[Bards] Speaking of Dreams and Dreaming

Baron Wylfred of Morganvayle bonz6x at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 20 13:03:33 PDT 2008

  Get out of my head... LoL!
  If I had the ability to collect my thoughts as well as you collected and penned yours...  would probably be a Puletzer (sp?) Prize winner... of course I would rather win Publishers Clearing House Prize... anyways.
  One section of what you worte seemed to ring especially true for me... 
  @@ "The only way to change things, is to get out and do things, and make them fun. This requires time, energy, money, and space. Right now, I don't have much of any of those things, so I do what I can, when I can, and think I've just gotten too old to know to play. The effort to play is not light, and when no one else wants to play along, the disappointment is crushing." @@

  I actually have a tons of space to do things (acres of perfect SCA event territory)... but, it is no fun to "play alone in the sandbox"... I live WAY out in the boonies, pretty near no one... closest Canton group is over 50 miles away in Denton area. Truth is, with gas prices the way they are... and trying my best to keep my head above water in the mundane world... the spare dollars to actually GO do stuff and get there is limited, if not non existant... (THAT frickin sux)... argh! 
  I myself who have played music since 1967, was never actually KNOWN as a Bard per se in Trimaris even though I did win a competition, for singing and playing  my semi-period sounding version of (Andy Stewart's) The Lass of Glen Shee, and was named Masque Laureate and inducted into the Order of Bards Laureate, Trimaris... Who woulda thunk it! LOL
   Atlantia, the East are also places where I have resided in the past and PLAYED... Now my claim to fame (or lack of) was being a brain-dead stick-jock... who drank a lot at the parties. Now that I am here for the last two years in Ansteorra, and 54 y/o and BEAT UP at that, after 20 years of taking a beating in a HW suit... 10 concussions, 9 broken ribs, two broken hands and LORD KNOWS how many bruises, hematomas and stitches later (which NEVER went on a Chirgeons Report) ... I am not really up for more beat downs. SO what do I do? My identity within the Dream (fighter) and the reasons I played all these years (fighting) has sort of evaporated. LOL! And... I am not sure how to go about making the playing of SCA fun anymore... I suppose I am having that Mid-Persona Life Crisis... LOL!

  Anyways... I am not sure what I said here, or why I said it... but, whate'er it was, it was something that just came out from down inside... frustration? Questioning? Verification that I am old and tired and crochety, deranged/dellusional... and maybe even lazy... definitely poor... HAHAH! OH well... thanx for putting up with the rambling blabbering on this list...
  SO OK... ONE THING I may be able to contribute.
  Space for a centralized Bardic Event. I am smack dabb pretty much in the sort of middle of the Kingdom... on the Red River, Gainesville TX 76240... bout 12 miles east of I-35 just north of hwy 82. Enough acres of open areas, shaded wooded areas, and decent camping areas... a place for a big bonfire (plenty of firewood to be gathered). *@@* >>> An inground 18x36FT swimming pool, a 4 people hot tub,  42x 30 x 14 foot high metal building (in case it rains)... and places to park a fair number of vehicles OUT of the way, over the hill and basically outta site. We would need to rig up some temporary shower facilities (not a big undertaking) and we would need some port-o-lets. The Water Well can supply plenty of fresh water no problem. I cannot host the Pennsic War or Gulf War population here... but by golly a hundred person or so event would not be out of the question... in fact probably more could easily show up and have plenty of elbow room. Semi-rustic site upon which to
 host an event... Like it used to be in the OLD DAYS. 
  Entrance drive  to Friendship Ranch... no worries, the grass has been mowed since this was taken, LOL! great shaded camping spots all back in the wooded areas
  The 42 x 30 x 14 high building .This area in front on the gravel could be a perfect huge bonfire site...
  The Manor House and the pool and deck area are surrounded by three acres of open lawn/grassy areas, and scattered trees... that red and yellow pavilion to the left is the hot tub house. That front veranda is 48 feet long... facing the pool deck off the front of the house, great place to sit in the shade.
  SO anyways... I just happen to be in possession of this perfect mini-event site place that most SCA people only DREAM about... and have no one who seems to want to come out and help me use it and play in the sandbox together... Seems to be a darn shame and a waste of a great spot.
  Rambling and picture show is over... now y'all can let your own imaginations run wild... What if? Ya could quit dreaming and make some sort of a reality happen, right? I can't do it by myself, that's for sure.
  best regards and see ya!
  Baron Wylfred of Morganvayle...
Esther <reese_esther at yahoo.com> wrote:
  I don't know about the rest of you, but I get very little done when I'm Dreaming. Dreams by their very nature, are very dreamy things... and terribly, terribly idiosyncratic to the individual. Hard to get that kind of cohesion in a group that is by its very nature incredibly disparate (1600 and back covers a LOT of territory, my friends!).

When I started in the SCA, at the silly age of 16, 25 years ago, nobody dreamed. We Played. When we invited people to our 'game', we said, 'come play'. Now, it seems the invitation is, "come join The Dream (tm)".

Inevitably, this leads to the question, "What is The Dream?" Originally, it came from an original SCA song, which like many great quotes, has come to mean something entirely different from what it does in its original context. (How many folks know that "to thine own self be true", a quote from Hamlet that is taken to mean "be selfish, screw others" more often that not these days, is followed by "and then thou cans't not be false to any man...?")

I don't know what the dream is, I never have. I know I have my own individual dreams and schemes that the great fiction of the SCA, that we are living history as it Should Have Been, that times periods are geographical, and not linear and limiting, that we are someone who COULD have lived on our chosen place or places, let's me indulge in.

Not so much lately, as I don't have easy transportation, or a household centered around a fighter, or a fighter of my own, nor am I fighter, and my job doesn't allow me to go to The War. (This is not bashing fighters. Love them , love what they do,  and love those who don't 'just fight'. Those who 'just fight' are pretty rare, if you think about it. Duke Miguel springs immediately to mind as a shining example that being a Fighter (whether heavy or fencer or archer, or whatever) doesn't mean you're not interested in anything else, or are by nature a troglodyte.)

There hasn't been a single revel in my area since I got here about five years ago. When I go to populace, I stand out if I wear garb, and I sit through a business meeting, that mostly talks about -- The War and The Budget. The people who are new to the group in my area, who haven't participated in the SCA elsewhere, have never heard the word Revel.

(The Bod Revel was held at a dutch treat buffet restaurant, and an optional trip to Dave and Busters afterwards for those who wanted to 'play'.... I've been in other Kingdoms who hosted BOD meetings. They fought tooth and nail to show off at a Revel, their best clothes, their best cooks, etc. But, that was years ago, so perhaps ennui has set in there too....)

The only way to change things, is to get out and do things, and make them fun. This requires time, energy, money, and space. Right now, I don't have much of any of those things, so I do what I can, when I can, and think I've just gotten too old to know to play. The effort to play is not light, and when no one else wants to play along, the disappointment is crushing.

I have a good friend who is looking for something to do with her costuming skills, and to have some fun. Her first event was the last Steppes 12th Night that had the blisteringly good Eistedfodd. That's what she went to, that's what she expected. When trying out what was available here, she found, she could go to War, help make things to be taken To The War, serve as an officer, or try to become a peer by entering competitions and/or doing paperwork work. That was it.

When the fact that it was freezing and wet and the most recent Eistedfodd was being held outside in a tent prevented her, and thus me as she has the working car, from attending, as we were both already sick, it ended her interest with a dull thud. 

(She did go to 12th Night, at which she was able to sit, and eat. And watch a court. And watch some really good Bardic. That was her favorite part, she wonders why it isn't done more. But, her summation was, "It was boring. I won't be doing it again. And you know, except for the Bardic, it was.)

What's the point of this? I'm not sure. I think perhaps many of us are having an SCA identity crisis, perhaps I am myself, and perhaps the SCA itself is having a mid-life crisis, that point where insurance and the budget and other such concerns are over-whelming, so much so that mad-cap can seem very threatening. There's a fine line between being a responsible adult (or organization) and one that opts to be repressive, to be 'on the safe side'.

We could simply be tired. "Been there, done that, why should we do it again, it's old, it's work, etc." Because it used to be fun, maybe?

Remember, the newcomers learn from the old timers, and frankly, around here, it isn't Persona or Period we're playing, or even Politics, it's running a kingdom, and that means fighting, which means ruling and organizing and mediating (in a quasi-'persona' role at best), and diplomacy, or Going To War. If you haven't got the ability to put an Oar in that stream, and many do, and do it well, there's not much else to do, except find a supporting role for those who do.

I think that we need to attach the Kingdom Bardic Championship to another event like a carbuncle is pretty indicative of what people like to do and are willing to put their time and money into.

Sorry for the Rambling,

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