[Bards] Speaking of Dreams and Dreaming

Mike C. Baker kihebard at hotmail.com
Sun Apr 20 22:52:05 PDT 2008

>	OK I will shut up now for a bit...
<f/x: four-year-old voice> Why? <end f/x>
Alright, I've watched this develop for the last day, and some of what
follows isn't even well enough connected to be called a ramble, but it's
time for me to add my own thoughts...

Back when rocks were soft and giants walked the earth and Ansteorra had
barely advanced to the status of Kingdom, there wasn't a whole lot of
drumming to be heard, "middle eastern" dancers were the distinct
exception (and mostly dressed cabaret-style because they had yet to
learn better or find sources that led them otherwise), stories tended to
be borrowed from the ancients or mangled from what we dredged from one
source or another, and we filked because that's part of what we knew how
to do.  If people could follow the tune, they learnt the words faster.
Yes, we were as lazy as all that, or as untutored  -- and we also
continued to filk because we learned that it was a "perfectly period
thing to do", that there were pre-1600 patterns upon which to base the
practice, and because the people were entertained by what was done.

We learned, we laughed, and we grew.  And I, for one, try as much as
possible to keep the filks derived from modern / post-1650 sources
separated from the rest of our body of knowledge, to put them into a
special context and out of sight when the call goes up for original
works, or our interpretations of the surviving material properly
identified and documented from "period".  Will I still perform them in
competition? Why, yes, of course, if the theme fits and it qualifies as
my best within a category -- but I will do my best to keep them from
becoming intrusive, and will as often change the format of presentation
as possible (stripped of the tune, poetry remains; tune added, poems are
songs and many modern-trained ears never connect to the original...)

And lives changed, and the expectations changed, and we all faced those
changes in different ways.  My own feet were called to walk upon other
paths than those of the SCA for a time.  Changes came yet again, and I
returned, and hopefully have been able to make some small difference by
my participation since, even when it has been occasionally sporadic.

Wylfred, your Excellency, I don't believe we've really had the pleasure
of meeting in the flesh yet; likewise, Sir Kenneth's acquaintance is not
one that I have etched directly upon my experiences.  Catrin's is not a
face I could point to with certainty, and likewise Emma's.  Give me time
to rectify these things, and the where-with-all to do so, and I most
gladly will.  (Budget's tight, as I'm between mundane employments at the
moment -- but I *am* home in Ansteorra, for now...)

I strive to live up to one of the basic tenets I learned on my way to
(non-SCA) recognition as a Named Bard:  Bards "walk between".  I tried
to do a bit of that at the most recent Crown Tourney, actually.  Other
than those who knew me of old, and my current home barony, I could
probably count the people who actually greeted or (sometimes)
acknowledged my presence on the fingers of one hand.  Yes, I arrived
late (even old Boy Scouts can take a wrong turning from time to time).
Yes, the event was not one that lent itself well to that type of
socialization.  Yes, I am not particularly identifiable as a bard
sometimes (no obvious instruments or particular sigils too much of the
time - didn't even find my sash prior to leaving for the event this last
round).  I still did what I have always done, enjoyed the day for the
sake of the day and those I *did* speak with, and -- rather regretfully
-- went home early (blast and drat these allergies!), but not before
speaking earnestly with HG Jonathan, and HG Willow, on the occasion of
his elevation anniversary.

In the past my absences from participation within Ansteorra have been
longer, or shorter, and what remains even now is that I still have a
sense of coming home when I attend an event.  Business meetings, perhaps
not so much.  Populace meetings, my sense varies.  Meetings of guilds
and specialists (heralds, scribes, needleworkers, fighters, dancers,
etc.) vary fairly dramatically from time to time and place to place,
both here and in foreign lands (have experienced both Aethelmearc &
Middle since last some of you may have seen me).  There are times that I
have been guilty of failing to add costuming when attending a populace
meeting, particularly if traveling directly from an employer's tender
mercies, but I *try* to have at least a simple tunic that I can throw

There is always work that must be achieved that can intrude upon the
pursuit of our Dream, or Dreams.  Like it or not, it comes out to haunt
us at populace gatherings as well as at business meetings and dedicated
committee gatherings.  It can invade our event sites at other times as
well, but that is one of the hazards that we must accept to mesh modern
and pre-modern in our recreations.  Yep, we who entered the Society as
college students age just like everyone else, and there comes a point
when our backs or knees or feet or respiratory systems cry "Enough!" and
we wuss out and go the hotel route, or at least prefer sites with modern
amenities over those with toilet pits / Port-O-lets and Lister bags or
Buffalo trailers for drinking water.  At least in Ansteorra we have the
option of doing things at both extremes of the scale without seriously
challenging either the climate or the mundane population and legal
strictures, and within reasonable travel distance of every major center
of population.

How do we keep all of this mundanity at bay when and where we choose?
We live our own version(s) of The Dream the best we can, and -- as bards
-- do our best to help build the framework(s) and provide the stage
dressing that allows others to let their own d/Dreams grow at their own
pace.  At the core of *my* Oath as a Bard is allowing others to dream,
and Dream.

I'm still here, and I'm still singing, reciting, telling tales, and
teaching by every reasonable means at hand (and some more subtle than I
even recognize myself until after the fact, if then...)  Am I doing my
part, or enough of it to make the difference that I want to / expected
to?  Only time and the experiences of others will tell, "and that's

Adieu, Amra / Pax ... Kihe / ttfn - Mike 

Mike C. Baker
SCA: (al-Sayyid) Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra, F.O.B, OSCA
"Other": Reverend Kihe Blackeagle PULC (the DreamSinger Bard)
Opinions? I'm FULL of 'em
alt. e-mail: KiheBard at hotmail.com  OR MikeCBaker at verizon.net
   Buy my writings!:   http://www.lulu.com/WizardsDen

More information about the Bards mailing list