Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tales of a Munane Nature

What happens when you become “that person” among your friends, your barony, or even within your kingdom? What happens is that you get interesting opportunities and, if you play it right, you take them.

For example, about two weeks ago I had received a text from Shelley, asking if she could speak to me about helping a student of hers. Well, of course I said yes. I didn't know if I could help, but I would be happy to try. She then explained that a student had decided they wanted to do their big project on Baba Yaga and she was looking for resources that she could pick up that would talk about the different types of stories or the symbolism that created Baba Yaga. Well, the first thing that came to mind was the recent book that came out all about the ambiguous witch, so I told Shelley the title and she asked if I could email it instead. So, I wrote up a quick little email pointing out the book as an excellent resource for all the nit picky bits about Baba Yaga. This person who wrote it really did their research. But I also linked her to my class notes on my blog because there were a lot of other great resources she could use there as well, I felt. I sent the email and figured I wouldn't hear back from her since I sent her all the information she was looking for.

I was wrong.

Two days ago, I received this email:

Thank you for the information on Baba Yaga (especially the book) to get me started! I think that this research paper is going to be fun. I do not know anything about her,
except that she comes from slavic folklore and this is the reason I chose her as my research subject - I am slavic.
I was hoping I could ask for your knowledge reagarding her form time to time? I have found a lot of "foe" stories about her but I am looking for her "friend" stories as well. I would like to prove in my research paper that she is a friendly goddess and that she is good. I would love to send you a copy of my outline to see what your thoughts were! Also, I am asking if you would be willing to perform a Baba Yaga story in persona - that would be an excellent piece to my power point presentation on Baba Yaga!!!!!!!!
Again, thank you!”

What do you respond to something like that? Well, if you are anything like me, you respond 'Of course I would love to help” because there is nothing like conglomerating together on a project. You never know what you will learn. And I am certainly not proud enough to think there is nothing left for me to learn. I am certain that this will be a great boon to me as well as this woman.

Will I perform? I seriously hope that I can and that it will fit into my schedule. There is nothing like sharing something you enjoy with others.

So, although this entry may not be 100% SCA related, this is how I live my life. And the SCA is a not-for-profit organization, right? We are all about sharing our love of history, what ever the hobby we chose may be, right? I encourage you all to find some way, some part of the community, that you can go and share this joy, and learn from others.

This comes from a woman who was recently, twice, an “exotic Russian princess” at a day care to share the joy of imagination with kids, from making crowns to helping make the patter of rain on their cardboard castles. What did they teach me? Smiles and laughter are an important part of what I do... and always should be.