The one who inspires

10 Jun 2014 by gebhard, 2 Comments »


I joined the SCA before I met my wife. When I was talking about fighting in a tournament, I was told that it was not good for a man to fight for himself, but it was right for him to have someone to fight for, and whatever winnings I might gain were to be given to the one who inspired me.

While I followed that advice, at the time I didn’t understand it. If I’m doing all the work, why shouldn’t I keep the prize? On the other hand, girls like it when you give them shiny things.  How could this go wrong?

After I met my wife, I had someone who inspired me, both on and off the list. It had become my practice that on the rare occasion I attended an event without her, I would buy her a small gift. She likes earrings, like the small dangly ones with stones in them.

Then, this weekend past, for the first time in a over a year, I attended an event without my Baroness by my side. This also means, her earring supply is running low.  Fortunately for me, the SCA is full of semi-professional jewelry makers from whom I may pick a small gift for my lovely Baroness.

A bit of nostalgia kicked in as I browsed the wares of the merchants during the event. I thought back to years before. Then also was I looking for a gift for my Lady Katayoun, when I spotted the perfect gift. It was a tea set.  My darling loves her morning coffee, so much so, she has a 128 oz coffee cup. At Pennsic, she gets up early and starts the ritual process of lighting the fiery altar on which water can be boiled to pour into the french coffee press.

It is a monstrosity of a “coffee cup” as it’s really more of a barrel, I call it the “get lost” cup. This is because you can fill the thing, get lost in the woods around Pennsic so that you never see another living person for 48 hours, then come back to camp, and you’ll still have coffee.

Tea sets come with very small cups, so that you have to refill them. This encourages people to hang out and talk, since they are only a few sips away from needing a refill. Much time must be spent at the table.

This was exactly what I had found, a very nice, pink rose tea set. It had matching saucers, and the cups where in the shape of roses and had gold trim on the tops. They were beautiful and dainty.  Then I thought about my dearest Katayoun, and I realized she would hate this gift.

She is intelligent, practical and independent. The large coffee cup is a sign of that. “Why waste time hanging around a pot, when you can take it on the road getting things done?”

Instead, I got her a damascus steel belt knife, which she keeps with her to this very day.

Geoffroi de Charny writer of the “Book of Chivalry” writes that the love of a good and honorable lady will push a good man-at-arms to even greater heights and to win more renown and honor for his lady.

I believe this to be true.  Before every fight, I think of my Baroness. Not only on her lasting beauty but also on the intelligent, practical advice she would give me if she were there.  Keep your back straight, take the shortest path the target, flourishes are nice but they aren’t needed.

Much like the difference between a set of pink tea cups and a dagger so too would be the difference in renown I would earn without her continuous, support, council and admiration week after week, at practice, on the pell and at tournaments. Without her, I might be the fanciest non-winning fighter on the list.

Whatever I have gained, it is right to share it with my beloved Baroness. While I may not yet be able to win the greatest tournament prize for her that I would wish, I hope these dangle earrings will do until that day.

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  1. Eleanor says:

    I’ve found the inspiration of the one you love is a two way street – I inspire him, and he inspires me. I had heard others speak of this, but until I met him I did not truly understand what it meant. Thank you for the great blog!!

  2. Milesent says:

    This is a nice illustration too of the simple fact that people are different and what inspires one person, won’t another. As I’m fond of saying, there is no Mr./Ms. Right, there is a Mr./Ms. Right for you. 😉

    My Husband inspires and strengthens me, I can honestly say I am a Peer because of his love and support (and keeping me on task!) Our flaws mesh well 😉 I needed someone who was tidy and detail oriented, he needed someone who was positive and patient. Win!

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