I’ve been struggling with my poetry since February or so. I thought I needed to focus and decided to try more historically focused tanka.
But nothing came.
So I tried focusing on happy or joyful tanka.
Again nothing came.
I thought getting back into the daily habit would help.
So I find myself having only written a dozen or so tanka since February. I feel frustrated and … empty. And I’ve been putting some things together through therapy. I firmly believe that my current state of overwhelm and my lack of poetic voice are linked. Once I get some things squared away, perhaps after the stress of Pennsic is over, maybe I’ll write again. I even have a fun new project idea, pull a poem from the Kokinshu, an early anthology of waka dating from the Heian period, and write a tanka either in response or inspired by that poem.
Oh, and I published a book of poetry. The Path: 21 Tanka. ISBN: 9789357690959
On Amazon at: https://a.co/d/6iJ6Z27
But the joy of that was short-lived. A small bright momentary flash in the dark.
Massive overwhelm is affecting everything. Being injured only added to it. I hurt my wrists in early April at work and have been limited in what I can do. I’ve finally received a treatment that should have me back to full function in the next few days, so I’m hopeful.
This has greatly hindered my Samurai training. I haven’t been able to pick up and wield a weapon. And I’m not yet authorized. Rain and problems with my contacts ruined my plans last week. But, my armor is situated and I may be able to authorize this week. The injury didn’t just slow down my training, I struggled physically and emotionally as I adjusted to using my nondominant hand which was slightly less injured than my dominant. And I couldn’t keep up.
Much to my chagrin, the auction commission is still sitting. One garment is completely cut out now, fashion fabric and lining. So progress. And now that my wrist should be better, I hope to finish the first garment by next weekend. The second garment requires a mock up, so I think I’ll go buy some red cotton for that instead of using the white I have. If it turns out well, I’ll have a pair of haribakama for myself. Once the auction items are finished, I move on to Pennsic Prep sewing.
And sewing’s not the only bit of prep for Pennsic. Besides Samurai Training so I can fight, I’m also going to need to do a bit of studying and prep on two of my classes. I’m teaching my Heian Get Ready With Me: Travelling Outfit back to back with my Pilgrimage and Power class. Twice. I’ll need to create a simple handout for the GRWM (a list of makeups and clothing terms?) and the P&P class needs an updated handout. Both of those things need to be uploaded here so I can allow people to scan a QR code to get to the handouts. In conjunction with those classes, I would also like to redesign my travelling outfit page on this website to show the progress I’ve made over the years with this particular ensemble. I’m on version 2.5. And I think I’m going to try to record my classes for my YouTube channel.
My Genji Project is in the throws of major change. I can’t keep up the pace. The “pause” didn’t work. I didn’t get caught up, I have no cushion and I’m struggling. I’m still determined, but I’m also just struggling with absolutely everything. Right now I don’t know when my next episode will air. I started the project when I was unemployed and I could give it all my time and the pace was fine, but I’ve lost 40+ project hours a week to my full time job that I used to spend on this. I’m considering adding a week’s break after each chapter to spread things out a little more. Right now I just need to get the next episode, Chapter 13, read and scripted. I can usually power through the production side in 5-6 hours, the research side takes a lot longer.
I did finish the Order of the Silver Crescent award document that I was assigned as of my last update and have taken on another (Order of the Silver mantle) due next month. Everything is due next month. At some point I’ll get images of the completed Silver Crescent and the Award of Arms from last year posted.
As Baronial Largesse Coordinator I’ve hosted 2 largesse nights, and need to host at least one more to finish the firestarters we made at the first 2 nights. We just need to add little paper notes so people know who they’re from and what to do with them.
I haven’t made it to many events. Birka was a challenge as I had to stay more away from people than I would have liked. I was hosting grandmother’s 90th birthday the next weekend and couldn’t risk getting sick, so I missed out on a lot of the part that I really needed as I avoided those not masked. I did have one person tell me that they read my blog and was incredibly flattered. We’re now friends on Facebook and I look forward to spending time with her again. And with a little help I was able to transform a hotel room into a vigil space for my dear friend, Laureata Fiore. I dropped an award document off at Coronation but didn’t stay due to severe anxiety and forgetting my meds, and I attended the local Otter’s Welcome. I still have Northern Region Warcamp and Great Northeastern War as potentials before Pennsic, but they’re looking less and less likely. That time may need to be redirected to more Pennsic Prep. After Pennsic I plan to attend Carolingian 50 Year and then I travel to Gleann Abhann to my former Barony of Grey Niche for the elevation to Laurel of my dear friend Mahsheed. This happens at Gleann Abhann’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences event, so I’d like to enter something, likely just a display. I don’t know what I could make with the amount of time I’ll have (about a month after Pennsic).
I have started working on a plan that will see me make a full silk kasane, kobai no nioi (deepening plum pink). It is a gradation of dark to light pink appropriate year round but especially fine at the end of winter/beginning of spring. It’s the springboard for my winter/spring wardrobe in silk. Though it is planned as an abbreviated version using a single layer of silk taffeta rather than being lined. It saves half the fabric, and if I ever decide to line them later or turn them into the lining, I can. So far I’ve gotten swatches and have the fabrics in mind. The next step will be saving up for the huge order of silk, about 35 yards. This is a long term project. I intend to hand sew all of it. I’m trying to decide if my rank would allow for “figured” middle layers – using either brocades or block printed silk for the ginu/uchiki. I don’t think it does. That is likely Royal Peer level, and I barely qualify to wear kurenai much less murasaki. This project is part of my plan to eventually hand sew full karaginu mo from silk. I’ll still need nagabakama, uwagi, karaginu and mo. But I’m letting myself get carried away dreaming of kasane…
In actual news, I stepped down from Deputy MOAS for the Barony and stepped up as Deputy Seneschal. I have a little under 2 years to learn the job.
My touchstone words for this year are Balance, Challenge and Growth. I’m struggling with the first, trying to rise to meet and set new of the second, and I feel the pain of the last. I have a lot on my plate, and that could certainly count toward my overwhelm, but it doesn’t add up to enough to put me in the state I’ve been. Or maybe it does and I’m underestimating the amount of strain I’ve put myself under. Either way, I’m working on it in therapy.