The moon is full tomorrow

(date: 8/24)

The moon is full tomorrow. The full moon and the new moon are times for reflection. When the moon wanes, do the things you want to get rid of in your life. It’s also the time to make offerings to the ancestors, food and liquor and burning paper money, all the things that they loved in life. You don’t owe them anything – the people who brought you into this world without your permission – give your token of respect and then follow your own desires. When the moon waxes, do the things you want more of in your life. Do this, and you’ll be better off than the people who don’t believe. It’s in all the traditions, Christian, Buddhist, native everything.

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Best friends forever

I wonder what is meant by

Best Friends Forever

The closest I can think of

is a bedtime pony I tell my worries to

so that she thinks of them for me while I drift off to sleep.

A Friend to talk about Thoughts with

I think the worst thing about growing up introverted is feeling like there isn’t a single person I can talk to about the deepest, darkest thoughts I have. All I need is one friend who I feel OK with being completely open about. When I was small, I didn’t have Thoughts. But after more life happened, and left me with Thoughts, I realized there was a gap in my life—I hadn’t cultivated a friend who I could talk to about these Thoughts. I had friends in various settings, whom I revealed different parts of myself to, but not a friend with whom I felt I could talk about Thoughts. And when the Thoughts left me desiring a Friend, it was hard to find one on demand.

A word of advice: find a Friend who you can talk to about Thoughts, before you grow up and it becomes harder. All you need is one.

Whisper of a Rose


I finished playing Whisper of a Rose.

I’m sad that it’s over. All the places still seem live in my mind. Why did this game capture my imagination so much? I haven’t really played RPGs at all. It feels so first-person. Books and movies tend to be through a screen. Ron and Hermoine aren’t your friends, they’re Harry’s friends. But playing as Melrose, I feel like Hellena, Diamond, and Christina are my friends. It’s more experiental.

The story is amazing. The characters have strong personalities, ways of talking. Games are a bit different from writing a novel, because you don’t get to put in detail and looong conversations, you have to get to the essence.

What’s the essence here? In a gloomy world in the near-future, Melrose is a girl who loves to dream, of worlds where flowers are as large as trees. The story starts with her narrating a story about a knight saving someone from a dragon. But the associated memory is of her trying to save a ladybug from a bully; the bully slapping her and then setting the ladybug on fire with his lighter. (Later on (SPOILER), she meets a ladybug, Diamond, in the dreamworld, and has to save his villagepeople, who had their village burned by the trolls.)

Story isn’t about escapism. (Sometimes people are apologetic about this – oh, x is just an escape for me. I don’t think so! That’s just “completing the pattern.” Here’s another pattern: stories make us feel the important things in life.) This kind of realworld-fantasy link is to me what underlies the best stories. Goodness isn’t just to be taken out when someone has been kidnapped by a dragon (because dragons are Exciting), but even when a lowly creature is being hurt by a playground bully. Story is about enchantment. A dragon and a bully are the same thing.

Melrose is a dreamer (she stays after school typing her story, then goes to the museum). After getting into her rhythm, the real world abruptly intrudes (plot twists here), and it is pretty ugly. The story is emotionally driven. She has a strong personality; her history has made her callous/distrusting, but this changes gradually over the course of the adventure. The dream landscapes start from childhood-like and grow more mature/sinister (My favorites are Lekora the Tree Village and Vestryka in the volcano, accompanied by heroic music.), and things in the dream world correspond to things in her actual life.

Friendship is Magic

I started watching My Little Pony recently. It helps to chase away the emptiness in the morning at breakfast time.


Twilight Sparkle is like Bilbo Baggins, a reluctant traveler dispatched by a powerful mastermind to parts unknown. She is also like Hermione Granger, an overachiever with a condescending side, and like Dorothy, she is caught in a quarrel betwixt magical rivals. But for all these comparisons — and all the other knowing winks to Blazing Saddles, The Music Man, King Kong, Citizen Kane, The Big Lebowski, The Commitments, and the final scene from Star Wars: A New Hope­ — the show that My Little Pony really resembles is Friends. It is about a friendship among six very different characters, and the safe universe they create through their ­loyalty to one another, a kind of intimate paradise that transcends family ties, job responsibilities, and affiliation with other tribes. This is a vision of friendship that articulates a preteen’s deepest yearning and at the same time evokes a memory, perhaps rose-colored, among adults — preoccupied as they are with their relentlessly present-tense lives — of an age when minutes, hours, whole days, and weekends could be lost to imaginary play, joint projects, and the total abandonment of self to the clan that claimed you as its own.

Like all catchy aphorisms, “Friendship is magic” works on a couple levels. For one thing, it is actually kind of true. As Scott-Henning puts it: “When you have people around you who protect you and relate to you and are your close friends, that does appeal greatly.” Also, it’s aspirational. Nobody ever feels quite full of friendship, and everybody wants more of it, even if it’s embarrassing to admit. But talk to the Bronies and the Pegasisters and they’ll point to something else, too, an ideal so dangerously earnest that it risks universal derision, but visionaries throughout history — Jesus and Lenin, Mohammed and Joseph Smith — have staked their lives on it, the idea that a small, committed band of friends can change the world, can give hope to the hopeless and justice to the suffering.

I like My Little Pony, but to really love it I have to really believe in its message of friendship. What’s the problem? I have too many acquaintances rather than friends? Can I not be friends with people if I’m always like Twilight Sparkle, thanks but I’m going off studying now? I have to really enjoy friendship, and not just like friendship when it’s between cute ponies on the screen.