This is an amusing anecdote from my friend and student, Sarah. She has the uncanny knack for attracting people on subways... Enjoy!
"I'm not sure exactly why, but people on the subway always come talk to me (or do other things at me... but that's not what this note is about). I suppose I generally look pleasant and approachable, and I have this really bad habit of looking at people directly in the face. In any case, I wasn't terribly surprised when on my way home from sword class last night, a guy sat down next to me and struck up a conversation.
"I know this is going to sound really strange if it isn't the case, but... is that a Katana in that bag??" he asked.
"Well... no, technically it's an Iato, a practice sword..."
*inhales sharply* "Oh my god. YOU STUDY."
"I just started," I said. "I'm actually just coming from class."
"Okay. I swear, I SWEAR I'm not hitting on you. I'm REALLY NOT. I have a girlfriend, I love her, I'M NOT HITTING ON YOU. But, THIS is the sexiest thing I've ever seen. I really hope that there is somebody that appreciates just how AMAZING all of this is." *he makes a sweeping motion toward me*
I blushed and thanked him and reiterated that I have just begun studying and that I'm not very good... but, that he had made my night.
"No," he said "you made MY night." And then he got off of the train.
If I haven't mentioned it before now, I love my sword. Though, should I be worried that I'm still approachable enough for someone to come talk to me on the train when they think I'm armed (and actually am armed)???
OH!!! Come take sword class with me! First class is free, and it's $15/class after that! Thursday nights @ 6pm on 33rd between Madison and Park! I can guarantee the presence of at least two very attractive women with swords... if you're in to that sort of thing. :-)"
So there you go. I loved this story because I remember what it felt like the first time I held my practice sword. I had always liked swords, and have, through various times in my life, had a impressive if not alarming array of historical blades, wall-hangers, and other sword and dagger-like accessories. But nothing ever felt like receiving my first practice sword. This was MY sword, and it was the sword I was starting a journey with. It was my traveling companion, my comrade, my peer. It's a feeling unlike any other. I hope you will have the opportunity to experience it!