Existential Angst

I am not sure if I exist anymore. Fencing Bear, that is. There is someone called Rachel who is out there in the Real World, living, breathing, teaching, sometimes even fencing, but she doesn't seem to have anything to say to me anymore. Or through me.

Where did she go? Where did I go? I used to have so much to say. Looking back over my posts from these past three years, I had so many ideas, so much to share. But, now, nothing, nothing to say, nothing to share.

Maybe I'm just tired. Three years is a fair old time to be writing about one's spiritual struggles; it's hard to sustain so much intimacy, so much openness. But there are things that I want to be writing about, I'm just afraid.

Afraid. Afraid. Afraid. Of being misunderstood, yet again. Of not being listened to. Of not being taken seriously. Of being taken too seriously. Of not being able to help. Of needing help, still, even after so much therapy. Of being broken. Of losing faith. Of having faith. Of loving too much. Or too little.

I spent this past weekend at a fencing camp and I learned so much that I would like to share. About how to plan before getting onto the strip. About how to identify what's going wrong and think about it. About the balance in fencing between the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being. But you were tired when I got home and didn't want to listen. Would you listen now?

I'm trying not to be angry, but I am. Angry that for everything I have written, it doesn't seem to make any difference to how I feel. No, that's wrong. It has made a huge difference--look, I got a medal last year! But you are so hard to impress. You want publications. You want external validation. You want fame.

At least, I thought you did. Now, I'm not sure what you want anymore. I wanted a house. I wanted promotion. I wanted to write a book that would make a difference in people's lives, somehow. Give them pleasure or hope or reassurance or insight. Save God from the atheists. Save religion from the spiritualists. Save the world from itself and its evils.

I know, who am I to imagine that I could make a difference? That I could make something worth saving? The Great Wannabe, that's me. I wannabe beautiful. I wannabe an artist. I wannabe anybody other than boring old me who can't write to save her life, never mind the world. Or even a small part of it, like, say, the study of medieval Christianity.

No, this isn't me, not the real me. Not Fencing Bear, the Sword of God. Not Fencing Bear, the Champion of the Holy Spirit and Defender of the Trinity. Not Fencing Bear, Lover of the Virgin Mary and Beloved of her Son. But I don't know what has happened to her and I can't seem to find her anymore.


  1. Urgh... It was hard (emotionally) to read your post as I am currently struggling with a few similar gloomy thoughts. I just wanted to say I recently came across a quote by Saint Augustine, which said that happiness is when you keep desiring what you already have. It made me ponder on my own situation and sure enough, there are things I do not have I would really want to, like a real job, a slender body or a partner who would love me - so I guess I qualify as unhappy, on an Augustinian level anyway. But then, I also looked around me for things I would keep on desiring, like my friends, my kitties, the peacefulness I have achieved in the relationship with my father... I guess I used to view happiness as some kind of package, but maybe it is more like building blocks? (Or Happiness Loading... 46%) I am not sure, but it is something I have been thinking about. Then I thought about your post on what you learned in decluttering your apartment, and the one that struck me most was the last one, that you loved your husband. When I read that, I envied you so much. What a blessing! As if in getting rid of a useless building block (clutter) you had found again a more solid and beautiful one, among many others.

    One day, I was attending a group session at SPR, and we were asked how we thought we made a difference as Christians. I was really surprised when someone said he wanted to be a hero (Super Christian with a clingy blue bodysuit?), do something grand to rock the world. When I said I thought I made a difference on a daily basis, with a smile or an encouragement to a student, this person must have thought I had very little ambition! But then, I do believe it is the little things that count. So maybe Fencing Bear is not a super-hero with a clingy bodysuit and super-powers, but she does make a difference one building block at a time and touching lives, maybe without realizing it.


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