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First Word

And so it begins... We're not quite fully unpacked, but already Robert and I have been talking about the SCA, Atlantia, House Corvus and our burgeoning plans for increasing our activity in all three. We're getting very excited to attend Sacred Stone's upcoming Baronial Birthday! I went to Mary Jo's last weekend with Mistress Rachel de Johnstone and she helped me pick out fabric to make a new outfit. Seems like old times. Another event, another piece of garb! Still, my SCA wardrobe needs a major overhaul, so why not start right away?

It is also very exciting that, after her own hiatus from the SCA, Mistress Rachel will be returning and joining House Corvus. Along with Baron Jason Michael and Mistress Susan Douglas of Andover, Mistress Rachel de Johnstone is one of my very first friendships made in the Society. Her charm, sense of humor, and mad sewing skills have always been an inspiration me. I doubt I'd know half the artsy/crafty things I do (or made 90% of the things I've ever sewn) were it not for her patience and encouragement. Meeting someone like her in my earliest days in the SCA absolutely shaped my later contributions. I've always wanted her to be in House Corvus and, now, that's finally happening. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that can have patience, can have what he will.” I like to think that House Corvus exemplifies that sentiment. Of course, for us, it's a lot more than just patience, there's a lot of effort in there as well!

While not trying to make it sound like some "old home" week, it's been wonderful to catch up with a few friends during our first few weeks back in Charlotte. Mistress Susan lives mere blocks away and has already been over for dinner several times. In addition to shopping with Mistress Rachel, I managed to meet up with Baroness Erlin Pathfinder for lunch the other day. And this weekend, I'll be journeying to Baelfire Dunn to have dinner with my former Baroness of Sacred Stone, Baroness Eliska Alexandrovna in celebration of her birthday.

It's funny how seeing people can make you feel old while, at the same time, making you feel entirely young again. I guess that's why we have high school reunions. Seeing ourselves reflected in the faces of our peers makes us keenly aware of how much time has passed since we've all been together. But it also reminds us, not only of the great times we shared in younger days, but that we still have each other in our lives and that all new adventures await us, if only we're ambitious enough to create them.

Well, ambition and enthusiasm are traits that the members of House Corvus have in abundance! That we can temper that with courtesy and grace just plain makes us fun to be around. I genuinely believe that each one of you brings something so special to the SCA. It's an absolute fact that the SCA is diminished whenever one of us stops playing for a time. All the more reason to dust off that garb and come to an event! Your presence truly does make them better. We've all heard that expression about "lighting up the room" whenever a certain person enters. Well, SCA events light up when Corvus members attend. Bringing joy to others may be just about the greatest gift a person can have in life. Well, Corvus is the gift that keeps on giving!

Speaking of gifts, starting with Baronial Birthday, House Corvus will get back into the habit of presenting small tokens of our esteem whenever we visit various events. This will especially be the case for any sort of "Birthday" or "Anniversary" style events. Should you be planning on attending any of these, please let me know ahead of time. It may just be a few bottles of wine, but I think it's important that House Corvus acknowledge these anniversaries with some sort of gesture. And it doesn't always have to be some big presentation or even a throng of Corvites presenting it. Any one of us always represents all of us. So, even a single member gifting some token on all our behalves at an event you're attending has value. Please, keep me apprised of your travel plans (something we pretty much already do on the Corvus list) and I'll make sure a gift is coordinated with you.

Some wonderful changes have occurred for several Corvus members that have me practically giddy! Of course, two of the biggest have to be the birth of Adeliza and Þórgrímr's beautiful, new baby (and current youngest Corvite) SarahAnn Rose and the marriage of Signy to her longtime companion Kyle. I'm looking forward to the bright futures both of those events will bring. Lord knows, I can barely stop from smiling every time I think of them!

In true House Corvus fashion, our own Lord Raimondo Ricchie detto il Lemosino is going on Pilgrimage with his lovely, new wife. After spending some time in Paris, they'll take a train to St. Jean Pied du Port, a small town on the Spanish border, where they'll begin the Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James). This is a medieval pilgrimage route across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Raimondo says that the pilgrimage is still undertaken by thousands of people a year (2008 = 125,000). They will be walking the 450 miles of the route over the course of five weeks before ending their trip with some R&R in Barcelona. While House Corvus has done several pilgrimage-themed journeys, we've never done the whole thing in such a medieval fashion: actually walking the whole way! I think I'll create a page on the Corvus site with a map so we can chart their specific progress as they travel. It just sounds fun!

While our own journeys will be closer to home, they're no less exciting or inspirational. Baron Þórgrímr and Lord Halfdan Bekkjarbrjótr will be leaving the relative safety of their own Barony of Hawkwood for a foray into deepest, darkest Meridies. There, they'll rendezvous with Clan O Comhdhain to delve into the mysteries that the Shire of Vulpine Reach offers up at their Tourney of the Foxes. Of course, by the time you read this missive, we'll already have learned just who fought for the Foxes and who for the Owls and what adventures our brave Corvus fighters encountered!

There looks to be a fair number of us day-tripping Sacred Stone's Baronial Birthday in a few weeks. Travel safely and I look forward to seeing many of you there! --BRAN

Courtly Virtues

('pa-shen(t)s, F. patience, from Latin patientia, 13th c.)

Concerning the virtue of patience, Saint Thomas quotes Saint Augustine: “A man’s patience it is whereby he bears evil with an equal mind,” i.e., without being disturbed by sorrow, “lest he abandon with an unequal mind the goods whereby he may advance to better things.” Indeed, one would need to be patient to grasp that weighty pronouncement! The “sorrow” that is spoken of here is the passion of sorrow, which could also be called sadness, pain, or grief. It’s not the sorrow of common parlance, but something a bit broader. “Distress” might be a better word. As Medieval scholars might use it, it’s the inflamed passion we suffer while undergoing a present evil. Thus, it opposes joy or delight, which would be the passion aroused by a present good. Patience, then, allows us to bear sorrow serenely, so as not to fail in the pursuit of good.

Saint Thomas further defined patience as “the voluntary and prolonged endurance of arduous and difficult things for the sake of virtue or profit.” This gives the virtue a much broader scope and brings it into alignment with how we more typically perceive patience in action. For instance, illustrating the virtue by its opposing vice, we normally think of impatience as a sort of loss of calmness or serenity in the face of inconvenient circum-stances. Thus, when we see a pair of selfish, rude, boors bashing people on the Hawkwood list and yelling that not enough people have abandoned their personal responsibilities to service their immediate needs; that is an illustration of impatience. We exercise patience by not indulging our inflamed passion and publicly rebuking (or even engaging) with the tragically self-involved couple. Still, to narrow patience and impatience to such displays is to limit them too much. In fact, Saint Thomas argues that true patience is a supernatural virtue and concludes, “it is clearly impossible to have patience without the help of grace.”

As with every virtue, patience is one that has different degrees, depending on the nature and drive of the individual. In a Medieval sense, it is a reflection of the degree of a person's union with God. For us, it is how we handle ourselves personally in the face of the poor behavior of others in the Society. We can measure those degrees thusly:

1. Resignation, without complaint or impatience, to the emotional burdens that come to us due to the thoughtlessness of others.

2. Peace and serenity in the face of affliction, without any of the sadness or melancholy which sometimes accompanies mere resignation.

3. Calm acceptance of inflammatory behavior for the love of peace in our Society (and local branch).

4. Complete and total grace in the face of bad behavior. Attempting to educate the graceless without anger.

Still, patience is far more than not yelling at people in anger. Strive towards a more Medieval, indeed, “heroic patience” that strengthens your overall grace. Remember, though, that patience is not the same as being passive. That is laziness. But to face vice in the Society calmly, knowing that, when the furor passes, and you and your virtues remain intact to continue the quiet struggle to remain true to the Dream -- that is patience. As Tolstoy said, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Indeed, “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”

Corvus Calendar

2nd - Griffith’s Birthday
4th - Deirdre’s Birthday
5th - Atlantia: Performers Revel South in Salesberie Glen (Salisbury, NC)
6th - Star Trek debuted on TV (1966)
7th - LABOR DAY!
12th - Atlantia: Baronial Birthday in Sacred Stone (Blacksburg, SC)
12th - Atlantia: Journey to the Crusades in Caer Gelynniog (Palmyra, VA)
18th - Eldred’s Birthday
19th - Peter’s Birthday
19th - Atlantia: Nottinghill Coill War Practice in Ritterwald (New Ellenton, SC)
19th - Atlantia: Midnight at the Oasis II in Nimenefeld (Apex, NC)
20th - Ealdthryth & Eldred’s Anniversary
21st - Victoria & Griffith’s Anniversary
26th - Atlantia: Harvest Hunt in Border Vale Keep (Augusta, GA)

6th - Alrekr’s Birthday
6th - 12th - Caid: Great Western War XII (Taft, CA)
9th - Leif Erikson Day
10th - Atlantia: War of the Wings IV in Sacred Stone (Booneville, NC)
11th - Siobhan’s Birthday
12th - Caelen’s Birthday
14th - Battle of Hastings fought (1066)
16th - Isabella’s Birthday
19th - Jason Michael’s Birthday
23rd - Signy’s Birthday
24th - Atlantia: Son of the Hawkwood Howl in Hawkwood (Arden, NC) Rhiannon & Bran autocrats.
25th - Michael O’s Birthday
26th - Medb ingen Gillai-Brigte’s Birthday
27th - Rhiannon’s Birthday

Corvus Crossword

Only the solution grid is displayed on the online version of the Raven Roundtable.

Solution to crossword appearing in Issue #49.

Last modified on Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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