Monday, August 23, 2010

Pennsic Versus Mundania

I have tried to find pictures but none capture what I want to express. While it is a pain to pack and set up and taer down for Pennsic, being there is so special to me I would do almost anything to keep going! It is the exact opposite of my life in mundania/"the real world". Living in a small city of 10 to 12 thousand people, all with similar interests, is so different than living in a small modern town with almost no contact with the people around you.

At Pennsic, I wake up and have people to interact with immediately, either my Household (in camp) or just those other citizens of Pennsic who I see and talk to. In mundane life, I get up and see no one. My husband is already off to work and I spend all day alone with only the cats for company. I rarely see another human in real life and never talk to anyone unless it is on the computer or phone.

While at war, 90% of my time is spent interacting with others, I see hundreds of people each day and talk to dozens! It is so opposite and different it is hard to fathom just how NOT alike the two lives are! I hate modern clothing and even when in grubby, simple stuff, I prefer medieval clothes!

I eat less, get more exercise, walk more, breath cleaner air and am overall more healthy. I sleep better (even with drumming and partiers making all kinds of noise). It is a healthier lifestyle and reminds me a bit of when I lived on a farm as a child.

Don hates Pennsic because of all the work and headaches of packing and setting up, but I would not have him if I had not gone to Pennsic and I would not know how great community and friendship can be, if I did not go to war every year. This was my 26th Pennsic in a row and while there are always problems and issue, I hope I get to go to 26 more!


  1. Tristan sez:
    "In mundane life, I get up and see no one... I spend all day alone... I rarely see another human in real life and never talk to anyone unless it is on the computer or phone."

    That's what my life was like when I was doing only freelance or commission art. Everything changed when I got the day job. I don't think I would go back to a life lived exclusively in the studio, though I might work a few hours less at the day job if I had the chance. I am finally doing something artistic again at the day job which is good. But who knows what will happen with me in the future, some things can come up real fast.

    I never was tempted to go to Pennsic and I don't enjoy wearing medieval clothing, I often say that I'd love to go to a Pennsic set in the future so I could wear silver spandex and a bubble helmet. Not that I'd look good in spandex but you get the picture.

  2. When I try to explain Pennsic to my mundane friends (yeah, non-SCA peeps are Mundanes), I say it's a mix of 4 concepts: Brigadoon, Colonial Williamsburg, Valhalla and Frat Party. Like the Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. Pennsic appears for only two weeks every year, and to Pennsicers, the passing of the other fifty weeks seems no longer than one night. The motto of Colonial Williamsburg is "The future may learn from the past". At Pennsic we recreate the physical medieval environment and try to facilitate education about the Middle Ages. Granted, we don't have serfs, plague or inquisitions, usually. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarök. At Pennsic you get to fight, fence, shoot bows, throw axes, and other martial arts as well as arts and science contests. Frat Party in that Pennsic is a very WET event. A large amount of alcohol is used and abused there. There is also a 12-step meeting every day onsite. Now, Pennsic is alot more than just those 4 concepts, but it's a good way to start to explain the inexplicable event called Pennsic.