Open letter to Lark, bioswap, thisnthat

Jed O'Connor joconnor at
Fri Sep 22 06:54:55 PDT 1995

Hi Lark,

     Thanks for your biography. I take it you don't hang much with the 
Sarasota group although you live nearby? Is that about right? This letter 
got rambly in ways I thought others might find interesting, so I am putting 
it up on the forum for their delectation.

     I don't know much about the SCAmongol subculture, and would like to 
know more about it; it seems complex and interesting, so maybe you will 
enlighten me over time.

     In response to your question, I am not only IN Trimaris but think of 
myself as a fair chunk of its early foundations.  I've been a member since 
76, and have lived in An Crosaire, Oldenfeld, Sangre, AnCrosaire, Oldenfeld, 
Ohio, and now in Oldenfeld again--that is, way up in Tallahassee and pretty 
far from you. Before we were even a Principality, for my work in the arts & 
sciences and for my labors on behalf of the Region's push to Principality 
status, I was awarded the first Triskele Trimaris, then a Regional award, 
later upgraded to the primary Principality-then-Kingdom award. In my sixth 
year I was the first peer created in the reign of Trimaris' first Prince & 
Princess, Verron & Wulfa--though technically that award still came from the 
King & Queen of Meridies, John Bearkiller and Heather of Tyson. 

After pursuing and abandoning a Ph.D. in rhetoric & composition (a variety 
of English degree) at Ohio State University, I returned two springs ago to 
Tallahassee and got active again after my seven years of grad school & 
parent care. By odd happenstance, as of last Christmas I succeeded Mistress 
Grania as Kingdom Minister of Arts & Sciences, the post I now hold. If you 
are presently a subscribing member and receive Talewinds, you can keep an 
eye out for my reports which appear just about every month.

Maybe BECAUSE I have been around so long, I am not much aligned with  the 
authenticity mavens' camp. I think that authenticity is a good thing, mind 
you, but that in the Society as we know it, ambience is EQUALLY as important 
(e.g.: stuff that adds to the romantic atmosphere like your late Irish & 
yiddish ballads). I also think occasional goofiness is good, too (but only 
as an occasional diversion, not as a mainstay). To my way of thinking, we 
belong to a loosely knit social club, not a rigid reenactment reichstag. 
(The wildly varying cultures exhibited from group to group and kingdom to 
kingdom reinforce this loose-knit idea for me. Having lived in AnCrosaire 
twice and here three times, I can say with assurance that the metaphor of 
never stepping in the same river twice applies in spades to SCA shires. The 
transformations are nothing less than radical in periods as short as a year 
or two between samples.)

As an original-works bard, of course, I would consider myself a great 
hypocrite NOT to value creation as highly as re-creation--and so I do. This 
puts me in the odd but exhilirating position of being a liberal minority in 
a traditionally conservative kingdom post, so I am doing all I can to open 
Trimarian windows and doors to the acceptance and honor of all forms of 
ambient creation, bardic and beyond, at Kingdom and Interkingdom Arts & 
Sciences Faires and Competitions. I believe that Master Thomas of Tenby of 
Ansteorra (also a bard) shares my sentiments, but I am not sure that his 
kingdom-tree is nearly so constricted by the strangler-fig of documentable 
authenticity that I am attempting to prune a bit over here. Maybe the answer 
is for bards (right-thinkers, all!--we're all obviously just alike, n'est ce 
pas?) to assume these posts everywhere (o frabjous day!).

(Botanical note: the strangler-fig is a giant vine native to Trimaris which 
spirals upward from the base of old-growth trees, whose growing cambium 
layers begin to look like puffy pigs-in-a-blanket as years pass by.  The 
trees eventually die, not so much from being strangled as the vine's name 
suggests, but mostly because the upper leaves of the vine float above the 
leaves of the host tree thus disabling its ability to sustain itself by 
photosynthesis.) While this note may seem like a rambling aside, it is 
actually intended to open a line of discussion on "INDIGENOUS ART" --a 
concept whose time is now at hand.  (Holy Millenium, Batman! The Rapture! 
The Rapture!) More later.


P.S.: Apologies to Ciorstan and Lady Walken for confusing attributions in my 
previous letter. Sometimes I get lost betwixt quoter and quotee.

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