Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Tragedy

Last night a fire broke out on the grounds of Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Several buildings burned down and one person lost their life in the blaze.

I am at a loss for what to say.
I sit here staring at the cursor blinking on my screen, my fingers poised over the keys, only there is nothing.

I have been on cast at Scarborough for almost a decade now. Every spring for 9 years I have gone out and put on my character and lived in the magic that is faire. It is this place between performance and escapism where my sanity resides. More importantly, it is home, and the people that work there are family.

We have had a number of losses to our faire family through the years. Some I was close to, some I only barely knew, but every loss hurt. It hurts not only because these are good people that are no longer with us, but because it is like a little of the magic dies with them.

Only...at faire, people don't die. They live on, not only in our memories, but in the lanes.
Kevin's heart might have given up, but Liam Hunter is still prowling around the woods searching for the perfect prize for a festival feast. Cancer might have beat Tyna, but Rosie Fox will always be just around the corner checking your locks to make more work for her husband. Jeff might have sacrificed himself before that crazed gunman to save his friends, but Mayhem will always be lingering about the list.

Having the fire on faire site, and a death of one of our own along with it seems so much worse. Not only did we lose part of our family, but our home was hurt too. We can always rebuild shops, that is not a problem, we can not reclaim a life. I wonder if we will pass by that spot and not remember that one of our own lost their life there.

I hope, sincerely, that the magic of the faire that we cling to so, will help us not focus on the tragedy, but instead focus on the good memories of the person we lost. I hope we can remember that this person was truly a good man, who was happy, and who found a sense of joy and belonging inside the walls of the faire.

It is not the tragic end that matters, but the joyful life that was led.
We must mourn loss, but we must also celebrate life.

May we remember those gone before us, and offer them tribute.
May we mourn the ending of life, and celebrate the life still here.
May the joy of what has been, and the sorrow of what is to come be placed where they should, and life go on as is inevitable.

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