Friday, January 30, 2009

SCA Idols: Mikal the Ram

(This is actually the second blog in a series. You can find the first blog here.)

I was just browsing through old article on Stefan's Florilegium when I stumbled across a posting by one of my dearest SCA Idols, my Bard, Mikal the Ram. I nearly cried when, after reading the entire post, I found his name signed at the bottom and a flood of memories washed over me. I have met Mikal the Ram only once, but the impact this dear man had upon my SCA life was immeasurable.

I was 17 at my first Lilies War and was loving the Calontirian bards, sitting for hours listening to them in stunned silence. At that point, all the bards I had seen around the fires at home were more suited to weaving dramatic stories or amusing tales for a laugh or two, so listening to these bards who actually sang and sang extremely well was a treat for the ears as well as the soul. I have sense learned that Calontir is known for its bards, a much-deserved distinction.

As I remember it now, the day was muggy from a brief rain a few hours prior. I was sitting under a large tent watching Kyna have her hair braided by a girl we had befriended. The girl was a year or two younger than us, but she had a lovely voice and was already praised for it within her barony, if not her kingdom. She taught us the SCA staple "Savage Daughters" (a song that I still find myself humming sometimes as I tinker about the house).

As she was singing, a man dressed in Norse garb wandered up and sat down across from us. At the end of her song, the few gathered clapped and thanked her for the song. Then the man asked if he might share one.

He prefaced the song by sharing a story of love lost and regained and then sang for us "The Valkyrie Song." Would it not have been for his voice -- so unrefined, but so infused with emotion that it sounded like an angel weeping -- you could have heard a pin drop. Afterward, as people around the circle wiped their eyes, Master Mikal gifted us with another tune, "Loki's Song." Upon its conclusion, we applauded and wiped our eyes once more, each of us touched somehow by the Other Side.

Mikal the Ram passed away on August 18, 2008 after a long battle with cancer. When I heard the news I wept. Though it had been only a small interaction, I still counted him a great influence in my SCA life. That man was surely an embodiment of The Dream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found a website belonging to Mikal the Ram long before I ever discovered SCA. I was looking for a traditional version of an old Norse tale and he popped up on Google. I read through his stories and had a few laughs. Then I listened to his songs. I favorited the site so I could go back ever now and again and hear him sing.
A couple months passed without me checking the website. I was browsing through my favorites and clicked it on a whim. It was a broken link.
Now I know why.