those who reveal perhaps more than they know

The seven other seas

1. The first of the seven other seas is initially difficult to distinguish from the more commonplace seas near its entrance, which some say is in the North Pacific. Navigation, however, is almost impossible. One can usually tell that one has entered the first other sea by the complete malfunction of GPS, compasses, celestial navigation, etc. at the same time. At night the stars are blurry smears across the sky. Generally the advice to those who have entered an other sea is to get out as quickly as possible, so the navigational problems pose a grave difficulty and few people have come back from the first other sea. Because it is near the North Pacific Gyre, great washes of plastic are sometimes seen near the entrance and this can be a way to navigate out. The nature of its actual hazards is rather vague. Some speak of just escaping the rising of unusually violent storms; others of drifts of fog they felt compelled to avoid. One must assume those who did not make it back learned somewhat more.

2. The water of the second sea is sweet and cherry-scented. It falls in extravagant waterfalls from steep, rocky islands thick with stinging plants (maybe there is some kind of fruit-based filtering system within?). Needless to say, the sweet water is clogged with vast algal blooms and the sort of extraordinary insectile forms one might expect near-infinite sugar to attract. The sky over the second sea is a thick, luminous yellow, as if a ferocious sun were doing battle with an enormous cloud bank. It is an awful place. Those who have come back from it are generally not fond of cherries.

3. The water in this sea seems to become thicker as one ventures further in. It grinds together like ice, although the weather is only moderately cool. Sailing into it is incredibly perilous and should only be undertaken for short distances and with a reinforced hull. There are many tales of ships who have entered unknowingly and their unfortunate ends. Needless to say, a swimmer could not last long in the milling waters, half-transformed to stone. They say if you could get through the transition zone this sea would be walkable on, and maybe it does not count as a sea at that point, even if one can still over the centuries feel the movements of great stone whales below.

4. There is no light here; no sun or moon or stars and (as far as we know) no phosphorescent seaweeds of the like. One can bring one’s own light sources, of course, but so far none have shown anything but a black, brackish sea against a black sky. The longest a boat has stayed here and returned is an hour. Depth soundings have yet to reveal evidence of a sea bed.

5. There is a perpetual smell of peat on the air; much more than the occasional small islands could produce. This is perhaps the friendliest of the seven other seas and there are some travellers who claim to have stayed here for weeks with little ill-effect. It is still notable that maybe one in three of those who have been in fail to come out. Therefore there must be some hazard, even if we are unable to say what it is.

6. We do not know anyone who has been to the sixth sea. Some say that it was invented to make sure that there were seven other seas and not six. Alternatively the entrance may be very remote or very small, or its waters peculiarly hostile.  

7. It is a shallow sea, and can be waded in in places. The sun shines very hot on its nearer parts, which are windless and smell strongly of the thick red seaweed that grows there. It is not known how far this sea stretches, though no-one has found an end of any sort other than a few lonely sandbanks. But one cannot sail here other than in tiny rowboats or punts, so it is hard to travel far. There have been explorers who were determined to prove that some miraculous feature existed, somewhere deep beyond the bland inner reaches of this sea. We waved them off, and we have not seen them since. I suppose if they found their utopia they might have stayed, and be still living.

nytimes.com
Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person
Embrace a philosophy of pessimism. Every human will disappoint you, and you’ll do the same to them.
By Alain de Botton

By: Alain de Botton

IT’S one of the things we are most afraid might happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. And yet we do it all the same: We marry the wrong person.

Partly, it’s because we have a bewildering array of problems that emerge when we try to get close to others. We seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?”

Perhaps we have a latent tendency to get furious when someone disagrees with us or can relax only when we are working; perhaps we’re tricky about intimacy after sex or clam up in response to humiliation. Nobody’s perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with.

Our partners are no more self-aware. Naturally, we make a stab at trying to understand them. We visit their families. We look at their photos, we meet their college friends. All this contributes to a sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t. Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.

For most of recorded history, people married for logical sorts of reasons: because her parcel of land adjoined yours, his family had a flourishing business, her father was the magistrate in town, there was a castle to keep up, or both sets of parents subscribed to the same interpretation of a holy text. And from such reasonable marriages, there flowed loneliness, infidelity, abuse, hardness of heart and screams heard through the nursery doors. The marriage of reason was not, in hindsight, reasonable at all; it was often expedient, narrow-minded, snobbish and exploitative. That is why what has replaced it — the marriage of feeling — has largely been spared the need to account for itself.

What matters in the marriage of feeling is that two people are drawn to each other by an overwhelming instinct and know in their hearts that it is right. Indeed, the more imprudent a marriage appears (perhaps it’s been only six months since they met; one of them has no job or both are barely out of their teens), the safer it can feel. Recklessness is taken as a counterweight to all the errors of reason, that catalyst of misery, that accountant’s demand. The prestige of instinct is the traumatized reaction against too many centuries of unreasonable reason.

But though we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. We are looking to recreate, within our adult relationships, the feelings we knew so well in childhood. The love most of us will have tasted early on was often confused with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his anger, of not feeling secure enough to communicate our wishes. How logical, then, that we should as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign. We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy.

We make mistakes, too, because we are so lonely. No one can be in an optimal frame of mind to choose a partner when remaining single feels unbearable. We have to be wholly at peace with the prospect of many years of solitude in order to be appropriately picky; otherwise, we risk loving no longer being single rather more than we love the partner who spared us that fate.

Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us: Perhaps we were in Venice, on the lagoon, in a motorboat, with the evening sun throwing glitter across the sea, chatting about aspects of our souls no one ever seemed to have grasped before, with the prospect of dinner in a risotto place a little later. We married to make such sensations permanent but failed to see that there was no solid connection between these feelings and the institution of marriage.

Indeed, marriage tends decisively to move us onto another, very different and more administrative plane, which perhaps unfolds in a suburban house, with a long commute and maddening children who kill the passion from which they emerged. The only ingredient in common is the partner. And that might have been the wrong ingredient to bottle.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter if we find we have married the wrong person.

We mustn’t abandon him or her, only the founding Romantic idea upon which the Western understanding of marriage has been based the last 250 years: that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy our every yearning.

WE need to swap the Romantic view for a tragic (and at points comedic) awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for.

This philosophy of pessimism offers a solution to a lot of distress and agitation around marriage. It might sound odd, but pessimism relieves the excessive imaginative pressure that our romantic culture places upon marriage. The failure of one particular partner to save us from our grief and melancholy is not an argument against that person and no sign that a union deserves to fail or be upgraded.

The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.

Romanticism has been unhelpful to us; it is a harsh philosophy. It has made a lot of what we go through in marriage seem exceptional and appalling. We end up lonely and convinced that our union, with its imperfections, is not “normal.” We should learn to accommodate ourselves to “wrongness,” striving always to adopt a more forgiving, humorous and kindly perspective on its multiple examples in ourselves and in our partners.

richardmetric  asked:

So Nintendo is supposedly going to reveal another character tomorrow at the World Hobby Fair. Any idea who this might be, if true?

Are you perhaps referring to this flyer? For those not in the know, the World Hobby Fair is a Japanese event focused more on children and families than something like Tokyo Game Show. Nintendo usually has some presence, as this flyer shows.

Though it may mean nothing, we must admit that the greyed-out question mark space is rather conspicuous. But seeing as the event ends tomorrow, it’s odd that it would be revealed on a Sunday (Smash announcements are usually done during the week). It’s tough to say either way, especially considering how recent E3 was. If there IS a character announced, it would probably be a veteran rather than a newcomer. We’ll just have to wait and see!

artbylexie  asked:

Fluffly Sherlolly prompt: Sherlock helps Molly escape an arranged marriage.

She sat reclined in his chair, pale slim hands clutching at her skirts, as her eyelashes fluttered briefly by the light of the fire. Her sleep was not a peaceful one, but perhaps better than the sleep she’d had prior to this or so he hoped. Hearing a creek by the door, he ushered Mrs Hudson inside by inclining his head, and she settled a tray of hot tea on the table between him and his client

“Thank you,” he whispered to his landlady who gave him a curious smile that he didn’t dare to contemplate. When she had wandered off again, he clasped one of the cups and poured a generous amount of tea into it, before he went with it to the sleeping Miss Hooper. 

She did not stir, nor did he truly wish to wake her, keeping his movements quiet, unlike him in all manner, then again, he had not known that she was betrothed, so he was apt to act odd. 

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