Open letter to Lark, bioswap, thisnthat
joconnor at mailer.fsu.edu
Fri Sep 22 06:54:55 PDT 1995
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.
More information about the minstrel