Sunday, July 31, 2016

Aging in the SCA

I recently came across a lengthy post by Sir Wiglaf Wilfriding on qualifications for peerage.  It's an article worth reading and discussing, but not here.

 Although I do have two quotes of his to discuss.
... To get knighted, you have to meet the standard and stay on it long enough for the knights to realize it. But once you're there, you have to prepare yourself to fall off of that standard, and you will. You are knighted for life, and when you are ninety there is no way you can fight as well as you did when you were twenty. Aging is one of the basic facts of existence, and one of the greatest tests of knighthood is how to face this decline. In most sports, you quit, but you can't quit being a peer. You're a peer for life... 
. . .
An interesting twist to the Laurel standard, however, is that it generally doesn't go away with age. In most cases, Laurels improve the older they get, like good wine.

Since I've never been a fighter I accept Sir Wilfriding's first observation as fact. I disagree with his twist on the standard. 

Realizing his full article doesn't present things as definitive as the quotes make it seem, I think some Laurels are not able to keep to their craft as well. Some do and some pursue other passions than those for which they were Laureled.


As a 70-year-old scribe, I have days my calligraphy looks like it's not mine. I also have friends that already switched to other crafts because their hands shake. I'm fortunate my near-sightedness still has clear vision. And more frequent breaks handles my aching back. So I'm lucky I can still perform well as a production scribe. 

Someday my calligraphy and illumination may no long suit Laurel standards and I may quit doing C & I. I too will seek other ways to contribute as a peer. I hope that time is a long way off because C & I is my panoptic enthusiasm. I want to keep it that way.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Gone Too Soon

Don't want to think of this, even though I know the SCA is 50 years old now. 

Taken  September 10, 2010 as I was welcomed to the Order of the Laurel.

Two people prominent in this photo are now gone. Mistress Luciana della Ridolphi and Duke Ostwald Konrad von Riestoten. 

She received one of the earliest Laurels in Calontir, a well earned recognition of mastery for her Renaissance clothing research and creation. 

He kindly ruled our Kingdom twice, in 2010 and 2012. 

Always remembered.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My Blog Writing Quest

Because I was over-organizing, over-planning, and over-thinking Lonely Tower's C and I start-up class my recent blog posts seem lack-luster to me. What can I say here that hasn't already been said by swarming others? 

I write about my monotone retirement life trying to infuse my posts with wonder and energy. Some posts succeed like "My Unforgettable Magic Moment" post. Even though its pictures are not mine, because the happening tingled my nerves then my feelings about it today remain intense. An easy thing to write. It's difficult to do when life is plodding or focused elsewhere.

I also want my posts to be interesting on more levels than the SCA. The SCA is an amorphous, multifaceted collection of hobbies that can overflow one's life with activities and friends. It isn't all there is to life. 

One curiosity at my niche's edge is writing to improve my blogging. Earlier I wrote about the "Bang-up Book 'On Writing Well'". Recently I found a silly book collection that is a fun style-example. A frivolous light adventure series that makes me laugh and wonder at the word selections. I have a swipe file for its best phrases and ideas. It's the Kindle series "The Misadventures of the Laundry Hag" by Jennifer L. Hart.

Time will tell if my writing improves. I think my SCA handouts have. They are less wordy. Fewer wimpy adjectives like most and some. Fewer connecting prepositions. 

Blogging is different than report writing. Posts vary in subject and tone so writing style varies. It's out of my comfort zone, too. 

Reading about writing and finding fresh writers with style I admire are steps in my writing quest. Silly books like the Laundry Hag series is part of the journey. I hope you enjoy the quest too.










Sunday, July 24, 2016

Today's Scribal Class

Today's Lonely Tower scribal class was concentrated pen fun. Seven students experimented with a 12th-century Protogothic calligraphy scriptThey were intent on their efforts so we saved the painting part of the class for September's session.

I had students that were novices and also some with art degrees. 
We shared tools, books, and ideas. I also messaged them a link to my related Pinterest Protogothic calligraphy board, so they can see works done with that script.

I'm inspired by their hunger for more. The next class will be September 11th at a nearby library. Since calligraphy took up all the class time, its preparation is done. I can relax and enjoy their reactions to their work.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blog Experiment

I'm at my local mall doing my lunch and 2ish mile walk. I'm also test-driving this Blogger app. Taking a photo and writing a brief post away from home. See how it handles bumps and speed.

Snapping unsuspecting models' pictures is a sneaky fun. People seldom survey their surroundings and never think to look up for a photographer or other nefarious acts. I am also more observant because I am a photo-sleuth.

Later...
The app doesn't update well and its posts don't have the same "look" as I use at home. Using something that accesses the Blogger website directly creates better posts.Too bad. It would have been gaggles of fun to photo-sleuth-post.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Life Currently

While working on my coming classes, I also have two house guests. Marie and Eliot. 

Marie is a great friend. She's moving from a house to an apartment, but having to wait until someone moves out. 

Her dog Eliot is something else. He's a small terrier mix with a condition causing hair absence. Now he's 13 years old. What hair he has is now white, but he's still cute and kicking.

Eliot gets along great with my two dogs and has given them new enthusiasm. Something different for them to do.










My two crazy dogs are Pippa and Rambo. Rambo is an 11-year-old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the largest. Pippa is the smaller Cairn Terrier, a 3-year-old.




We  named Rambo before we bought him. I'll never do that again. He has no Rambo-gene and therefore is a wuss. He minds the best. I think he even reads my mind to glean my expectations. He's also a sweet "touch-me" dog, loving constant stroking.

Pippa thinks everything is about her. Life revolves on her schedule, including when they both get treats. She demands them at 4 and 6, while she waits for dinner at 8, which is when Rambo prefers to eat.

Dogs have been my life, my whole life, from my first word as a tot until today. Currently, I also have Eliot as a visitor. One more dog to enjoy and love.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

C & I Class Preparations

I'm doing my homework for the coming calligraphy and illumination classes. Commonly I teach to the requested C & I topic. These classes will be different.


I want these new students to feel the class benefit as soon as we begin. I want to hit the ground running because many already learned the basics at the recent Lonely Tower Scribal Gathering.






These students' backgrounds span the range from total newbie to experienced artist of an alternative medium. How can I be a benefit to such a wide variety? How can I create desire and hold each one's attention? What can I do so the student sees, hears, and feels C & I's attraction themselves?

For that, I've been looking into new teaching methods. So students can see their goals I've created Pinterest boards that show medieval manuscripts displaying the related medieval techniques. 


And slide presentations highlighting applicable purposes. 


To help with information flow I'll have full handouts on Google Doc and send them to students through messaging. Students can access them anywhere, download them, print them or reaccess them if lost.

My mission- impossible task is finding the brain-teaser that hooks their interest. Keeps them enthused and returning. Their ultimate benefit.





Sunday, July 10, 2016

Coronation of Their Majesties Duncan Bruce of Logan and Ylva Jonsdottir

I love my Calontir family and am elated I attended Their Majesties Logan and Ylva's coronation yesterday. I saw pageantry and caring at every turn.

The spectacle was plentiful, at times tearful. My photos show only a portion.



Elena gave her crown to King Matsu before they left their reign.


When Matsu and Elena departed and the thrones were vacant, the Calontir Chivalry stood guard to protect the Kingdom, while the lineage was read so all knew from which our strength comes.



.
Sir Duncan processed into the hall while wordfame was told of his accomplishments.


His Grace Hirsch counseled them on a ruler's responsibilities, so they knew what their tests might be.


Count Fernando received Their Highnesses oath and promises for the Kingdom care.













Then as Konungutal and Konungriki Logan and Ylva received the fealty promise of honor and service by many.


Each peerage order swore fealty.





And promised to serve and care for the Calontir Kingdom and family.


Their Majesties Royal splendor shown enhanced by the Kingdom's regalia of cloaks and crowns.

After the morning ceremonies, I visited with friends, painted scrolls with scribes, looked at items for sale and watched fighting and archery.

The long line at the noon meal partially showed the populace' abundant caring after the recent loss of His Grace Ostwald, a former Calontir King. Besides the hand pies, fruits, veggies and desserts, all money over the cost went to a college fund for his and Duchess Kay of Gordon's children. The fund will receive a generous $800. 

But Coronation is about the ceremony.


In the evening Their Majesties held their first court with Baron Cian and Baroness Tatiana of Coeur d'Ennui at their side.



In their evening court Their Majesties presented Matsu and Elena county honors for having royally served the Kingdom.










This pageantry occurs every six months and I never get tired of it. Sometimes it is more thrilling than others. With the recent sudden loss of Duke Ostwald my Calontir friends and I are more attuned to its nuances and meanings. If possible this coronation was more emotional and significant.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My One Day Pageviews Shot Up Over 1000


Wow. My page views for July 3, 2016, shot up to 1064 for one day.  It's the first time ever I've had that many in one day. Not since February have I had any number near that.


I don't know if it was my Blake Genealogy post or my Magic Moment post that was so interesting. Or the fact people had time to search the internet for cool stuff.

For any reason, it's a great blog moment for me.

Thank you all.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

My Unforgettable Magic Moment


Have you ever had a magic moment? An experience so sweet and serendipitous it gives you goose bumps. Time slows down and you are transported to another dimension.

Many men say watching their child born was like that. Women are usually too busy at that moment to have that feeling.

I've had some minor ones, like unexpectedly hearing a group of people sing "Non Nobis Domeni" in a large, echoing hall. Electrifying and beautiful.

A magic moment, as expressed by The Drifters in the 1960s comes as a surprise and makes you feel that special something will last forever.

My spectacular magic moment came about first because I saw an encaustic painting by Jasper Johns and read that encaustic was used early in history. I studied it and attempted it...unsuccessfully.
St. Peter the Apostle
7th Century, Encaustic




When visiting my brother Charles in Los Angeles several years ago, on a whim, we went to the Getty Museum, again. As we drove around the long entry road, huge posters blasted notice about the current exhibit. It was Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai.







Virgin and Child with Saints
6th Century, Encaustic
 


These were the oldest surviving icons from the Byzantine world from the remote Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine. These 53 objects had escaped destruction by Byzantine emperors during Iconoclasm of the 700 - 800s. The monks of Saint Catherines cared for them all these centuries - over a thousand years -  and generously allowed them to travel from Sinai for this one exhibit. 







And I was fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time, with information enough, and spirit enough, to be thrilled to the inside of my soul to see this exhibit.

Blessing Christ
Early 6th Century, Encaustic

I walked in humbled awe from icon to icon and artifact to ancient hand-made artifact. I saw the oldest known icon of Christ also painted in hot wax.

Other mediums were displayed as well. Tempera on wood, ink on parchment, engraved metal, mosaic and embroidery. 

I drooled over a rich, gold and silver heavily embroidered red linen damask stole that a 15th century priest once wore in Constantinople or northern Greece.


I admired and coveted the scribes tiny, detailed tempera strokes and gilding on the 12th century elite book, Homilies of Gregory Nazianzenus.


Mosaic Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria
Late 12th Early 13th Century

But my favorite is the mosaic Icon of the Virgin Hodegetria. While it is a common icon pose, the minuscule glass and ceramic pieces are pixel-tiny. I've never seen a mosaic with such tiny pieces. The care it took to arrange each single one is prayer itself. 


I wanted to stay in that exhibit for days and absorb every detail, nuance and ambiance. I couldn't take photographs, so I took mental pictures that I hoped would last me.


This magic moment was momentous for me. My memories had to last til the end of time.