Friday, April 17, 2015

White Scarf Closure

This blog post is a difficult one for me, on several levels. If I get too wordy, forgive me in advance.

Reason #1: This was difficult because of SCA political reasons. If you're not in the SCA, skip down to Reason #2. The short version is that Artemisia has chosen to close the Order of the White Scarf, because there is a new Peerage specific for rapier called the Master of Defence. A new Grant level rapier award was opened in its place (Order of the Defender of the Papillon).

I have no issues with the actions taken, it's just a bit bittersweet because the White Scarf has a special place in my heart. I spent many years stalking the rapier field and have had my hands on more than a few White Scarf scrolls. Some of my dearest friends are members of the order.

I was very excited to be asked to collaborate with Mistress Bethany of Windermere to create a commemorative scroll in honor of this historic event in Artemisia's history.

Reason #2: Moments after Bethany dropped the layout and inspiration artwork off for me to begin working on the calligraphy, I was called by my obstetrician's office, and asked to go check myself into the hospital. Based on some test results they had just gotten back, I was sick. Very sick in fact, and they were worried about my son who was at 25 weeks gestation.

I was diagnosed with HELLP Syndrome, and it was too late for my poor son. I was induced into labor and after nearly three difficult and scary days in the hospital, gave birth to my stillborn angel. I was kept for another 24 hours for observation because of the gravity of the health issues I was going through.

Nobody can understand the agony of these tragedies but those who have gone through them, but most people have been very kind and understanding as my dear husband and I grieve the loss of our son. When I got home, I had to make a choice - pass the calligraphy assignment on to someone else, or use it as a catharsis to help me heal. I chose the latter. Bethany was so very patient with me - this took far longer than it should have because I did not anticipate the physical requirements my recovery would have on my body.

Now these amazing men and women of Artemisia are not only tied to my memories of this order, but are linked to my personal healing in a way they will never truly know.

Don Conchobhar mac Michil wrote the text. I did the calligraphy, and of course the lovely Mistress Bethany did the illumination, based on a fencing treatise by Thibault.