||[Oct. 10th, 2010|02:48 pm]
I haven't posted in quite a while, although I do regularly read friends' livejournals and comment on occasion. But I have to write this while it's still relatively fresh in my head.|
Yesterday, Saturday, October 9, 2010.
We were going to a local SCA event, put on by the Barony of Namron, about an hour or so away. About a week ago, I was fairly 'meh' about going to another event, but after having a relatively free weekend last week put me in a much better mood about it. The musician group we play with, the Merry Musicians of Mooneschadowe, had been invited to play for feast, and anything else we'd like to play for, to which we'd be getting into site free (and free feast food between playing, naturally). A quorum was reached, and we were definitely going to be there for that evening, if not earlier in the day.
Then Their Majesties' main voice herald was getting married the same day, and naturally wanted to focus on that and not on doing court. Enter conniving conspiring royalty. They asked my husband if he wanted to do morning court for them, as one of the other usual fallback suspects wasn't going to be able to make it, and he's done it before. Morning court, ugh, means we had to leave Stillwater around 8am, but doable, especially as it's something I know he likes to do.
Friday we get asked if we can take one of the province's pavilions down to site, as the usual suspect there, Pete, didn't have room in his car. I have a minivan, so this is no problem. Turns out his car was full of OTHER THINGS. (Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure where the poles would have normally gone; probably in someone else's truck or van that was carrying OTHER THINGS.) Anyway.
Friday morning I'm getting dressed and I made some comment about how I was tired of the period shoes and just wanted to wear my junky (but somewhat more comfortable) mules and Reis looks at me and just says "Really?". Apparently I've hung around enough fancy-dress types that that was just the slight push to make me guilty at myself and put on the period boots. (Which really aren't bad at all on grass, quite nice even, just lousy on pavement.) More conspiring on my behalf.
Get to the event, help set up pavilions and so forth, morning court starts. A couple of awards, then they summon the Order of the Pelican. Now, I knew they had a Pelican circle the weekend prior, and so this was prime time to nab someone in the northern region, but the clock is also ticking on when an elevation could be made, as this was the last northern event Their Majesties were going to make; Coronation is in November way down south. Then they called my name.
For those reading who are unaware, the Order of the Pelican is the highest ranking award, so to speak, that you can achieve in the SCA for service. Doing Stuff. Working. In my case, admittedly, this is primarily heraldry-related activities, although I've evidenced balloon-hand in a number of other areas as well.
So I grabbed my two kids to walk with me, and entered court, kneeling in front of my friends Jean Paul and Gilyan, with my husband as their herald. It was a little.... I don't have the vocabulary. I knew I'd been talked about in the circle, and so sort of figured it was coming sometime in the next year or two or three, but didn't at all expect it to be Right Now, nor by the hand of my dear friends as we're all from the same local group. Overwhelming. Exciting. Otherworldly. Really? And they offered me the option of sitting vigil that day and being elevated that night, or doing it at a later event, which would probably have to be Coronation. But y'know, they've already gotten everything ready... Really? Really. They've prepared everything. So, well, yes! Today.
The various conspirators sprang into action and started putting up another pavilion (the Merlion, for those familiar with it, means a lot to me), decorating it and the area with banners, setting up tables outside with a wonderful spread of munchies for guests (and me), a vigil book and everything. It was somewhat hard to make myself stand back and NOT be in the middle of all that helping to set it up, as that's just so ingrained, but it was equally nice to watch what my friends had prepared for me. Pete had the tent and decor and chairs and such largely squared away, Sabine did the whole spread (including brownies and chocolates, and the entire thing was beautiful and delicious), Toinette sewed signatures together for a quick makeshift vigil book for visitors to sign and write in, that will be shipped off to Rhiannon to be rebound into a real book. I'm probably forgetting someone who had a hand in setting the whole thing up. Oh! Elsa brought me a giant thing of ice tea from Sonic in the hot part of the afternoon, very important!
Again for those that aren't in the know, a vigil is sort of modeled after the medieval idea of a soon-to-be-knight holding vigil in a chapel overnight, praying and meditating upon his life and the ideals of chivalry, before being knighted in the morning. In the SCA, this has generally evolved into the candidate spending time in semi-seclusion, receiving visitors to listen to their hopefully sage words of advice and other thoughts. I can't even list off the people I met with, but hopefully they all signed the book; the many words of advice I received have all melded into one blur, and I hope I can retain even half of it.
We called it quits around 5:30 in the afternoon, somewhat regretfully skipped past a friend's wedding being held at the same time in order to proceed up to the feast hall to set up the musicians' pit and to get a few minutes of rest. Shall we say I have discovered that while I very much like my wooden chair I picked up at Ikea, that sitting on it ALL DAY and then through feast is NOT GOOD on my thinly-padded rear. I need to make a cushion. :)
Played music through feast, in what is unfortunately a really lousy hall acoustically, as it's just too noisy all around. But it was still fun to play, and we got to play a bit with another musician from the Steppes area, who brought a renaissance recorder and a viola da gamba to play. Turns out he's somewhat of a professional, and certainly darned good, but in spite of that we invited him to play with us again any time he's in the north!
Court was after feast, and Reis was again heralding for Their Majesties. I asked another dear friend and recent Pelican himself, Etienne, to herald me into court. Since there had been not one but two weddings that day, he came up with something relating that old "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" saying and managed to relate every bit to me. I brought the kids with me again, and Their Majesties had set aside one of the kneeling pillows for the girls to perch on so they could watch the ceremony from right next to me. And with my husband as the herald, we were all together.
Tradition has that a member of each of the other peerages (a Knight - martial, a Laurel - arts & sciences), a member of the Order of the Rose (former consorts -- I'd say former Queens, but there's a sole King amongst their number), and a member of the Lions of Ansteorra (a special kingdom-specific award, granted only once per reign, to the individual who best embodies the society ideal) speak for the candidate. I'd asked a few individuals if they would speak for me; probably one of the hardest things was to narrow my lists down on a very short notice!
For the Chivalry, Owen ap Aeddan spoke for me. He and Jean Paul were always my first two choices, and as Jean Paul was King in this instance, the choice was an obvious and easy one. Owen beat me to it by dropping to his knees earlier that morning and begging to be allowed the chance to speak on my behalf, which made me cry.
For the Laurels, I really wanted Rhiannon Redwulf there, as another very dear friend, but she's away in Indiana attending school. Several people offered to call her, and later I found that indeed someone had, and that she'd written something to be read by Mistress Talana, her Laurel, who I had asked. She added her own words, drawn from the populace as I recall. When Rhiannon's name was mentioned, Niki started crying; she'd been crying off and on that evening, from being overtired and frustrated with allergies, but mostly because every time someone mentioned Rhiannon's name she'd suddenly miss her all over again. Her Majesty got Niki some kleenex, and she soon cheered back up, as she is wont to do.
For the Rose, Octavia de Verdun spoke for me, although I had also asked Vanessa de Verona to speak if Octavia declined (as I wasn't able to track her down until the middle of feast!) Both are very level-headed ladies that I admire a great deal. I glanced over at Niki, who was now giving me a thumbs-up sign and a wide grin.
For the Lion, I was torn between Beorthlic, yet another friend, and Robin of Gilwell, but fortunately my choice was made easier by Robin being the only one of the two in attendance. I've only gotten to know Robin fairly recently, in the past couple of years, but he's been a source of wise counsel for me repeatedly as Star Principal Herald.
I was gifted with two Pelican medallions. The first was Her Majesties' own medallion, which is so very cool. The second is best known as a heraldic medallion, as its lineage can be traced through a large number of members of the College of Heralds and Scribes of Ansteorra. It will be my honor to pass it along to the next heraldic Pelican.
I understand I have an almost-finished original scroll done by the hand of Gunhilda, who not only is Their Majesties personal scribe, but also is the one Pelican I would have been a protege of, if I had chosen to go that route instead of being difficult and doing things my own way as I did.
I am so very honored and happy, and hope I can live up to the expectations and higher standards that fall upon me, not leastwise from myself.