May 01, 2012
A Model of Patience & Chivalry
Don't ask me how this happened ... I can't remember the first step down the slippery slope ... but somewhere/somehow one of the voices in my head found my mouth-hole and said through it SURE I'D BE DELIGHTED TO START TRAINING TO BE A TARGET ARCHERY MARSHAL.
And I thought it only meant inspecting bows and arrows and other tackle. Heck, you didn't even have to, you know, be able to score 20 pts. at 20 yards with six arrows. NOW there's this fine print about "How a Marshal shall behave."
WHAT? You mean I have to [Austin Powers accent here] BEEEE-have?
Actually, it should come as no surprise -- and it really doesn't -- that along with the Specs for tackle and equipment should also come some guidelines for marshal deportment. Unlike our noble colleagues the heavy fighters with their nice duct-taped rattan make-believe swords; and more closely our rapier comrade kin with real steel (for the most part) and "safeties": We folk of the bow are using real weapons. It's not just a nicety to call HOLD as Sir Eatsalot is on one leg and is huffing and might need a bit of a breather. A flight of arrows mis-timed at the Line can really injure or kill someone. Tackle dysfunctions really can hurt you: I just heard a story recently about a broken spine that an archer put through his bow hand at full draw. Yes. You WILL file AN INCIDENT REPORT.
More recently at a youth event where archery was a major component, it was a matter of first, fitting bows to young people who'd never drawn a bow before, and then showing them how to nock an arrow. Several times a right-handed archer pivoted right to nock (on the left of the shelf, which is correct) but then nocked pointing TOWARD the archer on the right. It's an easy, natural, first-timer thing to do. (In fact I catch myself tending that way when I nock, even now.)
So the Marshal-In-Training (me) has to be gentle but firm and encouraging but specific that please, nock your arrow pointing toward the target, thank you.
I can manage this with grace and good cheer with the under-age-16 crowd, but my palms start to sweat in anticipation by roleplaying Lord Dungsschmertz and his atomic crossbow, and he has an ISSUE.
I was awfulizing this empitheatre with myself when I realized that in fact, I had all sorts of attitudes that I was going to have to "own" and face before I could ever be alone at the Line with archers to facilitate. It's not just what the archers bring with them, eyesight or tackle or hopes/fears/frustrations/dreams. It's my attitude as a marshal that I need to consider as well, what I'm bringing with ME.
Right Attitude and the discipline of Loving Service. (The spirit of Chivalry.)
Posted by lizcal at May 1, 2012 12:17 PM