So I've recently been talking to someone very dear to me about... well, that's not particularly important for what I'm going to say, nor do I wish to betray their trust by even nearing the actual topic; so let's just say we reached the point in a conversation where I began questioning the commonly understood definition of something.
This time, it's the word "vulnerability" and the hidden meaning there.
Now we all know what it means, dictionary-definition-wise, and how it's commonly used. It means to be or to show weakness, to have a "soft spot" of some kind, the flaw that cracks the diamond. In gaming we see that vulnerable spots are the part you target to take out the big boss. In sports it's a member of the team who's more a liability than an asset, or something the player hasn't trained in very much or just isn't very good at. In war it's the target we need to crush the enemy swiftly and with the path of least resistance.
In emotions it's feeling like you've been stripped of all your defences and you just KNOW that one word, one gesture, one tiny thing could break your soul to pieces and your heart will never be whole again.
What about the other side of vulnerability, though?
What about the way you feel when your lover takes hold of you, whispers their undying devotion to you, and takes all the weight off your shoulders? What about that feeling you get with friends who you can tell absolutely any secret? What about the way you look at your loved ones, those you let into your heart without a second thought, and the way you laugh and cry and rage with them?
We don't make ourselves vulnerable at these times. We just prove that we are. We show that we are creatures with hearts and souls, even if the mind wants to cover that up for fear we will be taken advantage of.
It's no small thing to feel so open, to understand how much something external can effect you.
But the same vulnerabilities can make us do some stupid things. We refuse to let people see us cry when we need someone to help us through it; we refuse to turn away from the snide comment that hit a little too close to home because the pain won't let go; we close our hearts to the suffering of others because we don't want it to be the reflection of our own that it is.
I talk a lot about masks and how we each wear masks for daily tasks and different circles. There's a special kind of mask that we put on when we feel that aching vulnerability that says we're going to break. It's the mask nobody sees. It's the mask that looks like a bedsheet thrown over a child's head as they cry in terror. It's the mask that looks like a locked door to a teenager's room when they're tearing themself to shreds because they don't know what else to do. It's the mask that looks like a smile and a stiff upper lip when you ask the broken person "how's life?". It's the mask that looks like a book full of poems that nobody will ever be allowed to read because the author is still so ashamed. It's the mask that looks like a fist colliding with someone's face because they used that word again. It's the mask that looks like two people in bed, turned away from each other because they can't bring themselves to break the silence and sat what they both long to hear.
It's a mask I wish we could all do without.
The truth is: I like the vulnerability I feel around my loved ones. Sometimes I still put on that mask, tell myself nobody wants to deal with my problems because they all have their own burdens. Other times I toss that mask in the bin and show myself, heart and soul, to the people I care for. Because I know they care for me, too, and that just makes the openness of the heart all the sweeter.
So I'm setting up a new game and looking for interested people! Here's the first draft of the setting document:
1648 AD: The Awakening
With the war between religions exceeding a death-toll of eleven million people, the Holy Roman Empire decided it was time to put an end to the fighting. In the centre of the Vatican a ritual was performed to summon the power of God and direct it at their foes. The result was a very angry Goddess, woken by the ritual and furious that her children sought to use her power for such evil purposes. In the following week, all former religions were cast aside as the True Word of Gaia was spread across the globe.
Since that fateful day, the calendar has been reset. No longer do people praise a false God by naming a calendar system in "His" honour. The new Age is of Gaia's Awakening, and the present year is 362 GA.
With Gaia's Awakening, Her love flooded the world in the form of Mana, altering the course of history forever. Society has been reformed into two global castes; the Empowered and the Inspired. The Empowered are Gaia's "chosen", some say, for their power to control Mana is far greater than the Inspired. The Inspired, however, have a greater penchant for creating with materials of all kinds; but they have less affinity for magic. The Empowered are tasked with caring for the populace, while the Inspired are commonly believed to be tasked with forming lasting creations to please Gaia and those around them. The strange thing about the Empowered and the Inspired is that there does not appear to be any link between mortal heritage and one's state of being; Empowered parents have given birth to Inspired children, and Inspired parents have given birth to Empowered children. The state of a person's soul (Inspired or Empowered) is determined by Gaia, and made known to the parents upon their birth.
From 0 GA onward, scientific pursuits were traded for magical pursuits; though in those locations where it was already prevalent the scientific method was still applied to the research of magic. With magic so immediately a common part of society, Gaia provided the Laws by which magic should be used.
1. All Children are part of Gaia; do no harm to Gaia's Children with the Gift of Magic She gives.
2. The Empowered tend to the Inspired; those with power must use it for the good of others. The Inspired tend to the Empowered; provide for those who provide for you in turn.
3. Gaia decides when her Children return; no Child may decide when another Child dies.
At first, Gaia Herself enforced the Laws - harshly at times, when She felt it necessary - but in 54 GA She created the Enforcers. The Enforcers consist of both Empowered and Inspired, and they are tasked with upholding Gaia's Laws. They are the only sanctioned group able to pass out retribution for breaking the Laws.
Gaia was previously quite frequently seen by Her Children, but in recent times these interactions with the Mother have been dwindling in number. Many scholars believe this is because Gaia has come to trust that Her Children can care for themselves and each other as She wishes, and She feels little need to interrupt their lives.
149 GA: The Harmony
Many nations had developed the technology to cross oceans and various other landscapes before Gaia's Awakening, but with magic to focus on now, many had lost interest in exploring Gaia's surface. Thus it took almost a hundred and fifty years for all the nations on Gaia to be discovered. When all of Gaia's Children knew each other, Gaia expressed Her delight by blessing all Her Children with a language that everyone knew fluently in an instant. This new language was named Gaian, and while other languages remained, many of them died out quickly from lack of use as all the texts from that language were translated to Gaian.
The true wonder of this blessed language is that it holds the keys to magic. Before the Gaian language was given to us, sorcerers would experiment with old glyphs and rituals to conduct the flow of Mana. Speaking Gaian, one simply needs to utter the right chain of words and will the Mana to flow through them. This has also provided us with the correct runes for use in magic; whereas the sorcerers of old attempted using ancient symbols that had been thought to provide power - which, of course, did much less than originally thought. The true science of crafting spells is now studied diligently throughout the world.
347 GA: The Connection
Fifteen years ago, an Empowered man by the name of Klaus Portais was experimenting with a method of magical travel that could transport a person to anywhere on Gaia. His first attempts began in 336 GA, and he refined the art in 347 GA, naming his creation Portals. Klaus was not satisfied with the amount of ritual needed to create Portals, however, and in his efforts to form a more convenient method of creating a Portal, he miscalculated a glyph and created a gateway to another world; now known to be Vraen (pronounced V-ray-n). Vraen is the home of a race commonly called Satyrs (as their own title for their people does not translate into any human language, and is too hard to pronounce correctly with a human tongue).
After initial expeditions to Vraen, and first contact with the Satyrs, a spell was conceived to translate between the two peoples so that diplomacy could begin. There is now a Human settlement on Vraen and a Satyr tribe living on Gaia. As far as anyone can tell the Satyrs do not have a global community as Humans do but rather travel in nomadic tribes, competing for resources and their God's attention. While Gaia is Mother Nature, the Satyrs worship Vraen as Father Spirit.
Just got the news: Brody's being moved to Melbourne TOMORROW! My parents are packing the car so they can drive down tonight, Brody will be there by lunchtime tomorrow, and a couple days later Dad's coming back up to Canberra so we can finish packing the house, then we ALL GO TO MELBOURNE! YAAAAAAAY! :DDDDD
So! Since I'm gonna be in Melbourne in time for it, I figure I'll be going to Arcanacon! Melbournites, help me pick games and things! What are you playing/running?! :D
Leave me a comment saying "Sunflowers are evil!"
I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity.
Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.
1. What's your favourite restaurant?
Ginger & Spice, in Gungahlin Marketplace. DELICIOUS!
2. If you could re-design one aspect of Canberra, which would it be?
The public transport system would have to be first, definitely.
3. Top five movies?
Hmm... in no particular order: Starship Troopers, Equilibrium, Chocolat, The Dark Knight, and Pan's Labyrinth
4. Favourite band?
Really hard to say. I don't have a real favourite at the moment... I think probably Nickelback
5. Top five websites to visit?
Hum hum hum... www.escapistmagazine.com for Zero Punctuation, www.nuklearpower.com, www.yugiohtheabridgeseries.com, www.lfgcomic.com, and www.xkcd.com
So my mum has informed me that, in light of my brother's spinal injuries and need for specialised physiotherapy, we may need to move to either Sydney or Melbourne (if Melbourne has the appropriate kinds of hospital). So yeah. It'll get me out of Canberra, but I was kinda hoping to do it on my own terms... Then again, it would certainly be helpful on the financial side of things...
Right now, I feel like this song pretty much sums up my entire life.
So, I've been contemplating moving to Sydney or Melbourne. I don't feel like there's much here that can help me further my acting career and... really, I'm just bored with this city. I don't have a seething hatred of it like I do for Wagga, I just don't care about this place anymore. Love my friends here, yeah, but there's not much that would stop be coming back to visit every now and then.
Also, I'm sick of the weather here. IT'S SPRING YOU FUCKING RETARD! WINTER'S GONE! GET OVER IT! Fucking Canberra weather...
So, apart from friends (whom I can visit, as mentioned) there doesn't really seem to be anything at all for me here.