Putting foot in mouth
amazing at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Feb 26 14:23:26 PST 1997
Hi there, Bors. Aquilanne here.
>Back about a year ago my wife asked me a question.
>" What would you do if the SCA no longer existed?" I couldn't answer. And
>not being able to answer this simple question, literally scared the bejebers
>out of me. I realized that the SCA had so ingrained itself into my psychic
that I almost had no where else to go, if the SCA suddenly ceased to exist.
We've never met, mostly because my husband and I really haven't played since
we moved to Ansteorra, but you bring up some interesting observations. Far
from flames, your post deserves thought and consideration. A friend of ours
who is just getting ready to step down from baronial thrones in Loch Salaan
in the principality/incipient kingdom of Artemisia, thinks of the SCA as
something more than simply a club. She believes we contain elements, along
with the recreation/education kind, of performance art, an artistic
channel/outlet, and, above all, a community.
When we moved from Artemisia three and a half years ago, my lord and I had
just stepped down as landed baron and baroness. We had recently been
awarded pelicans, and he had been a knight for some time, as had I been a
laurel. So, we had our share of accolades, had racked up a healthy number
of years to the game, had been blessed with a close community of friends, in
not only our barony, but throughout the principality as well.
Then we moved. We figured we'd be pretty much starting over, though from
not quite scratch, in a new group. What we hadn't counted on was some
unforseen elements of life basically preventing us from playing. The time
settling in, job hunting (for me), getting use to a new geographic locale,
and on top of all this, we adopted a baby after having been here only a few
short months (another very long, wierd story). Tell you what happened to
me. I experienced a pretty bad depression, one that lasted several months.
Some might think it silly to experience depression over not "playing a game"
or not going to "club" meetings. Truth is, no matter what you do--be it
your career, hobby, volunteer work, excercise regime, going to school--you
are involved to one degree or another, in some sort of community. The SCA
is a community for many, if not most, active members. That's one of its
appeals. If you spend any measureable amount of time at all in the SCA, you
experience this community. I believe that in our modern world, where
extended families and neighborhood potlucks seem to have gone the way of the
wind-up victrola, that people will, if given the chance, gravitate towards
some kind of activity that will afford them a community of sorts.
Well, I found out what I would do without the SCA. I joined Big
Brothers/Big Sisters and became a Big Sister. I took up karate, something
I've wanted to do for years, and have been practicing for two years now. I
taught classes for UT's Informal Classes and ACC's Continuing Ed. Program.
I wrote my first grant and got grant funding for an art project that I
completed just this last year and might even get published. I think the
question, "What would you do without the SCA" is a question long-term
players might consider asking themselves now and again. The SCA can be a
tremendous time/energy/creativity drain. I tend to believe I would not have
done the things I've been able to do these last three years had I been
playing at the same level I had been playing before (we have actually made
it to a couple events and a few fighter practices).
The SCA _is_ an educational organization. I have learned so much from my
involvements that I wouldn't know where to begin--historical info, travel
tips, sociological phenomena (I actually got credit for an entire course
when I was in college for a paper I wrote about the SCA), artistic
inspiration and technique enhancement. Shoot, I owe a good amount of my
profession to the SCA. When I first joined, I was a fine arts student who
snubbed her nose at such lowly craft as calligraphy. I was finally talked
into doing a scroll for some event, figured I'd better look at a book so I
would have some idea what this "calligraphy" was supposed to look like, saw
all the pretty pictures, and got hooked. I'm presently doing calligraphy
for a miniseries-related cookbook that should be out sometime in May. Is
the SCA educational? You bet. It can't hardly help but be.
Once again, no flames, absolutely none. It sounds like you had an
opportunity to stop and reassess what was happening with yourself, and this
can only be a good thing. Too many of us get caught in whatever rut we're
in and never again think to peek up over the edge. Thanks to the
opportunity to rattle on. Maybe we'll meet sometime.
still wondering what I'll do when/if I grow up,
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