ARN - the lightning struck home

Lenny Zimmermann zimmerml at
Fri Apr 30 12:33:45 PDT 1999

On Friday, April 30, 1999 1:04 PM, daemon strong wrote:
> Being that my shire has no rapier marshall, and few light-fighters,
> and that due to a pregnant wife I cannot travel far, would you
> please assist me in understanding and learning the courtly graces?

Now that is a question not lightly answered. "The Known World Handbook" is a
good place to start, available from the SCA stock clerk. That is always an
excellent and readily available resource with many excellent articles on
almost every aspect of the SCA, including behavior and grace.

You might want to peruse through as there are quite
a few excellent articles about Chivalry. (Note: if you are more comfortable
thinking of the term Knight as referring to "those guys with the sticks" you
may want to reread that word in the texts as Don or Peer, if that helps

Think of virtues. Think of all those things your mother taught you about
being a gentleman or at least about doing the right thing and being a good
person. At the core of that, being kind to others and courteous, always
assuming the best and giving people the benefit of the doubt, these basic
things are the heart and soul of "courtly graces". Be a good person. Be
kind. Be gentle. Be unselfish. Be true to yourself and others. Be brave in
the face of adversity. Be humble and courageously admit when you are wrong,
for there are time when you will be, no matter how hard you try.

If you are these things, if you strive to better yourself and your ideals,
then what matter is it if you receive an award or recognition for it? To be
that knight for your lady and those who care about you and whom you care
about, no matter in how small a way, is what will make you a hero, to
yourself and to them. Then, maybe someday, someone else who is provided with
the means to grant those Awards/Jobs (for often there are many duties that
follow with such rewards) that are recognized by our Society will see that
you already are that thing, be it Don, Knight, Pelican or Laurel. And
perhaps they will wish to bestow the accolade upon you so that you will
carry the sign, and burden, that others may know that there are those out
there who have recognized you for what you are. And that would just be icing
on the cake, for the people you care about most, have already said you are
that thing, that ideal, that wonderful person. Not that it ever stops there,
of course, for to maintain yourself is not to do what you have been doing,
but to recognize our human fallibility and to continue striving to improve

Asking the questions is only the beginning. Getting the answers is only the
first of many steps on a road you may wish to travel. Finding how to best
fit those answers to yourself and your life is what will take you a
lifetime. And hopefully you will continue to become a better person, not
just in the SCA, but throughout your life. Never let anyone tell you that
Chivalry and Honor are dead, for they will never die as long as you keep it
alive in your heart, your mind and in your actions. I wish you the best of
luck and hope that you will know that there are always those who are rooting
for you to find what you seek to the betterment of us all.

Honos Servio,
Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg
(Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio)
zarlor at

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