Following Zarka’s excellent journal entry on the meaning of her fencing symbol, I’ve decided to explore the meaning of my own more deeply. I’ve always had a basic idea of what it represented – after all, I had to make it – but not a very thorough one. Moreover, this week’s Winter Warrior Challenge is to acquaint one’s self with his or her Rose. To that end, the purpose of this journal entry is to flush out exactly what my symbol and Rose represent and share it with all of you for our mutual benefit.
I first thought about my symbol back in 2018 when Evanlyn and I were floating the idea of creating my own garb. I’m a simplistic kind of person; I don’t like complicated or inefficient, and I wanted my garb to reflect that. It should be clean and easy on the eyes. At the same time, I’m an especially deep person. I tend to think deeply (sometimes too deeply – curse you, anxiety) about my life. My garb should be personal and meaningful. When I wear it, I want to feel stronger. I want others to look at it and know who wears it. These thoughts ultimately led to the development of my symbol, which you see over my heart on my garb:
The four levels of importance have meant a lot to me since I joined the group. They’re simple but meaningful, so you might imagine that I feel a connection to them. Upholding the four levels of importance is truly the best way to get the most out of your fencing experience. Once I took them to heart and focused on being safe, honorable, keeping a good attitude, and heightening my skill, in that order, fencing transitioned from being a weekend hobby to a personal journey. As I was safe, I was honorable. As I was honorable, keeping a good attitude became easier. As I kept a good attitude, I found myself more open to learning opportunities and gained a thirst for skill. The four levels of importance define my fencing journey, and the four stripes of my symbol represent that.
Upholding the four levels of importance isn’t always easy, though. No matter how strictly I follow them, sometimes I just have a bad day. Sometimes my skill isn’t there. Sometimes I can’t defeat Kane with case while he’s keeping his offhand in his pocket… That’s where the Lion comes in. The Lion represents courage and strength, among other things. In this case, the Lion represents courage and strength to uphold the four levels of importance during the most difficult times. When all else fails, the Lion reminds me to stay strong and rely on all four levels of importance to move forward.
My Rose is an extension of my symbol. While you might only feel the need to think about the four levels of importance at fencing, they can be so much more. Over the course of my fencing journey, I’ve found that the four levels of importance can be applied to almost any situation or aspect of life. Take driving, for example. You can be safe by slowing down and watching for pedestrians; you can be honorable by stopping at the stop sign that no one happens to be watching; you can have a good attitude by letting someone else’s bad driving roll off your back; you can be skillful by knowing that shortcut that gets you around heavy traffic. The applications of the four levels of importance are truly endless. When I fight for my Rose, I fight for safety, honor, attitude, and skill in every aspect of my life.
I hope this short journal entry has been beneficial to you and given you some things to think about as we start the new season. Your symbol and Rose can be a powerful tool to make a real difference in your fencing journey, and I would encourage you to think about them. If you already have a symbol and Rose meaning, give them some extra thought this week. If you don’t, think about what yours might represent and how they can be most meaningful to you. I’m looking forward to another fantastic season with you all. See you Friday!