The canvas is such an apt image of the way I feel about reenacting right now. It is the end of the season and I am exhausted by all the reenacting, though we still have cleanup to do and podcasts to record, and blog entries to write, not to mention all the projects that I started during the season and never managed to finish!
In fact, we skipped our last event of the year. After 5 weekends of faire we were going to spend last weekend in the Pocconos with other people who reenact the same time that we do. But by the middle of last week two of the folks going on the trip had bailed out, and we were burnt out and not recovered from Faire. The thought of unpacking and re-packing just to un-pack again was heartbreaking, and the thought of camping in temperatures that were threatening below freezing had me really scared. We tendered our regrets, and I’ve felt relieved and guilty ever since. I still think it was the right decision, but it is really too bad we missed the chance to hang out and network with other folks who are interested in the same stuff we’re interested in!
A few weekends ago I did a bunch of interviews at a Colonial event for the Podcast and I asked one of the folks who agreed to talk to me if he was involved in other reenacting groups. He told me that he was, that he probably was involved in too many groups, that he participated in too many events, and had probably taken the hobby too far. It struck me that that is totally an end-of-the-season sort of answer. That I’m not the only one looking back and wishing I’d had a few more days at home, that I’m not the only one who is tired, and looking forward to a slow-down if not an absolute break.
During the last few weeks of faire, Stephen valiantly carried on the podcast without me. I was tired and the thought of talking for a half an hour or more about Living History on top of doing it every weekend (and our normal jobs and lives on top of that) was just too much for me. When faire ended even Stephen seemed reluctant to head up to the “studio” and talk about Living History. We both love it, but I think we’ve hit a wall.
Don’t worry, all you listeners, all you blog readers, this is only temporary. Already I’m planning all the projects to do over the slower months. We’ve got spring events marked in our calendars. We’re putting together some new workshops and discussions to have at Reenactorfest in February. Tonight I am glad that reenacting follows the earth cycles. It may seem like we’ve slowed down for a bit, but we’ve just got to do a little re-charging. We’ll do a little historical research, read some books, maybe sleep in. And we’ll get through the winter, then emerge in the spring ready to jump back in to history with both feet.
At some point we’ll probably even fold up all those tents.