Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kali's Circus/ Boarding School

So I had a dream last night, that even though it woke me up several times, just kept going. So I'm very tired this morning, but it's still on my mind.

It started out as I was thinking about medieval games. In particular medieval cards. A friend of mine brought a particular deck to my attention.

It's a reproduction of a Mamluk deck.

See, our shire has decided that year's shire game is going to be painted/illuminated decks of cards for each family. I have to admit, I'm very excited. And we need to start designing and planning them to make sure they'll be ready for Yule. And so I was doing like I do with most art projects-- I started thinking about them in my sleep.

So as I began designing cards, I was also thinking about the Tarot decks. When you're researching medieval cards and medieval card games, you're going to come across Tarot decks. Funny thing is that historically, they weren't used for Tarot readings in period. That was done with regular card decks.

So my dream transitioned and I was using a regular card deck to do tarot readings at Kali's Circus/ Boarding School.

First, I should mention who Kali is. I've briefly mentioned her before in other blogs. She is the Hindu goddess of Eternal energy, time and change.

And I was a student at her Circus/Boarding school. And as suggested it was a combination of performance and learning.

I woke up before I'd read all the cards, so I don't know what the fortune was.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Games, A Then and Now Musing

So today, as I was looking through my friend Tony's copy of, "The Complete Anachronist #71: Period Pastimes: Being a Timeline of Games with Instructions and Commentary on Selected Games Played in Medieval Europe" by Patrick J. Smith, I came across a card game that dates back to the early 15th century: Ranter-Go-Round. At the time, I was looking through the card games to see if there are any others (like Poch) that can be played with a game board, so I was really only perusing.

But as my eyes ran over the description of this game, I stopped. Took my eyes back up to the top and read all about Ranter-Go-Round, getting more and more excited as I went. See, I KNEW this game. I was introduced to it 10 years ago when I went with my husband to the first Coots Family Reunion (My mother in law, her brothers and all of their families get together every year in various travel spots around the US). Of course, we know it as Shit on Your Neighbor.

But it got me thinking-- I've come across several games that as I look at them, I know we're still playing them.

Some of them have different names:

Snakes and Ladders = Moksha Patamu
Tic-Tac-Toe = Draughts and Crosses
Checkers = Draughts or Morris
Connect Four = Five in a Row
Backgammon = Nards

Others, surprisingly, have the -same- name:

Shut the Box
Mancala/ Wari

But it's more than just board games. We still play tag. And Hide and Seek. And marbles, and Jacks, and Pick up sticks, jump rope, bocce, bowling, badmitten, croquet, hopscotch -- even if the names aren't the same, the GAMES are!

And considering that some of these are thousands of years old

--I figure that's pretty impressive!

Now, who wants to play Ranter-Go-Round?


My friend Carin wrote today, "Love + _________= Happiness (???)"

There were some interesting, and some very good, answers.







But I just watched Donnie Darko with my husband last night. So of course, I flash to the 'self help' videos. And Donnie Darko being called up to the board with a scale that read:


And was asked to place on it where a girl who found a lost wallet, returned it to the right address but kept the money.

His response was that there are more than 2 emotions. You can't pretend that the rest of the emotions don't exist. And you can't place petty theft on a scale of Love to Fear when there are only two options.

So what does this have to do with Carin's post?

Very little except love and mathematics (;

What her quote DID remind me of though, was wishing on stars.

Wee, when I was a little kid, like any little kid, I made the usual wishes. A pony. A piece of candy. Whatever. But sometimes, I made more important wishes. Like when my mother was in the hospital. Or my sister was running a 103+ fever. Or... well, you get the idea.

When I was about 10. I stopped wishing for the silly things. If I made a wish that wasn't a prayer, I wished for Happiness.

Took me about four years to realize that "Happiness" is a pretty elusive thing to wish for. And if you actually think wishing for it without thinking about what it is is going to make it happen-- you're NOT going to find it.

So one day, I thought about. I mean, sat down and -really- thought about it. I was about fourteen.

And I changed my wish for the final time.

Since I was about 14, my only wish, when I make them, is for "Everything we need and some of what we want." To me, that is the equation that = Happiness.

And sometimes, instead of wishing as the stars twinkle, I simply close my eyes and say, "Thank you" for the happiness that is in my life.