Siege Diaries 10/17/2021

It seems odd to not be starting this with a Daily Stoic writing prompt, but here we are.

I finally have time to come up for a little air before the next plunge. It has been a hugely busy two weeks, which all culminated in yesterday’s event–and culminate it did, spectacularly.

When last I posted, I was still working on the embroidery for Tadc’s elevation tunic. I finished it up on Thursday. There is a lot of symbolism–and a bit of fun–here. The coloured threads are all Tadc’s own dyework, except for the pink bear, which was from an Eoforwic Dye Madness session, and the black, which is from stash. The gold bullion is also from stash. The trees reference Tadc’s own massive “Trees” project, and the blue trilliums are his personal symbol. The bears are him (blue), Bjarn (black) and their daughter Emma (pink). They are all wearing bunny ears as this (or kitty ears) is often a requirement from Emma in their house. There is a six-pointed star behind the trillium; stars are a personal symbol and Tadc is my sixth apprentice to be elevated.

Yesterday’s event looked like it was going to be a literal washout–there was rain forecast for most of the day–but turned out much better. I got there early enough to stop off at Doohers and buy Passion Pastries. I had never had one of these magical things to myself. I took the opportunity to buy four – two chocolate and two vanilla–and ate one of the chocolate ones once I got on site. (Two were for my husband, and my other one was eaten this morning.)

There was rain during setup, but it stopped around the time the event got going, and while there were a couple of other brief showers during the day, there were no torrential downpours. Most of the organizing work had gone into arranging a “dye vigil”. Friends had been enlisted to provide tents, chairs ,tables, dyepots, dyestuffs and stoves. We had thought we would have a fire but that never actually happened. There were, however, amazing individually-wrapped treats. Tadc got to work on getting an indigo pot going before anything even got started, and between him and Lucia, we ended up with five dyebaths: the indigo, some kind of mystery Indian dye that Lucia had had for 25 years, brazilwood, weld (freshly picked by Tadc), and madder. To say that the results were spectacular would be an understatement.

You can see a few highlights there: The pot of the orange-ish Indian dye that boiled over, the Chthulhu-esque weld vat, and the lovely “fall leaves” on the trees.

The elevation itself went beautifully. We had amazing speeches by nine speakers (two by proxy) and a gorgeous poem written by Dame Asa for the scroll. After the ceremony, all my dependents (current and former) who were there gathered for a photo.

I also got to spend time on the road with the Shostakovich quartets again – getting through thirteen of them. When I left the site, starting the seventh, the sun was setting dramatically in the west, and as I moved into the eighth, I had a sort of a feel of — I know not exactly what–but of the presence of eternity. The leaves were a flame of colours off to my side, echoed by the setting sun, and as I moved into the ninth, I saw Venus winking into view in the growing twilight. Oh, how I have missed these times on the road, alone but for music. I have always loved them, and this was the first time I had taken such a drive since March, 2020.

The sunset recalled for me the scroll I had created that was given out yesterday, designed last summer in the days of the comet, and finally awarded at last.

I have now attended five SCA events in two months. It all feels like some version of normal. There are masks, yes, but the joy in being together with friends in a shared hobby–and not virtually–is indescribable. To see one of my students recognized for his achievements after so many months of uncertainty–it told me that yes, we are making it through this, and it was all the more sweeter for the treacherous, lonely path we have had to follow for so many months. And when I arrived home yesterday, there was news that a dear friend — someone I had stayed with on my pilgrimage south to find Shostakovich’s 4th symphony a little over two years ago–would soon be recognized as a Laurel in her own right, and she wanted me to create the scroll. I will do so with great joy.

Today, while playing my RPGs–the games that have saved so much sanity during our time in lockdown–I finally replaced the trim on my Rus’ coat. I had had the bands of silk narrow ware for several years. It has hung in the laundry room for several months, after I had rinsed out some evidence of moths. Last night, when I hung up my rinsed threads and yarns from my dyeing adventures, I saw it hanging there (on the end by the yellow).

Today, I removed the too-garish yellow banding from the Rus’ coat and attached the new bands. I will still need to redo the buttons, but that will happen soon.

And today, one more–perhaps the last–glimpse of VeRA in the air for this flying season.