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Recently I've been spending more talk-time with a group of old friends than I have in, well, probably years.

For the most part, they're the people I woke up with - or the people around when I was knew to this whole otherkin forum thing. Not all of them. Sadly, most of them are long gone. But a good, decent crowd of people I've known for years, who have known me for years, who have discovered things alongside each other.

A lot of those discoveries weren't made public to each other. A lot of them that were are lost in the mists of old decomissioned forums and long lost chat logs. A lot of it is nothing more than being able to point to a group of people and say "That lot over there, those guys were around when I was doing what really mattered." A whole lot of it was that we all had absolutely no problem whatsoever with speaking out when we thought one of us was flat out wrong about something. Or being stupid. Or going up a garden path.

I won't name names, because they should all know who they are. But I was thinking of them today, and one of my favourite poems popped into my head. SO I'll chuck it out here and dedicate it to them, those friends of mine who were never afraid to call me out . . . or afraid to get called out by me.

Tennyson - Ulysses (extract)

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,--
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
So you really are a softy afterall! It's nice remembering old friends and it's even nicer when you can get back into contact with them.
^_^ Robin loved that poem, back in high school, and Val loved it in college after seeking it out again once she'd read To Sail beyond the Sunset. And we have to give a great big "awwwww" in general.

-fuzzy mess of people
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