by Lady Gwyneth MacDonagh of Atlantia
As you see me walking about with Leroy the Service Greyhound you see a smile on my face. Sure, I can’t run around and waterbear/chirurgeon or do battles for my kingdom or Pennsic, but, I’ve been learning over the last three years that even with disabilities and changes to my physical self, there are things I can do and enjoy doing more than I could have imagined.
As the Society grows older we ourselves do as well. Fighters can’t fight as well as they wish they could. Archers can’t see those targets down the way. Fiber artists can’t dye and spin as they once could due to the arthritis in their hands. When I started the Atlantian Disability Education Facebook page I did so with the idea that we could share ideas to help one another with ways to get over the nots and enjoy the can dos
Fighters learn to use their upper bodies to move and gauge distance and throw a strike. This also enables them to sit and throw an axe! Yes, the fighter makes a great throwns weapons champion. His ability to maneuver a group of men on the fly also creates a great autocrat. The archer who can’t see distances any longer can marshal a range, which is always needed, or can teach kids how to shoot. They are also great at filking for some reason.
That fiber artist who can’t spin or dye due to arthritis came to the list and learned that perhaps bobbin lace might be another way to stay with the fiber arts. Three months later she posted some of the most amazing lace I have ever seen. A scribe learned to put the plastic round enlargers for kids’ pencils onto her brushes so she can hold her brushes better while her hands were healing from surgery.
These are the types of examples we wish to share with the growing SCA of today. It is not about what you can’t do. It is all about what you can do and come up with creative ways to help each other do the things we love within the SCA. Talk to others, find out what things are similar to your interest and try them. You never know just how good you can be.
As the times change we “learn we can teach others our tricks and skills, which gives us our same sense of accomplishments”, As Master J.P. put it. We can’t physically do things as we would want, but, we can learn new things and new ways. Passing on the knowledge keeps the SCA alive and growing. We shouldn’t stop because of the disabilities and changes we face in our bodies, we should adapt and thrive with our disABILITIES.