“They selected and summoned worthy men of talent, in order to prepare themselves for any contingency.” Wu Ch’i c. 400 B.C.
This past Summer a bunch of us spent a few days together with Matt Graham of Graham Combat. As training experiences go, it was quite simply incomparable. If you ever have the chance to train with Matt or his crew, do it. Among those attending were some of our writing team, some friends, some family members and the incomparable (one might even say inimitable) Natalie Cake. She took approximately one gozillion pictures of our time together. Our Chief Wretched Minion in Charge (it takes a certain amount of hubris and suspension of disbelief to ramrod this crew) asked Natalie to put together a pictorial essay that captured as much the spirit of that training as the gestalt of our team.
This is the result. We hope you enjoy a look “behind the curtain”. We can’t wait until this year’s training – there will be even more of us together in one place. It may very well shift the polar axis of the earth.
Life’s too short to have shitty friends and boring comrades. We are blessed that each of ours is a Thousandth Man.
The Thousandth Man
One man in a thousand, Solomon says.
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.
‘Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for ‘ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don’t matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.
You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he’s worth ’em all
Because you can show him your feelings.
His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot – and after!