Friday, March 09, 2007

Linn, The Merely Mundane 

In the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) all my friends who "dress up funny" have very romantic names. Long before we were creating second lives on the web, some folks in Berkeley created a parallel universe or "known world" that encompassed culture and life before 1600ish. They made up persona/avatars and walked the walk, talked the talk and took their show on the road. Their persona are not trapped in some computer ether though, they are out there fighting, stitching, cooking, brewing, smithing and every other darned thing you can think of. They do this inside, outside, on weekends and for weeks at a time.

This is not Ren Faire folks - this is serious stuff and the citizens of the various SCA kingdoms work very hard to "get it right." One of the arts they "get right" is needlework and costuming. I've had the privilege of teaching, chatting with, corresponding with, knowing a good many SCA folk and my life has been richer for the experience.

At events, a member with skills teaches those with lesser skills. I'm not cut out to attend events although I've been a welcomed guest at one. I'm not really into throwing myself into the roleplaying part of the experience. As a non-member, non-person, I'm technically one of the great unwashed, the mundane.

However, I've been invited to teach SCA members at non-SCA events. And what a wonderful experience. These are students who are so intense, so knowledgeable, so determined to excell that I walk away humbled every time.

As a teacher, I've taught in the Kingdoms of An Tir. Caid, Calontir and The West. I know I now live in Tennessee, but I also live in the Kingdom of Meridies.

I've been privileged to know some SCA'ers who are no longer with us including Chottie Alderson and Gytha North. I'd long admired Chottie for her skills and publications on canvaswork and Gytha I met when she ordered some books from me. I remain awed that mine was one of the few blogs listed in her blogroll. These were beautiful, assertive women who were better for being a part of the SCA and certainly made their respective kingdoms a better place for their being there.

I read SCA needleworkers' blogs on a regular basis, including Racaire (who flatters me by including my blog amongst the SCA blogs - I have her fooled, don't I?); Robin/Sabrina (a dear friend); Kim Salazar/Ianthe d'Averoigne (the renowned author of The New Carolignian Modelbuch and a colleague in the fight against needlework design piracy); and Laren whom I've only met online.

I've also had the privilege of knowing many supportive spouses who make it possible for me to teach in far flung kingdoms. One of my personal favorites is Will Ringer, Robin's Gentle Giant who totes bundles and boxes, raises tables, fetches chairs, puts out food, cools drinks, feeds me dinners, explains fighting and fighting equipment. He was recently interviewed at an event. Wish they had included a photo of him - he's both handsome and formidable.

I have many other SCA friends/acquaintenances who don't have blogs or websites but send the e-mails flying my way. They KNOW who they are and how much I appreciate them.

If you have the slightest inclination to enter another world and have that feeling you were born in the wrong era - visit one of the kingdom sites, look for newcomer information and do take part in a local event. You will be welcomed. If someone wants to know how you found them - tell them Linn, The Merely Mundane sent you!!!

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Very nice essay!

Susan/ Jerusha
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