The last couple of months (probably more like years) have given me some time to plan, rethink, and freak out about my blog. I
think know the one thing that has held me back is myself. I know we all do in little and in big ways. I got to discuss my blog a little in depth with my Sensei, Mistress Jaquelinne. She knows I've been stressing out, and having little meltdowns because my life has been full of mundane things. My life has definitely been full of not-what-I-really-want-to-do-right-now-but-I-have-to's. At one point while I was blabbering on about this format and layout when she said, "Well what's the point you're trying to make with your blog? What is the purpose of it?"
UHHHHH.......Oh right. I started this blog to be a help to others in finding information on Pre-1600's Japan. It was as simple as that. I want to provide a safe place for beginners to say, "I can do that." or "That makes sense!", or "That's so amazing!" The thought that comes to my mind is that all lakes of knowledge start as drops. That may make the realist in you rage; but the thought makes the task seem easier, manageable, and much more worthwhile in the long run for me.
Here are some of my thoughts from the last 6 months.
At 50 Year I met the wonderfully talented, intelligent, and hilarious Mistress Baroness Jadi Fatima. If you haven't seen her website Silk Road Conjectures then you should go take a look. I took a fantastic class from her about Patterning Caftans and Central Asian Coats. She was gracious enough to invite everyone from her class to come by her tent later if they wanted to chat more, had questions, or wanted to download information that she had been researching for her book that she's writing. In the years I've been in the SCA I don't think I've ever had someone literally give away their research material. Keeping your research, patterns, and material to yourself is pretty common in the SCA simply because of the time invested into it. I can't blame anyone for doing that. Research is a blood, sweat, tears, and some type of dark magic sacrificial process. (Not really, but sometimes it really feels that way) Unfortunately I did not have a flash drive with me at the time I met Jadi, but I know she's happy to answer any questions I might have. I'm really looking forward to her book that's coming out soon.
The funny thing about my talk with Jadi is that I didn't ask her about her research information. Well not specifically anyway. I asked her about her research process. She talked with me about books, museum examples, websites, and just life in general. She recommended a few things to me, and I hope to make the most of her wisdom. So I guess here goes. There will be a lot of as-far-as-I-know's, I'm-not-sure's, and this-is-what-I-think's. So all I ask in this process as you read my blog is to be patient with me. Even if you disagree, or find the correct answer, or know better than I do. There are a million ways to skin a cat. I'm learning every time I post, every time I make something, and every time I open another book. It takes time to make a lake of knowledge.
While I was on the Rapier Field at 50 Year I met another fighter who was genuinely interested in making a Japanese kit similar to mine.
My painted mask- which is really hard to paint I figured out the hard way.
I realized while talking with this gentleman that I knew what what period accurate and what was not as accurate. Because of him I felt more confident in pursuing my desire to have a more period looking fighting kit. So it's progress. Baby steps. Drops. Whatever you want to call it, but I'm feeling the burn and desire to do what I can one little bit at a time regardless of small or large my knowledge is. So stay tuned- the transition will be slow, but it will happen.