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Seventeen

August 26, 2012

As I adjusted the straps on my son’s lacrosse helmet, I mused on how familiar the activity felt. The shoulder protectors atop the rib pads moved like pauldrons. The gloves would have been legal hand protection a mere twenty-five years ago. Some of the elbows offered might be legal today, if you covered them. And a stick is a stick, whether it has a thrusting tip or a net on the end.

From their website: “The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.”

From me: There is much hitting of friends in armor with sticks, like lacrosse, but the SCA has two fewer goals.

For seventeen years, I was active in the SCA. I joined not too long after I turned seventeen. Now I have been out that long, my life divided into neat, prime-number thirds: before, during, after. That model is about to break down, as I embark on the fourth septendecennial, another locust life, another patent term (though the only patent I hold is on a scroll) ending only when I am old enough for full Social Security benefits.

I must reframe. Act IV, Scene 1? (The curtain rises to reveal THE WRITER at his keyboard, taking a moment to ruminate between revisions and errands for the day. Stacks of paper on one side of the desk compete for space with a printer on the other. He beings to type.)

Or not. Writing is, on the whole, not a dramatic pursuit. The conflict on the page is not reflected in the action creating it: typing out a scene of planetary apocalypse looks ever so much like typing a grocery list.

I must consider further, after I return from the store with bread and yogurt. My son, in the meantime, gets to practice running around in armor. He has another eight years to go on his first seventeen.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jet permalink
    August 26, 2012 2:20 pm

    My brother was active in SCA and I used to follow him to gatherings. I even learned how to wield a broad sword. You’re right, not that different from editing.

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