About five or six years ago in Niagara Falls, I received a Tarot reading from a lover of mine: the first person I ever went to visit on my own. There aren’t many details I remember from the time except for one thing: the majority of the cards that she drew from her deck–a deck that she ultimately gave to me–had a Sword aspect.
We were sitting on my bed and here I was staring at a hand of Swords in front of me. I know we had theories as to what it might mean in the purely open-ended mode of interpretation that you have to use when examining any kind of symbol. And while we agreed on a few things, in the end it was left to me to link things together and make patterns that were–or were not–there.
During or after the time we met, I began watching this anime at the York Anime and Manga Association (or YAMA) called Fate/Stay Night. In this anime was a character named Archer: a heroic spirit who could project and create bladed weapons. He gained these from a Reality Marble: a small pocket-universe that developed inside of him due to his dedication and sheer strength of will. When he fully summoned this place, a sphere of flame, turning cogs, and blades consumed the area that he and his opponent were fighting in. In other words, Archer took his inner world and imposed it on the external for a brief period of time.
In this world I describe, he has access to every mortal bladed weapon–every sword–that he has examined and ever replicated with his magic. He stores them all in there and either uses them one at a time–knowing what its history is, the thoughts of its owners, and even their secret abilities–or he can summon and throw them at his opponent all at once. I really admired this anime character and when I did further research on him … I realized that I related to him a lot more than I thought.
I still think that Archer could have done a lot more than simply imitate weapons and memorize their patterns. I think that, even modifying some of them into arrows, he could have used his knowledge of them to create new weapons entirely: new tools and devices to accomplish his goals. He even admitted that his weapon was his own imagination and we all know that the imagination is limitless.
You see, I make weapons too. I make weapons and tools. And they are my words. I’ve spent years honing them: making prototypes, re-making others, imitating more, and learning from my mistakes. I seek to bury my demons in a torrent of words. I desire to make an Empire out of them: to expand my own little world into this one in the best way that I know how.
For a really long time, I have been a very passive individual on the surface. But after Niagara Falls I decided to stop ignoring my natural aggression, my dominant side, my ambition, and the fierce defiance that I realized I’ve always had inside of me. I think that sometimes the manner in which I honed and sharpened my words and that ferocity I view the world at times–as though to defend my own childhood awkwardness and lack of social skill years ago–has ingrained itself in me so much that I seem aloof to people and perhaps a little intimidating. Perhaps that is why I might seem so combative towards life at times.
I grew into my own. I began to see that I was physically attractive, intelligent, creative, and I build a whole world that I can sometimes share with other people. I was told by a friend that in some ways it made me dangerous, but in other ways she greatly admired what I was becoming: whatever that is. When I look back, “aggression” might be too strong word. Perhaps what I was really looking for, and what I still have to fight for– is “confidence.”
Not too long ago, Cristian Mihai wrote a post called Art and Life: where he talks the fact that while he may have done many things in his life he might have regretted, he never regretted any of his stories. It’s very close to those moments where I think the best thing I have ever done with this life of mine so far is write.
So I keep building my world, every day, one blade at a time: because underneath this inconstant fleshy matter of mine and to quote a fictional character, “I am made of swords.” And even though I know I’m not made of weapons, even though I’ve suffered defeat and pain, I’m going to keep fighting because–in the end–I know I am going to win.
So when you take the “S” away from Swords, that is what I am made of.