I spent some time recently going through some old Livejournal posts, looking at old project lists to see what I’ve let fall through the cracks and what I’ve accomplished, and I came across this, written about fifteen months ago (and lightly edited for publication here). It was a refreshing, needed, perspective-altering re-read.
What do I REALLY want out of the SCA?
1.) I want to build a community of friends and associates whose company I enjoy. People I respect, and whose respect I want to earn. That means going to events, and having the energy and free time at events to actually enjoy the company of my friends, which means a sufficiently well-equipped and smooth-running encampment and self-aware and responsible choices about when and when not to camp. It means maintaining my own house as a social space. And it means socializing, and maintaining social relationships, with these amazing people, outside the game as well.
2.) I want to contribute, in a meaningful and personally satisfying way (if only in my own small corner of the world) to the overarching ever-evolving self-definition of the Game and Society. That means seeing the shire on a stable and lasting footing. That means fealty to my Laurel and my Crown, not just in word but in deed. That means representing, with honor and dedication, every order to which I may be honored to be made a Companion and every office which I may hold.
3.) I want a context and an audience for research that I think is important and valuable, but that I will never have the professional background to perform formally. That means, as in any research practice, not just doing the work, but presenting it through teaching, competition, and durable venues.
4.) I want a context and an audience for an art practice that I find creatively and spiritually satisfying. Again, that means not just doing the work, but presenting it through documentation, competition, and gifting.*
*(I have academic background in fine arts and also in sociology and ethnography. At various times in my life, I have been a working artist and planned a career in the social sciences. My life took a different course, obviously, but I believe that there is a place in both the social sciences and the arts for passionate, autodidactic amateurs, and one of the lovely things about the SCA is that it offers a space for those amateurs.)
What grounds you? What is it that you want and find in this game, and what do you consider your responsibilities to it? How does the relationship between big-picture desires and satisfactions and the (sometimes tedious, tiring, or daunting) labor to accomplish those desires play out for you?