The weekend included a lot of skill competitions including, shooting matches, tomahawk and knife throwing, open fire cooking, and a unique woodwalk shooting match along a "dark path" in the wood.
I’m new to the hobby, but one thing that I’ve noticed is that re- enactors spend a lot of time talking about their “persona”: What is the time period? Where did you come from and how did you get here? What style of clothing, guns, and tools do you use? What knowledge do have a world events?
Basically, “Who do you think you are?”
That's a question I used to get a lot when I was a kid. I remember the nuns from grade school scalding me with it when they were especially pissed off at me: “Mr. Kuhn, who do you think you are (saying or doing) that!?”
Barbara Sher’s book Wishcraft talks about this:
“Who do you think you are? Does this sound familiar? Most of us heard that question at some time during our growing up – usually at the vulnerable moment when we ventured some dream, ambition, or opinion close to our hearts.”
The premise of her book is to imagine those words being spoken in a curious, open, wondering tone of voice, for once.
The first exercise is to ask the question, but don’t answer it with the customary: age, sex, race, occupation, marital status, parental / child / sibling, income, social status…
Who do you think you are? Don’t list your demographics, list your talents and gifts. List what you love to do and be! What do you do with energy and joy? That is your identity, your core.
“It’s your vital design that needs to unfold and express itself through the medium of your whole life. And so the unique pattern of talents and gifts that lies hidden in the things you love is also the map of your own life path.”
So, there I was this weekend walking dark paths and camping. This solitary “pioneer” had a lot to think about while shivering in his primitive tent, too uneasy and uncomfortable to go to sleep (after all, it was my first attempt at this and the temp dropped to 41 degrees). Somewhere along the line I found myself asking, Mr. Kuhn, who do you think you are… playing silly pioneer games in the middle of the wood?
I think I was striving to be alive in the moment. I realized that I do enjoy re-enacting pioneer life, but that I don’t need to do it every weekend or every month. Still, it is an important reminder to myself to continually, as one song I heard on a CD on the drive up to camp, “to live in the moment and make every moment last.”
Thank all of you out there who have walked along with me through dark wood, given me special moments, helped me grow and see myself through different eyes, and changed me for the better… for good.
“Who do you think you are?” Perhaps that’s a question that we should never stop asking on our woodwalk path (sometimes dark) of life.
Sir Bowie “Trying to make every moment last” of Greenbriar