South Park Self

I'm damned if I see how the hellican

I went to an SCA event on Saturday for the first time in... ooh, count them, nearly five years. (The break-up post was here). Saturday's event was not actually me Getting Back Together With The SCA, it was a once-off, prompted by the serious award-collecting of three dear friends. Since some of you who read this are SCAdians, I shall take a paragraph to dance happily around, gloating, cheering and throwing flowers. Mairi Jean, Garsiyya and Katherine are now all Companions of the Order of the Pelican, generating a sudden and spontaneous mini-Pelican Circle in the midst of the Southern Tors. (Which is the new way that's emerged of talking about the Joburg and Cape Town groups, respectively Griffin's Tor and Adamastor, and is curiously catchy). The current Queen of Drachenwald came down for the event, but brought no feathered folk with her, so I was the only extant Pelican in a radius of approximately five thousand miles. Under these circumstances it was absolutely unthinkable for me not to be present for all the pomp and circumstance and heraldry and court invocations and also the hugging and crying and passing of tissues, which definitely happened.

I am so glad I was there, and so unbelievably happy that this incredibly well-deserved honour has been awarded my dear and hard-working friends. But it was so, so odd to be back in garb again, and speaking the language, and feeling the status, and taking onto myself all the weight of participation and organisation which was the cause, ultimately, of me leaving in the first place. The event ran from 10am until 5pm, with a picnic lunch and two courts; for the entire day I was pretty much in there with the organising, helping to put up tents, acting as lady-in-waiting to her Majesty, arranging court, arranging vigils, participating in the court ritual, and then getting stuck into clean-up afterwards. It was as if I'd never been away.

Several people asked, rather wistfully, if this meant that I'd be back for events in the future, and I fell over my own tongue trying to respond. Because, here's the thing. However good a day it was - and it was - and however much I still value the things the SCA stands for, it still messes with my head. I woke up on Sunday after a restless and insomniac night, and lay in bed aching in every muscle and with heavy-headed consciousness of bone-deep exhaustion, and thought, "Oh, right. That's why I gave this up." Honestly, I felt as thought I'd been binge drinking for twelve hours straight, despite the fact that no more than half a goblet of perry passed my lips the whole day. (And, thanks, Ameline, the perry was lovely!). I'm still considerably below par today, and my feet and ankles are a mess.

The problem is, I think, that events tire me way beyond the physical: they represent continual interaction, continual demands on my energy and input, at a level which exceeds several times over my actual capacity. Looking back at the time I decided to stop playing, it's pretty much at the time when I was realising that I was fighting chronic fatigue from the damned glandular fever. It's only become worse after last year's little medical contremps. And, simultaneously, it happened at the time when I accepted a full-time job which entails a large chunk of time interacting with people in various intense and demanding ways. If the SCA is about anything, it's about people. I ain't got no more people time in me, or mental energy for trying to reconcile the highly complicated constellation of enjoyment and input and obligations and work and pleasure and guilt and friends which makes up my possibly co-dependent relationship with the SCA.

I had fun on Saturday, and it was deeply satisfying both to be present for the awards and to see all these people again. (And, score! I actually still fit into most of my garb! Even if the rabbit-fur trim on that surcoat had Gone Evil and exploded into clouds of hair when looked at sternly, necessitating its summary removal). But I don't think I'll be back barring similar circumstances. Saturday was interesting because it demonstrated fairly ineluctably that leaving was the right decision. This makes me sad.
  • Current Mood: complicated
I had to google SCA... I thought for one deeply puzzled moment that it stood for something christian-y. Funny how I just assume that christian-y wouldn't be your thing, hmmmm. Of course, one sentence on and I realised my assumption was flawed!

We should always listen to our bodies and our instincts. It is sad sometimes even when you know the decision was a good one for you. I've been crying just this evening over something similar.

Of course, the tears could also be because the glandular fever which was finally diagnosed on Saturday is lowering my defenses :/ Apparently this is a resurgence although I have no idea when I've had it in the past, and your talk of chronic fatigue is scary /0-0\ Before I hide my diseased little head under the duvet and swallow more Gen-Payne, can I just say that after all the DVT et al, I heartily wish you rest and health and sweet dreams for this holiday season.
oh, dear, so sorry to hear of another glandular sufferer. It's a bugger. But it does come and go, and you learn to deal with it. Also, not all incidences do the repeated attack thing - with any luck yours will have its say and bugger off. I echo and reflect your wishes for a restful holiday season thingy.

SCA also stands for the Student Christian Association here on campus, which confuses people who know me, and also the Satanic Church of America, which apparently confuses the FBI. I hasten to say that I distance myself from both these doppelgangers with fair force.