|My medieval self(ie)|
Ok, it's not really a selfie.
I started to memorialize my everyday
Medieval Ellis Island Baba Yaga
Goes to Market look,
but The Teenager stopped me,
because apparently moms
are already lame enough
without being selfie-takers .
We live here with a foot dipped into Medieval Normal. Not Medieval Exotic (which is the tourist experience), but Medieval Normal. That struck me in a visceral way last evening, as I flipped a shawl over my head against the night's chill and headed down the lane with the other triangular shapes of shawl-encased women, all strolling to the street market where vendors sat at their carts in the dark and children hovered nearby at a fire. I bought, naturally, some turnips. (What else would I buy, dressed in a shawl?)
In our Medieval Normal, water for washing has to be hauled at times from the well, and clothes don't dry if there is no sun.
This morning I woke to the sound of a gayin, a minstrel going house-to-house and singing outside the gate for spare change or his daily bread. (Well, a bowl of rice poured into his sack.) It was normal so I went back to sleep.
Hawkers come down the street chanting their wares, knives to grind, knives to grind.
The Teenager wears a wool cap inside; my husband has a nightcap. We take sartorial tips from Clement Moore. Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled down for a long winter's nap ...
|OK, Jon Snow, you are hot, but not THAT hot.|
Put on a hat. Like your mama says. (Oh. Sorry.)
|A heater! A heater! My kingdom for a heater!|
Notice her clothes. "Gaudy," you say? "Warm," I say.
So it's a dip of a foot, not full immersion. Our Medieval Normal comes with gas, google, and HBO on DVDs with Chinese subtitles. But there are moments. And they happen each day. To live partly outside the 21st century Comfort Bubble may sound hard, but it's also an amazing privilege. How many people have daily moments that touch the past, and live where an ordinary walk to market is a connection across the centuries?
Hmmm. I hope there's electricity right now, and water in the tank, and gas in the cylinder that heats the contraption that heats the water for the shower, because I hate to haul and heat water on the stove to bathe. What did I say again about this being a privilege?
I get it about Elizabeth I and her once-a-month baths. I really do. But Game of Thrones, with the hot-spring water under the castle floors at Winterfell? They were totally cheating.