SL373331Just 4 months left in my time here in Wudang. We use the word graduation to refer to September 1st of this year for lack of a better word, but in some ways it is appropriate. Like every graduation I have experienced so far, these months leading up are full of all kinds of things: trying to cram every last bit of training in to get the most possible out of the time, getting ready emotionally to say goodbye to what has been my home for the last five years, trying to imagine what the future holds after graduation and be ready for it, and also tending to all the little logistical trivialities that actually seem to make up most of life.

One that looms large in my mind is the task of sorting out my belongings here in Wudang. Hopefully 80% or more can just be thrown away or given away. A lot of my training clothes fall into that category, as do the collection of tools I have assembled to serve my little craft projects. My cooking supplies will be distributed to people who will stay here and appreciate them. I have a lot of home-made pickles that I have made that need to be eaten or otherwise disposed of in the next 4 months. Some of my calligraphy and art stuff needs to come home with me, as do some of my books. I also need to acquire more training clothes while I have good access to the tailors here who make our uniforms.

All that stuff needs to be sorted, and the bits that will come home with me fit into bags and luggage, or boxes to be shipped home. And certainly the most tricky of things that I need to get home will be my training weapons. They are long and bulky and heavy, and some of them are not permitted on board trains here in China, which makes moving around the country with them tricky or expensive. So I think I will have to wrap them up as snugly as I can and put my faith in the Chinese postal service to get them to me back in the US.

Getting these practice weapons back to the US has become sort of symbolic in my mind of the whole process of leaving China, so that I can hardly pick up a sword without weighing it in my hand to think what it will cost to ship it home, and weighing it in my heart to think what it would cost to leave it behind. But there is still much to be done with them before they go in a box, so I try not to dwell on it too much until the appropriate time arrives.