Always Vigilant

2 Jun 2016 by gebhard, 4 Comments »

13310499_10101967302102994_810049399558106600_nI would like to start by thanking everyone. I’m very humbled by the all the expressions of joy and celebration I’ve received.  The SCA is filled with the most amazing group of people I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of, and at every event, I’m reminded of it again, in infinitely different ways.

Sheer panic!

Many people make a “Break in case of peerage” box in which they have everything pre-planned. The thought of being knighted was really never in my head. Being a knight is an accolade only a King and Queen can give. As we all do, I too wanted to be worthy. There is a difference.

The difference is when you look at the face that stares back at you in the mirror and say, “What kind of person are you?”, then ask “What kind of knight do you wish to be?” Those are very humbling questions to ask. If you can answer those questions honestly, you’ll find a chasm between them.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you know I’ve taken on many issues around chivalry and knightliness. The me of the past had a much easier time saying those things. It’s much harder when it’s a mirror rather than a monitor staring back.

I look for answers, answer to the deep questions I should know before doing this. King Cameron and Queen Amalie have placed me on Vigil, a time of self-reflection and discovery, before deciding if I wish to continue to the next phase of the journey.

In looking inward, the worries start to show and work their up to the surface. I can’t hide it. I worry that I may become a terrible peer by not living up to the standards of what people expect a peer to be, by not living up to my own standards or that of my Lady or by failing those who have placed faith in me. It’s been a weight on my mind. How can I stop that from happening? Would I even know if it was happening? Very few people do a thing because they believe it to be wrong, but they become blind to the reality of the situation they are in.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I can find the answer to these concerns, it seems wisest to start with the most basic questions and work forward.

I look in the mirror, and the face I’ve had to grow to accept looks back. So? Why are you doing this?

I have a lot of answers to this question:

I’m doing this because I think swordplay can be beautiful and elegant.

I believe martial combat is the forge on which our true self is made known to us. If you continue in the pursuit of mastery, the effort will round the rough spots of the character and bring you into balance.

Those lessons learned on the list can improve every area of your life.

I believe in the open and free exchange of information. What I learn I wish to freely share so that you can show me where my thoughts have errored and help me to refine them into something better. By sharing, we build up each other and improve the overall quality of the fight for all.

“What if it that isn’t enough? What if none of that matters? If it all falls apart? What about all those “if” situations?”

I don’t know, but what I do know is:
If I have accumulated wealth, it is so I can help those in need.
If I am strong, it is so I can ease the burden on those around me.
If I have joy, it so I can bring a smile to those who have lost theirs.
If I have skill of arms, it is so I can protect that which I cherish.
If I have a heart, it is so I can share my great love for my lady, my family and my friends.
If I have Hope, it is so I can look past the hardships of today, and into the tomorrow that we will build together.

My eyes look back at me in the mirror.  I’ve always thought they were a little squinty for my large melon head. Once again the voice asks,

“What kind of person are you?”

“What kind of knight do you wish to be?”

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. This is beautiful.

    Congratulations

  2. Bo Harris says:

    Congratulations! I’ll give you a hearty handshake (and hopefully fight) next we meet.

  3. Patrick Savelli says:

    You’ll be a great one – banish self doubt (harder than it sounds) – who am I kidding, you’re already great you just need to see. Well done my friend.

  4. Millicent says:

    The fact that you ask yourself those questions, that you see the bigger picture not just your own ambitions/dreams/good already shows that indeed you are worthy of being knighted. I wish we had more knights like you here in Poland.

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