A Personal Essay

by Samnang

Fifteen years. Fifteen years have come to pass with good and bad times. Arguments that divide and tears that bring closer together. It would be good to have every story remembered and friend met and grown upon still with us. It would be grand to be able to tell ourselves in the past what not to do, or to take a bit more time with our fellows.

Time, though, presses onward and we’re moving into a new area, one that few have been to before. A new generation of young expression comes to order and for certain instances, they feel excluded. Excluded when talk of those that came before them and are no longer with us raises to the lips and minds. It can feel awkward and rightly so, because, there is no replacement for the experience of having been there.

This is written not knowing much of the early days, but surely there was the pioneer that first staked out a flag. A pioneer that said, “Yes, this will be a grand place — oh, look! A native thing is coming to greet me. Is that a spear it’s holding?” Because this pioneer was not the first, and we can only presume that is what was said, because the diary left behind is rather lacking on the first words uttered. But we can presume.

The later early days can be best described as mild with occasional showers of conflict and peace. In this era it was noted that the population of the land rapidly escalated and with it, the need for companionship. Friendships were forged and alliances strengthened that even now, even having suffered serious blows; these friendships live on with delight.

In the middle part of the years, apparent dark times were foreboding ahead. Attrition and ill ease ravaged and divided the people against each other. Some seeking refuge from the conflict took to hiding, others simply departed for lands elsewhere. This left much resentment and harsh thoughts towards those that were seen as the drivers of this exodus. Still persistent grudges and testing went on until the land we call home was nearly torn apart in factions of discourse and general negativity.

Time passed; years fell away like leaves from a tree in autumn. The post population remained a more or less constant and time was calm before tragic acts once more reared ugly. In this time, beloved and dearest of friends were tragically taken away by events and happenings that were far beyond the comforting reach of others. The world got darker in these times and the grand people laughed little and wept more. Few could stand the losses no more and departed for places unsaid, spiriting away under cover of darkness, leaving on few notes and memoirs of their presence with those left behind.

Those that experienced these times, envy should not be a thought. But oft times it is, for these are the lucky ones to have known and loved, admired and cherished in ways that are not easily put to words. Even when asked, the far away look comes to their eyes as nostalgia flourishes in the memory of times unseen by others, save them. It is these stories that must be told, listened to and put to parchment else they be lost forever; with them, the ghosts that remain living in the ether that is our place among the stars.

For myself, I wish I could say I am long in the tooth and seen it from the very start. However, to do such would be a lie. I’m still yet a relative newcomer, settled only two years in this place that is as eclectic as it is fantastic. I don’t have the motive of some or sharp wit, nor even the brawn to match a few. I can’t draw or even compose an organized simple doll. For all that I am not, acceptance is still craved, and it is even demanded by some that I be as one with the community. Perhaps it is because I do all I am able to bring a smile and share comfort and joy with others, and to listen and spin tales of different ideas.

I’m often at a loss for what reasons others would desire my presence when so easily I could be forgotten. Forgotten and gone to the passing of time, a ghost, perhaps not talked about or remembered as much as others. It is this that fuels a desire to balance and explore the thoughts and interactions with others? To find out small truths of delights or sour disgust? For my being, it is the learning that is more interesting than the result — perhaps not to push the boundary past the point of losing a valuable partner with which to explore curiosities, but to strengthen a bond that is founded by a mutual want to find out, what happens next?

To name a few would be to do a grand disservice to all that do not get named. But this does not mean I cannot speak of those that have reached a certain level of desired interaction. In this there are about eleven that seem to make the day complete for my own peace. If they have read this far then they will know truly who they are. For others that wish to know of whom I speak, I’ll lay out my list of interesting travelers.

Niny’ah: What can be said here besides that she is quite the character. Teasing and mischievous as much as serious and hardheaded to many extents. Steadfast and quick to defend what she sees as the correct way and even more so, to bring around others to a point of view that is often vague or not quite collected on all information.

Darius: Dookers, as I call him. A quite novel guy that brings a smile even on the most gloomy of my days. Interesting without much fault and just as mysterious as I can be. Loves foil balls and firearms, laser pointers and paper bags. An all around neat-o individual.

Ping: Oh, the dear and lovely, sweet and brilliant, shy Ping. Unassuming and timid, but a raging storm lurks behind the quiet facade. Wonderful to know and truly a treasure not to be squandered.

Borris: A great being, and sometimes not quite rules adaptive, but friendly and willing to tell tales of wonder from the point of view that can only be summed up in a single phrase Borris says. Never know quite what it’ll be, but it will be interesting no matter what it is.

Azure: A strange one, but no less than pleasant to be around and ever willing to see what’s over the next ridge or around the next turn, even if the ground is crumbling out from underfoot. A strange leader in curious manners that shouldn’t be left without a turning towards.

Morticon: A good guy even if he’s made out to be bad. Can be quite irritating and at times infuriating, but still. Wouldn’t want any other tiny bouncer to call a strange friend.

SecretBear: A wildcard on my list, one that I find utterly interesting in a curious sort of way. Certainly more than what appears to be and boastful for it, yet also hiding certain aspects, which I can see, even if he doesn’t realize it.

Claude: Quiet and delightful, smart and sly enough to point out faults but not be utterly devastatingly critical of them. Enjoys being scratched behind the ears.

BunnyHugger: A delightful personality and a force of nature wrapped together. Reminds me of a friend’s mother so very much, sweet and kind. Would stuff you with Popsicle after Popsicle until you were sick, but get smart and would backhand in a flash.

Xor: Strange but neat, a delight to brain pick.

Garrison: A good and loyal mighty steed, ready and willing to charge into battle with gnashing teeth and fearsome claws flailing. Or perhaps instead serve up tea and sugar cookies with a side of giggles and snugs. Both cases work wonderfully.

For those not mentioned specifically, you are no less special to me personally or are you nay less desirable to those others also sharing space here with us all. Each one of us is gifted in certain ways that enshrines us all to each other through connections forged and pleasures granted, secrets shared behind closed doors or lain bare for the world to see. This is our story now, and with new ideas, new minds to pick upon and start interesting interactions with. We can see more time pass together. Where all of us will be remembered and celebrated.

Thus we arrive at what can be called the current times. Inside jokes are traded in tongue in cheek manners. Giggles are gained from random water fights and bubbles of foam. However the freak snow storms that frequent the areas provide ample time for slush and snowball fights, then perfect excuses to settle in around a camp fire and sip hot spiced cider or hot chocolate. Moments as such are common in a communal form where all are welcome and encouraged to join.

In the relatively short time that I’ve been here on the interstellar traveling circus known as SpinDizzy, I’ll admit, the early days felt odd, even irritating because I as unaccustomed to the styles, habits and general conversations that would go on. It nearly drove me away because it just didn’t seem to fit my wants; however, this I thought about over time, and found it better to sit back and watch for a time to figure out the pace and speed. This to me was the hardest of all, even more so when topics arrived of which I knew much. That was when I decided to speak up and out for the first time.

The reception was far from what I had been expecting. Instead of being talked down towards as if my input were inferior to the prevailing thought, instead what I had to say was taken and accepted. My statements were then elaborated upon further, and tracked into a new direction of thought and consideration. This I found myself engrossed until such time as I had to look up and realize that four hours had passed seemingly without notice. It was also in such time when I felt as if I really belonged as a full part of the group, unique in my own style and mannerisms.

This I believe makes this grand land so interesting as much as fantastic. Another is the non-requirement for any specific needs to act a certain way except to act accordingly to how one wishes to be treated. This can be summed up easily with “don’t be a twit to others,” a mantra that everyone can easily abide by. I’m quite glad for this place, this crazy land of a tight knit group of wayward travelers. Each one of us with varied interests and skills sets, walks of life and pleasures so grand. Each day I sit and enjoy the company of those around me murmuring the goings on and free form thought. I smile and I wonder, if only I had seen the beginning, but, I feel as if I have just by being here among ghosts and stories of old.

Samnang, dog of awesome.

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