Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apprentice



Life has a strange way of working out sometimes, of just having things come together in such a way that you have to marvel at the beauty of it. This weekend was a joining of the strands, of seemingly random occurrences and happenstance meetings drawing people closer and into new and exciting adventures together.

I first met Mistress Madhavi last year at Res Vesteria, on what she calls one of her worst days ever. I was inspired by her command of the kitchen in the line of fire, awed by her culinary skill and encouraged when she was willing to listen to my suggestions and even implement them in the meal. I left that event uplifted, excited and jabbering all the way home to my friends at the amazingly cool person I had just met. I next ran into her at Fall Coronation 2011, at the end of the feast she went out of her way to come find me. I was humbled that she remembered me, she personally thanked me again for my work with her at Res Vesteria and said she would love to work with me again anytime. I found out she had been made a Laurel that day before I arrived to site, and I remarked to my friend Jake that if I were to ever take a belt I would want ti from her.

That first real communication, the thanks and the promise of future work inspired me. You can look back on my blog from last year and see the sheer number of cooking entries I did as I tested making my own period recipes. I was consumed with a passion for the culinary arts and every event and every art/sci I found a way to attend/enter just made me more inspired. I began to research my persona and my garb, study my culture and my food. I sat down and just wanted to absorb SCA culture and history, sometimes sitting by the fire for hours as I just listened to the stories of yesteryear. When Kingdom Art/Sci rolled back around and I found that Mistress Madhavi was one of my judges, I was a ball of nervousness and anticipation. Not only did it go well, but she invited me to cook and do even more with her at Gulf wars!

Gulf Wars was amazing in so many ways that I still can't even describe it all. I got to know Mistress Madhavi and so many other amazing people even better, I had a wonderful cooking experience and I worked up the nerve to ask to be Madhavi's student. We talked about it and she accepted me on, I tried not to have a gigglefit in front of her and saved that for private over booze with Ever. Having someone there as a teacher was a really great thing for me. Now I had someone whom I could regularly pester with questions in relation to food whenever they came up, someone to confide in with my concerns and someone I could rely on to be there for me whenever I needed it. I've had various friends who filled that roll for me, and still do, but this was something unique and special for me and it satisfied me in so many ways I feel stupid for rambling about.

At Fall Coronation this year, Madhavi (after insisting she have her full plate of cupcakes before talking to me) asked me to be her apprentice. She asked me to help her form a household, and asked me to start the journey to being a Laurel. I was so taken aback and stunned that for a minute I just sat there in silence staring at the kitchen, staring at the oven long enough that she asked me if I had changed my mind about wanting it. I quickly reassured her no, that it was something I deeply wanted and was just honored and floored to have been asked. We discussed a few things, then agreed to be quiet about it until she belted me at Michaelmas after feast.

The belting ceremony was everything I could have wanted. It was small and intimate, there were piles of food and booze around as Quan had been cooking all night for this. The moon was bright and full in the sky, no clouds, and the air was pleasantly warm. Not only were Quan and my Lady there, but we was also joined by Wolfmom and Countess Sibilla. Both of these lovely ladies ave been a real inspiration o my SCA time so far, and having my first Queen overseeing my belting made my vision water a little. Madhavi asked me for three promises to her, three she would hold me to then gave me three she would make to me and expect me to hold her to in return. The belt she tied me with was her own apprentice belt, in accordance with custom it seemed, and even though she said she could make me a less girly belt I wouldn't want to trade this one for anything. After that was done, she held up a raksha bandhan and asked for my right arm. She tied the jewelry to my wrist, explaining that this symbolized she would always look after me and defend me for to her I was her little brother and before she tied the knot on it she asked if I would do the same. Both of us got a little watery-visioned at this point and I nodded, she tied the knot and that was that.

Drinking and talking and partying then was in order. Stories ere told and I was honored as the Excellenices of An Crosaire and the Empress both arrived with the intention of congratulating me and Madhavi. I was so overwhelmed at this point I needed to go for a walk, I don't do well on emotional overload and I went into the woods and just sat and cried for a few moments. I hadn't felt so welcomed, so appreciated and so much at home in such a long time tat I didn't know how to handle it but with a few happy tears and laughter against an oak tree. I visited a few friends, then made my way back feeling light as a feather and ontop of the world.

There will be more writing about this event this week, but I needed to get this off my chest and onto this blog for my own memories. Than you for those taking this journey with me.