Thursday, August 2, 2007

I'm off!

I'm off on a rather daring adventure, something I haven't done in more than twenty years. I'm going to Mythcon!

The Mythopoeic Society, founded in 1967, is a literary group which was organized to discuss the
works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams, as well as other works of myth and fantasy. I joined in 1970 or '71 at which time it was made abundantly clear to me by the old guard that I had already missed the real Golden Age of the Society and such legendary exploits as The Bed Races of Mythcon I. (Why are the leaves always falling in Lorien?) But as it turned out, there were lots of good adventures still to come.

I was shanghaied, um, introduced to the Society by Dragon Lady, a girl in my dorm who, to use Lewis' phrase, had read "all the right books." Having just emerged from the parched desert of high school where no one I knew was a reader (much less a reader of Tolkien), I did not put up much of a struggle when she told me, "You know, after attending three meetings you have to join." (This was after having dragged me to several of them!) As it turned out, it was through Dragon Lady and the Mythopoeic Society that I met my future husband and the people who would become my closest and dearest friends.
It was like coming home at last.

I loved being in a group where I could wear long hair, long skirts -- in fact costumes -- which seemed so much more comfortable, reasonable, and natural than the dreadful things the rest of the world was wearing right then. And the element of pure play, which my age-mates seemed to have abandoned on entering junior high school, was here embraced by members of all ages. I remember the youthful exuberence with which we celebrated Bilbo & Frodo's birthdays at our annual Fall Picnic and the destruction of the One Ring at the Spring Picnic. We also indulged in the joy of innocent word play, a mirth that was not based on mockery or scorn.

But most of all, I loved the monthly meetings where we discussed books! One of the things that most impressed me was that we were from very different age groups, backgrounds, and levels of experience. But none of that mattered during our discussions where people much older than I (though probably younger than I am now) listened respectfully to the youngest members and engaged them as individuals rather than as types. (Sort of like the Internet, only face to face.)

Ah, the golden glow of memory.

But my ride is driving up the street. I'm off on the road with dwarves!

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