I mentioned last week that I was surprised that Their Majesties Agrippa and Bridget made me a Companion of the Dolphin at their first court. I feel that requires a bit of explanation.
First, go read Gebhard’s post about the Purple Fret, the Middle Kingdom’s equivalent of Caid’s Dolphin. I can wait.
So, I had read that a few days before Coronation, and it was in my head when Their Majesties hung the medallion around my neck. I agree with so much in that article… and yet I still found myself thinking, “I feel like I have not done enough to warrant this.” Fortunately, my friend Sir Artus (who is also a Master of the Pelican) congratulated me after court and gave me the opportunity to work through my complicated feelings (because I often do my best thinking out loud). What I said was something like this:
I am not saying Their Majesties were wrong to give this to me. One of things that make it difficult is that text of the ceremony says, ‘This award is intended to honor those persons who have served Caid above and beyond the normal expectations of their offices or ranks.’ And I feel like I have just been doing my job…
At which point Artus says, “That’s what they always say,” and I laugh.
I suppose it’s really the timing that surprised me. Yes, I have been doing a fair amount of service work. And I know I’m not supposed to think about ‘what it took for other people to get this award.’ I guess it’s that I’ve seen other people who I feel like have done more than I have who haven’t been honored in this way… which I suppose means I need to be be writing award recommendations.
At which point Artus nods, as he sees that I’ve gotten it.
I realize now that awards in the SCA are both a reward for work done and a reminder of the expectations your actions have created. At least three times in the last week I have found myself thinking, “As someone who has been given a service award, this is the kind of thing I ought to do.” The medallion I wear reminds me what others have seen in me and encourages me to do continue to be seen that way. I need to thank Their Majesties for recognizing the kind of person I want to be and giving me something to help me recall that from time to time.
And I need to write some award recommendations.