks ago. MRI this morning, no results yet.) Ivy likes playing just to play. I think E rarely likes to just play. We have in the past and it's fun but one of the elements of play is that it has to last a lot longer than you would let anything real last and E recognizes that as a bad habit. So do I, but it's still fun. Even when I bite my tongue.
Physical part, good. But the talks were huge. And not just with players but with spouses. It is eerie how well our wives know and understand us. And to be in a group where you can share some of the things that bubble up without people flinching, where you don't have to constantly navigate the minefields in other people's heads. That's comforting. It makes a place feel like home, or like the quiet of the desert. My happy place.
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