Monday, April 1, 2013

This One's For You*

I can't lie, internets--the last several weeks have been the hardest your ol' pal Peg have ever endured. But I've been regrettably absent too long; it's time for another bout of blog therapy.

Mid-February, my blood sister passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. We did not grow up together, but we grew into who we wanted to be together. I was her "sister in all but blood" until she drew on her Native American heritage and went to the local council to find out how to make me her sister, plain and simple.

Because many of you didn't have the pleasure of knowing her, this collection of anecdotes will have to suffice (though if you know me, you have seen, felt, and heard her influence).

When I first met Jacky, I was 19 years old. I performed at Scarborough Faire with the Omni madrigals in 1988, and was instantly hooked. I wanted to be a part all things Scarborough ASAP, so I joined the performing company for the Christmas fundraiser, Dickensfest, later that year.

A mutual friend took pity on the clueless creature I was and took me under her wing. Shortly thereafter she introduced me to Jacky, who of course hated me from the get-go. It wasn’t my fault, though. I had to belch, you see, and it was right about the time that—unbeknownst to me—Ann was saying, “… and this is Peg.”

I belched loudly and proudly right as Jacky turned to greet me.

She accused me of belching in her face but I maintain that I didn’t belch on her; she walked into the wake of it. It was her own damn fault! Fortunately, she eventually began to warm up to me, and, as they say, a beautiful friendship was born.

One of the biggest compliments I can think of is that our faire friends commonly referred to us as The Twins. Apparently we were, for all intents and purposes, interchangeable. Cast members would regularly come up to me and say, “Hi Jacky! Blah blah blah, Jacky — oh, and by the way, when you see Peg would you tell her blah blah blah?”

Of course, the same thing happened to her. "Hey Peg! Blah blah, blah—oh, and Peg? Let Jacky know yadda yadda yadda." They never realized their mistake, so we just carried on and relayed information between us as needed.

Twins! See why that's kinda funny?
The funniest part for us, of course, was watching new people come in and get told, oh yeah, they’re twins. Soon enough they would nod knowingly, seeing past the difference in appearance, recognizing only the bond between us. That alone makes me the luckiest girl alive, I think.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Love Is All You Need

For the most part, I don’t actually mind getting older. Sure, there are the indignities our bodies undergo as we transition into middle age—parts shrink or expand, they grow spots or protest certain activities loudly and painfully. That’s all largely “meh” in my book, as it’s just part of life’s cycle. Aging is also usually preferable to the alternative—except when it means you've reached an age where friends start dying of natural causes.

That, dear interwebs, sucks unmitigated amounts of ass.

My RenFaire community recently lost a friend. Brian and I weren't super close, but there’s a bond between performers that’s a kind of shortcut. You don’t have to battle through life’s trenches together to develop a healthy level of trust and respect; a weekend or two on stage or in the lanes will get you there.

But when someone from the community dies, there’s a double-whammy. In addition to my own sadness, I’m processing that of my Faire Family. There’s a hole in that world now, and it takes an additional toll on my psyche to feel the reverberations of waves of grief across those sympathetic fibers that connect us as Family of Choice. For me, that is far worse than my own sense of loss.

When I found out, I wrote a Facebook post exhorting everyone to never fail to let friends and loved ones know how much they are loved. I also reaffirmed my love for them. 

I fear, however, that it is not enough.