the double edged sword

Dude, I just realized, in Pokemon, they probably use Phantump sightings to local searches for missing people. But it’s like a double edge sword, because you know you’re looking for a body at that point.

Like imagine officer jenny having to report to the family “… I’m sorry… but there’s been a Phantump reported in the area.”

Ok but can we talk about how the Paladin’s bayards don’t just suit them, but actually ARE them? THE BAYARD PICKS THE PALADIN, MR. POTTER.

The bayards are frankly the coolest metaphorical device happening in this show and I haven’t seen anyone talk about it yet (I’m sure someone has, but I feel like it’s not really… a thing??), and if my major has taught me any(useless)thing it’s to get stuck on functional motifs in storytelling so

Keith

I mean this is just fun. You’re probably not surprised that he gets the big blade because he’s main-character-red and the emo/possibly-Asian-one, but let’s consider a few things: 

The fact that it’s sharp on both sides acts as a physical reminder of the duality happening within his character (he cuts others down, but internally he’s cutting himself down just as much: a double-edged sword). 

Furthermore, that double edge reminds us that it’s a loner’s weapon: he needs to be able to attack with each swing, in any direction, because no one’s coming to back him up. It may be space, but dude is clearly rockin’ the lone wolf/samurai vibe. The length backs that up a bit as well–it keeps everyone he sees as an ‘enemy’ or a ‘rival’ at a distance (//side-eye @ lance). 

What’s even more interesting is that if you look at Keith’s relationship with his bayard compared to his Marmora blade, they represent his hidden and public selves: who people see him as/expect him to be vs. who he truly is and wants to be (is afraid to be) himself. 

Most people only see his bayard, a classic warrior/knight weapon that represents strength and grace and leadership. Keith brings this out in battle, in front of his friends, before enemies, etc. But when he’s alone at night or when he’s holed up in the desert, the blade on his mind and in his hand is his Marmora dagger. Despite being a secret for so long, it is actually this blade (and not the bayard he got from Voltron) which Keith always keeps close to him (and which he keeps strictly concealed). 

He covers up the mark on the hilt as if to cover his own hidden thoughts and feelings (and maybe even dubious past). In public, he feels he can proudly show his bayard but doesn’t want anyone to know he has the dagger, even before he himself knows what it might mean. 

Even more interestingly, this blade also represents close combat–letting people get close to you–and the desire to protect others, showing that these are things Keith thinks about, feels, and even wants, but is afraid to show to those around him. What’s more, while the obvious skills and general cool-dude-ness associated with the bayard are something Keith has earned/achieved by his own merit, the Marmora dagger (and all the things it represents) were something he was born with; something inherently part of him. Ironically, once Keith learns more about his dagger and what it represents, it becomes longer–it adds distance, just as the truth about his past puts distance between him and the other paladins.

Like, I could literally (gladly) write an entire essay just on the symbolism of how Keith treats these blades, but you get the idea. 

I was gonna do Shiro next but his is even sadder than Keith’s so let’s do

Pidge

So some things about this are obvious: it bears a (kind of adorable similarity) in shape to her head. It’s small, she’s small, but if you underestimate either of them you will be sorry. It’s an incredibly quick/nimble weapon (a great parallel for her stinging wit). Her bayard is designed for quick, surgically precise movements, which is exactly how Pidge works (both mentally and metaphorically).

However, while it has great attack capabilities, that’s clearly not the bayard’s (or Pidge’s) main purpose; it’s a necessary consequence in the pursuit of other goals. Rather, the transformative and flexible uses of Pidge’s bayard emphasize the desire to be useful and to solve problems over attacking. This is belied by the fact that Pidge forms Voltron’s shield. Pidge would much rather think her way out of/around a problem than charge in head-first

Her bayard is a reflection of that. Pidge’s bayard is also the most technically complicated, which is another great parallel for her mind. Furthermore, the grappling hook function of her bayard echoes her desire to find things out of reach, and cast out into space and bring those things close to her, or herself to them (*cough*MATT*cough*). 

TL;DR: it’s an all-purpose, unassuming weapon meant to perform multiple tasks in an efficient, creative way, and it focuses on problem solving/extraction more than brute attack (though it packs plenty of punch when cornered). And, of course, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Lance

As his swagger (and even his name, like talk about being on the nose) suggests, Lance is totally in-your-face, up-in-your-business blabbermouth who seems pretty simple to understand. So why does he have the weapon that arguably requires the most finesse, patience, and also has a long range? Because that’s what Lance is really like under all that talk. It may seem like Lance lives with the words “are we there yet” on his tongue, but consider this: Lance wanted to be a pilot, but was originally relegated to commercial-class ranks. Did that stop him? Nope. He kept at it until he made it to the top of those ranks (it’s safe to assume that if they only promoted one pilot to fighter-class after Keith’s expulsion, it would be the top of the commercial-class students). That’s more patience than any of the other paladins have shown.

As a gun in a team that has close-combat weapons, Lance’s bayard automatically assumes a supportive role (despite all his talk about beating Keith and being the best), and we see this multiple times throughout the show. His first day as a fighter-class pilot, what does Lance do? Talks to his team and says they should stick together. How does he find out about Shiro? He’s following Pidge and asking about what she’s up to–crazy theories that others wouldn’t care to hear out. There are a lot of other examples of this (notably, when he throws himself in front of Coran), but from the get-go we’re slyly shown that Lance actually cares about and pays attention to those around him (even though he keeps talking about kicking their butts and being #1). It makes sense, then, that his weapon would be one designed to support and provide cover for others. In fact, we see Lance doing exactly this in the first episode when Pidge mouths off and he rushes in to cover for her.

Sadly, as one of the longer-range weapons, Lance’s bayard is also one of the loneliest metaphors in the group, and we see the reason for this just as much in VLD: Lance doesn’t feel appreciated (or sometimes even accepted) by the people around him. He often feels distant, though not by choice. He may shoot (ha) his mouth off a lot, but at the end of the day it’s pretty apparent that this boy craves love and attention, almost as much as he wants to be perceived as a ‘top gun’ (double ha) within the group.

A gun–especially the rapid-fire type that Lance has–further mirrors his tendency to be impulsive (and even impetuous) rather than controlled and thoughtful. On the bright side, though, it is exactly that willingness to pull the trigger that has catapulted the gang forward on a number of occasions.

Shiro

Between Shiro’s arm and his bayard there are so many different things going on here I don’t even know how I can touch on all of them. If I could write an essay on Keith’s weapons, I could write a BOOK on Shiro’s.

First, let’s talk about Shiro’s actual bayard. In Zarkon’s hands, you can read this as a physical extension of Shiro’s freedom, or even as Shiro himself: Zarkon took the bayard–something meant to be used for good–from another world, and then warped it in the hopes of using it to cause destruction. 

The good news is that both Shiro and the bayard escape Zarkon’s clutches because of Voltron, and though Zarkon intended to use them, they instead become the strongest weapons to fight against him. They will always feel the effects of Zarkon’s influence and ownership–the bayard because of Zarkon’s former paladin connections, and Shiro because of his arm and PTSD–but they still fight. In the end, it is Zarkon’s obsession with them as his former ‘possessions’ that becomes his downfall. So deep is his trauma that Shiro actually waits until it looks like they’re about to die (when Voltron is in an electric headlock) to activate his bayard. Why? Because he doesn’t trust his arm, he doesn’t trust his hold on the bayard or the lion (don’t even get me STARTED on how the lion–down it’s right-hand weapon and still somewhat under Zarkon’s control–represents Shiro himself), and as a result he doesn’t trust himself to be stronger than Zarkon. 

Even when Shiro finally gets the bayard back, he doesn’t call it his bayard, or the black bayard; he calls it Zarkon’s bayard (and it looks the part). This can be seen as a mirror for how Shiro sees himself: even though it’s a bayard, Zarkon tainted it, and now it doesn’t belong to him even though it’s rightfully his and he has it in his hands (which, ironically, is still technically Zarkon’s hand… you get the picture).

However, as Keith corrects him (”you’ve got your bayard”), the bayard rejects the changes Zarkon forced upon it, and reverts to a form that matches Shiro and the other paladins (likely how it looked before Zarkon started using it for evil). Just as the paladins healed Shiro by rescuing him and making him part of Voltron, Shiro does the same for the black bayard. Indeed, he only pulls out the power necessary to retrieve the black bayard once he wakes up to find the team fighting to protect him. It might be telling symbolically that Shiro leaves his bayard behind when he goes missing at the end of the season–perhaps he’s won his freedom only to have it taken once again.

 Which leads me to… 

The black bayard could also represent Shiro’s memories: both are known to exist, and we get hints/flashes/teases throughout the show, but both are initially “lost”. Slowly, it is revealed just how both Shiro’s bayard and his memories have been taken/corrupted by Zarkon. We see this in the way Shiro’s memories haunt him, only to frustratingly elude  him when he needs them. When Shiro finally tries to find out more about why Zarkon has the bayard, he’s also facing his own mind–his memories, his insecurities, and his apprehension at what fate awaits him–as well.  In this sense, when Shiro reclaims the black bayard, he is also reclaiming so much more: the hold/fear Zarkon held over him, the insufficiency and anxiety he felt because of it, etc. 

You can also read the bayard as a mirror for Shiro’s arm: Zarkon took Shiro’s arm and replaced it with something Galran. Shiro joins Voltron only to find that Zarkon also has his metaphorical right hand–his weapon. Shiro can’t use the weapon he should be holding (in a hand he doesn’t have because of Zarkon) because Zarkon took it. Talk about a vicious cycle. This symbolism is supported all through season 1 and parts of season 2 where we see Shiro simultaneously struggle with controlling Zarkon’s lasting effects on Voltron and coming to grips (ha) with controlling his arm. It’s hinted–both during battle and through PTSD–that if Shiro doesn’t control his arm, it will control him, just as Zarkon demonstrates that if Shiro can’t reclaim the bayard, Zarkon will use it to kill him (we see a similar parallel with his memories). 

I’m just going to stop here because the black bayard and Shiro’s arm can represent so many different things that it totally distracts me and I can only really do it justice by literally sitting down and writing out a full on dissertation on it.

But TL;DR: Shiro’s arm and his bayard are in a crazy, soap-opera drama with Zarkon on so many different levels and it is symbolistically incredible.

Hunk

Hunk’s bayard, much like Hunk, is pretty straight-forward and simple. Physically, it’s a big weapon. A big, hulking (Hunking????) weapon. It looks incredibly imposing, but its chief function isn’t destruction, but preventing destruction. Just as Hunk likes to avoid violence, his canon is mostly used to disable enemy weapons as part of Voltron, and individually Hunk uses it to provide long-range cover fire for his team (when he tries to use it in a more actively combative role, he just ends up almost shooting Pidge… gg, Hunk). 

Unlike Lance’s more nimble and quick-fire weapon, Hunk’s takes a lot of strength to move around and a long time to power up–this mirrors Hunk’s own well-rooted stance (he’s not easily swayed), and his cautious nature. He doesn’t do things off-the-cuff or on a whim; he thinks them through first. Indeed, it’s almost always Hunk warning the others of the possible outcomes of their proposed escapades. 

He’s also slow to anger, just as his weapon is slow to fire. However, once he has decided to take a shot, his firepower is incredible, just as when he does decide to take action (like with the Balmerans), his will is unstoppable. 

I could go on for days, guys. I have so much stuff I had to cut out because even the hardcorest Voltron fans don’t care about underlying motifs this much, I know, but AGH. GUYS. GUYS. THE BEAUTY??? OF THIS WRITING??? IN A KIDS’ SHOW????? 

Bless.

PS this is long I didn’t proof read it SO SUE ME

An absolutely gorgeous commission by the talented @tosquinha (Seriously, I can’t stop looking at it.) 

Based on my fic, Zanka - a Victuuri historical AU in 1800s, Edo, Japan. Yuuri is Aoyagi, a high-ranking male courtesan, and Viktor falls hopelessly in love.

The scene is from chapter one: 

As the translator turned once more, Viktor returned his gaze to the courtesan. The man was idly fingering the length of his pipe as he listened to the translator’s words. Despite his soft features, there was a sharpness to him, an edge, as though life had him honed into a beautiful, double-edged sword. Viktor felt his insides churn; buried under all those luxurious robes was a young man who probably never knew a world beyond the red lights of Yoshiwara.

I was born a natural born empath as was my mom. When you tell people what it is, they often first talk about how cool it is and how you could see if someone likes you or how you can tell if someone is lying to you. However, those points are not necessarily true and being an empath can truly be a double-edged sword. Us empaths are often over-sensitive to certain stimuli and it can be 100% confusing. Growing up, I wish I had known some methods to help.

So here are some tips for Empaths:

  • Avoid crowds when possible. Tons of people and their influx of emotions will surge your senses.
  • Look up movie summaries (if you are okay with potential spoilers) before going to see any to know if there is any tragedy or gore.
  • Use x-kit’s blacklist function if news of tragedy that circulates through tumblr becomes too much.
  • Mindless games are a great distraction and way to occupy your mind over something else
  • Meditation helps with sorting out which emotions are yours and which are not.
  • Try this grounding ritual: Visualize a light surrounding you. It’s keeping you in and everything out but comfortable. Then imagine roots coming out of you. Imagine them going into the ground and holding place. Feel how strong the roots are with holding you to the ground. No wind or force can easily push you over.
  • Learn how to block out emotions. I imagine a bubble around me when I go out. Everyone has different methods.
  • Keep a journal or at least write somewhere to help you sort things out or to reference to later
  • REMEMBER: IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY\YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO HELP EVERYONE. IT IS LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE and can be detrimental to your health

having friends who love you is kind of a double-edged sword because on one hand they love you but also psychology has proved pretty readily that the more you like someone the more attractive they are to you so on the other hand they might post photos in which you look kind of objectively busted

Commissions

So I’m off for the next few days, I’m not doing anything, and could use some extra cash, so I thought I’d actively broadcast I’m open for commissions for the next week or so. 

I’ll only be doing rough lines and simple colouring, such as with the image below, and it’ll go 25usd for fullbody, 15usd for waist up, 10usd for bust. +10 an additional character. 

If you’re interested, hit me up here or at ao.taborn@gmail.com. Thanks guys!

i guess one thing that bothers me is aces saying that learning the term asexual gave them a huge sense of relief and therefore they understand the experience of having a marginalized sexuality, because…. i knew the term “lesbian” for a long time. i knew it because when i was 10 kids in my class threw it at an unpopular girl and it was an accusation, and i knew it because that’s what everybody called the gym teacher with short hair when they were saying she shouldn’t be in the locker room. i knew it was a bad thing, and finally admitting i was one gave me no instant relief. it felt like resigning myself to something. idk, visibility is a double-edged sword. sure, people know that gay men and lesbians exist… but they also know they hate us.

ACE OF SWORDS

The Ace of Swords shows the beginning of a situation whose potential is as double-edged as the blade of the sword itself. The Ace implies the use of great power, even excessive power at times, to further one’s ends but what is not clear is how those powers will be used, or what it is that you are trying to achieve. No matter what the goal, there is always great power behind the attempts to reach it and, as such, very little can stand in the way of the energy of the Ace of Swords without being destroyed. 


~do not tag as DA:I~

They Ain’t Just for Wearin’

Rated: M

Pairing: Jack/Johnny, aka “Samurai Bravo”

Word Count: 4k~

A/N: So, @c2ndy2c1d never fails to make me ship things, and this adorable ship is no exception. I decided to write about Jack in heels, but it turned into schmoopy first time + a bit of a character study. Hope you like <3

Edit: ARTSOME MORE ART HERE


“Jack, what are these doing here?” Johnny asked.

Jack turned to look at what Johnny had unearthed: a pair tan high-heels, equipped with a spear point at the end of each heel. It was something Johnny expected to see on a woman out on the street at night, not his quiet, serious Jack.

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the bayard is the paladin is the lion: a season 3 prediction

Alternatively titled: Watch This Child Jeopardize Her GPA in Real Time As She Ignores Her Midterms to Write Yet Another Fucking Meta

The lovely @littleblackchats already wrote an awesome post about the symbolism of the bayards for each of the characters in Voltron. But I was wondering: could we take it a step further and use the weapons - and what they say symbolically about the paladins wielding them - to make an informed guess about who’s going to end up in what lion next season?

(even if the answer to that question is no, i’m already writing this so whatever)

Since Allura, Keith, and Lance are the most likely to be swapped into new lions (or, in Allura’s case, to be put into a lion for the first time), I thought it’d be cool to take a look at what the weapons each of them wields says about their personalities, and whether that can give us hints as to who’s gonna be the Black Paladin next season while Shiro’s gone.

Alright, so in episode 1, Allura tells us that a lion’s quintessence is mirrored in its paladin, and that the paladin shapes the bayard. So lion = paladin = bayard. The lion and paladin should be similar in personalty, and the bayard should be compatible to the paladin’s style of fighting and personality as well. This is shown really well in Hunk and Pidge: Pidge’s weapon is small (like her), electric (reflecting her interest in computers), and made for precision (Pidge is more interested in finding clever solutions than just brute-forcing problems), while Hunk’s is big (just like him), long-range (reflecting his wish to stay distanced from conflict), and packs a punch (Hunk is the strongest character on the team, after all).

So the weapons tell us something about the personalities of the ones using them. But what can their respective weapons tell us about Keith, Lance, and Allura?

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Sakura Haruno Fic Recommendations

I’m an admitted serial Sakura shipper. If there’s a single man in Konoha (or outside of it), you can almost bet I’ll find a way to somehow ship them. But honestly, even if I don’t necessarily ship them, I may find the story beautiful and put it here for others who ship them. Most are in the Naruto-verse but will be stated otherwise if not. 

Most, if not all, are Rated M. So be warned that almost all of them contain smut/adult content of some kind. I’m trying to branch out and read things that don’t contain smut but it’s a little challenging. I like steamy reads. 

Happy Reading!

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infants lack something known as object permanence. what this means is that they do not have the ability to understand that something still exists when it is out of their line of vision. this is why they like peek-a-boo, because to them you really do disappear when you cover your face with your hands. now, individuals with borderline personality disorder experience emotional impermanence, which follows the same basic idea that if someone is not actively at that moment validating you and paying attention to you, then they don’t care about you.

in the same way that when an infant cries when it drops its security blanket, assuming it has disappeared forever, people with bpd feel panicked when they cannot feel or have tangible proof that a person still cares. they may assume that because you aren’t paying attention to them or saying you love them in that moment, the reassuring things you’ve said and feelings you’ve displayed previously have disappeared permanently.

this stems from our fear of abandonment. every move made is analyzed, our brain constantly asking ‘is this a sign that they’re going to leave? they haven’t answered in three minutes, are they never going to answer again? is there someone better? do they hate me?’ and the progression of thoughts spirals downward rapidly. our brains are something like a paranoid sherlock holmes. everything is a clue leading to abandonment.

this makes it EXTREMELY difficult for people with bpd to maintain relationships. no matter what lengths you go to reassure us, there’s almost always a small part that the minute it’s over feels like it didn’t happen, or it wasn’t genuine. it’s not to say that your efforts aren’t appreciated!! of course they are. but it’s hard for us to cling to them as reminders after the fact.

and reassurance can be a double edged sword. there’s comfort in being reminded, but then we may also fear that we manipulated you into reassuring us, or that you didn’t mean it and only said it because you knew we wanted to hear it, or you felt you had to.

emotional impermanence is a longtime struggle, and as real as it feels to us, we often do understand that our fears are irrational. our emotional impermanence and insecurity generally have an internal loci of focus. that is to say, it’s based on ourselves and our cognitions, not you or your actions. and with saying that it’s internally based, not externally, it can be difficult to understand how we can already have forgotten you love us, or already believe your feelings toward us have radically shifted in the 5 minutes since you expressed appreciation.

as difficult as it may be to understand though, and as irrational as it may be, these feelings are very very real to us. work with us, listen to us, reassure us when you’re able to. for most people, emotional permanence, to at least some degree, is a given. to us, it can feel like a myth.

Trouble in Canada // 2

a/n: You all have been so patient and I know I’m a bit late (4 months late soz about that). Every single one of you have been so amazing with the support of this, and it blows my mind every time I get a notification that TiC got another note. And when I posted earlier today that I was posting it, I absolutely loved the response I got in my inbox.  It made my heart incredibly happy and with each message that came in, not gonna lie, i teared up a bit. You all have been so lovely and good sports (especially when i posted that fake TiC2 WHAT A TIME). So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the support. I have met some of the most incredible people through TiC and I cherish every single one of you. I feel so emotional posting this, but you all finally deserve the second part to probably the most angsty piece I have ever written (and will ever write omg).  So, please enjoy the second and final installment to Trouble in Canada :)

THANK YA TO MY LOVELY @whitechocolateperfection for reading over this and giving me confidence :) you’re the best and i love you a whole lot 

Trouble in Canada (1)  |  Masterlist

Your name: submit What is this?

“We need to talk,”

        Those four words held a weight so heavy that you lost your grip on your tea.  Your mug dropped to the floor, shattering in pieces and tea spilling all over the hardwood floor.  You immediately went to pick up the broken pieces.  On your knees, you picked up the shards of glass as Shawn was stood in the same exact position; not moving a single bone in his body to help you.

        Collecting all the tiny shards in your hand you swiftly moved past Shawn to go throw the pieces out in the kitchen.  You opened the trash bin, and right as you were about to throw out the broken mug, Shawn’s voice interrupted your movements, “Is that the mug I got you?  The one from our first Valentine’s day together?”

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