I think I have mentioned before that one of the pleasures with which I have indulged myself is playing tabletop role-playing games--rolling dice and telling lies, as I have described it to people in the past. Throughout my collegiate career, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I was fortunate enough to have access to excellent groups of gamers: the House of Lowe Thor's Day Wrecking Crew (in the Alamo City) and the Gamers of the Haven and the Booth-Sitters (both in Hub City in Cajun Country). Playing with them was an excellent experience for me, and while there are some things I very much ought to have done differently, I feel that it was good for me to do.
In The City, however, I struggled to find groups with which I could meet regularly and that would play my favored game--L5R. Several short-lived campaigns sprang up, progressing irregularly for a while before dying away. I was fortunate enough to participate in some online L5RRPG, as well, although some of those did not work out as well as I would have had happen, either. So I have in some senses languished as a gamer, and I feel the lack.
That I should feel such is overly sentimental, I know. It is something like high school or college athletes looking back on glory days after their bodies have begun to soften and the demands of daily life have begun to tell upon them and remembering when the small part of the world in which they lived was bent to their wills, attendant upon their whims. Like such cases, there is something sad (I am sure) in my looking back at sitting around a table in a garage or shed or shop, laughing and joking with friends as we worked together to tell a story in which we were all taking part and which connected us with a worldwide community (to which I have had the good fortune to contribute).
Unlike such cases, however, I can in some senses return to such things. Sherwood Cottage stands in a college town, and my work puts me in contact with other gamers. I have not acted to further that contact as much as I ought in the past, but that is changing, and I think it is to my benefit that it is. Once again, I will be able to be part of a group of people telling a single story, working to craft a narrative in the moment of its performance, serving simultaneously as authors and audience in the extemporaneous ephemeral art (as Daniel Mackay calls it; I have studied such things in a formal sense). And for it I thank both those loyal people who have gamed with me through campaigns in The City and the countryside and those who are coming newly to my table.
We will craft an epic together, and your names will carry forward for so long as I can find my way back to friends and dice and fun.