So where was I . . .

Posted by on Sunday, August 29th, 2010

All over the place, really.  How’s about I tell you about all sorts of things, in whatever order I remember them,  as I would over drinks in person?  Feel free to interrupt, and let me know when you need another round.

I’ve spent the last couple of weekends crafting with friends from our living history community, and it’s been fantastic.  It’s like we had little mini-vacations tacked on to the end of Camp, helping prevent withdrawal symptoms.  It was an excellent chance to help folks with a couple of things they wanted to learn about but that don’t go well outdoors when you’re tired and don’t have electricity or endless running water or enough sleep.  And it was a chance to start on some cool projects for other people.  We dyed fabric, set up a new serger, compared sewing techniques, plotted presents, ate and cooked fantastic food, knit, sewed, mended, noodled around with some music, shared research . . . it was like there was an epiphany storm, at least in my head.

But it also kept me from tackling the vacation photos.  For some reason, I’d convinced myself I’d taken very few.  When I started downloading them this afternoon to answer the squawking crows demanding pictures . . . I realized I’d taken nearly a thousand.  Yay me!  But also, um, damn, that’s going to be a lot of work.

So let’s just start with the silly little assortment left on my table when our last intrepid guest departed this afternoon.

That is one of the most glorious little groupings of stuff that’s gathered in our house in a while.  It’s wealth born from experience and community rather than money and shopping, which makes me particularly grateful.  The notebook is one friends have talked about needing for years that we’ve finally started–a notebook to keep close at hand at events and parties to scrawl the funny lines into, right as they cause those little explosions of laughter, so we can remember them and call them back up later, and fill in the folks who missed a bit.  It’s sitting on lyrics from a song I love, covered in notes on musical theory and practice tips from the best music lesson I’ve ever had, given by a dear friend at my own kitchen table this weekend.  Other friends made almost all of that crockery, and the few pieces made by strangers were made well and given generously.  The honey is local, and great, and comes in old milk bottles.  The tea was just right.  The dish towel is homey, and made from scraps.  The little cowl is going to be well loved.  And the packet of fabric . . . what a present.

A week or so ago, a dear friend from college pinged me and asked for my current mailing address, saying she had something she thought she should pass on to me.  When it came, I was floored.  Knowing that folks who know her and would appreciate the present were due at our place, I wrapped it back up so they could see just how kind our far flung friends are, still.  There’s something particularly touching about a present that is so perfectly personalized.  You can open it again with me now.

Ellery knows what sort of fabric will go right to my head . . . the mouth-watering blue and that orange.  sigh.

And the crow thing–that hasn’t escaped her.

She’s really got it down, in fact.  Look at those little corvid heads!  Squeeee!  I’m so lucky.  Truly, truly fortunate.

Really, I have an embarrassment of riches.  I mentioned my coins in that last post . . . I guess I should explain.  There’s a great intersection between living history and numismatics.  Currency is an ancient thing, and a fascinating thing.  If you think the new Euros are cool, you’ve got another think coming.  Look at the old stuff, and you will see some amazing ingenuity combined with social change and propaganda and art.  <slides glasses up nose>

A while back, I was talking with Cedach, one of my pals at Celtic Summer Camp, about  Boudicca’s coins, and how unusual it was for a woman to be minting coins in the ancient world, and how they supported her rebellion, and just how freaking cool Boudicca was, and what it’s like for me to write about her or speak about her when we do demos.  He  is interested in coin making, which is a fascinating craft.  On another thread, way back in the way back I’d used my combined portions of audacity, charisma, persistence, and luck to convince many many people to accept a silly title I gave myself . . . The Queen of the Bog.  I don’t know how I got it to stick, but I did, and it’s hilarious and sweet and such a compliment to have a nice nickname.   Well, Cedach’s interest in making coins, and my passion about studying Boudicca’s moneying, and that little nickname lodged in his craw just perfectly.  He came back to Camp this year for the first time in a while, and he and his wife Maebh presented me with . . .

A beautiful felted bag Maebh made me, complete with a spiral-hearted, crowned flame-red crow . . .

Full of these.

So, that would be me on the face.  And on the reverse, an Ang, a sun wheel many of us use as a symbol, and the text reads “Lanea Reg Bog”.  We have a gift culture in and amongst our little tribes, and we try to treat each other kindly, but this is so generous I was just gobsmacked.  I still am.  I don’t know if I can ever earn the love and kindness these people  give me, but I sure am going to keep trying.

This is the beginning of some return gifts, as it were.  When in doubt, embroider.  When you’re trying to figure out how to thank individuals, start by thanking a whole community.

Filed in blather,Celtic,knitting,Travel | One response so far

One Response to “So where was I . . .”

  1. kon 31 Aug 2010 at 4:27 pm 1

    My chair is over in the corner there. I’ll keep my sleeping mat rolled up during the day.
    What a wonderful supportive group. I love the coins.

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