what has the world done

Aries —
oh, my sweet, sweet child, what has the world done to you? you were a bright promise,
the tomorrow we had hoped for, holding flowers in your mouth without crushing them
and trusting blindly in those around you. and then came the blood; and now your fire
is a quiet thing, a crackling murmur hidden in the shadows. you’ve curled into yourself
like a newborn babe, held your heart tightly to your chest and began the tedious healing.
and all the salt in your tears made the deep wounds sting; was it this what kept you pure?
I wonder, oh, I wonder. before you, I had never seen an anathema so full of innocence.
(the world tried to cast you down from paradise; and it succeeded. but the fall couldn’t
maim you, for fire cannot kill fire – it simply shrunk you, much like a mimosa bloom.
I hope one day you’ll feel safe enough to flower, for there is so much beauty in you.)


Taurus —
I wish I could wrap my hands around your shoulders and hold you close for a while,
because oh, what sad things they are, your bones. I am so sorry, beloved; so very sorry.
and I am well aware these apologies cannot change anything, but I want you to know
that there is someone who sees you as you are – even when all the others see is your
superfluous frivolity and your desire for riches, I see the thoughtful mind, the gentle
gestures, each and every of your heartbeats. the song of you is imprinted into my memory
as the change in seasons is; you are unforgettable, something so precious and so very dear.
(don’t let them shame you for your greed – those who try to do so cannot wrap their
all too little minds around the fact that sin is not necessarily negative. your love for gold
has root in the same place as your love for others; you only want it so you may share it.)


Gemini —
it’s lonely, isn’t it? not being the way all others are. they tell you you’re a forgery, that your
smile is a mask and your composure an act, simply because they cannot accept the idea
that people are supposed to be multidimensional. on and on they go, pinning their ignorance
to you under the name of blame, seeing in you only that which they wish to see. sometimes,
you wish you were like them. I know you do. you shouldn’t. it might be lonely where you are,
but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing; lonely doesn’t mean secluded. there are others like you,
with minds like diamonds. others like you, who are only habitual in their tendency for change.
(you will find someone who can make sense out of you, one day, you know. they’ll know you
better than you yourself do – every single aspect of you, every single frantic facet and feeling.
and when you do, the wait will be more than worth it. I promise you won’t die nor live alone.)


Cancer —
you poor, poor, poor thing. it’s been a thousand years since you’ve curled into yourself, hid
your heart deep in the cradle of your ribs and let yourself sleep; then the time came for you
to awaken, and you found the world unchanged – it was as if everything had stood still.
reality swept into you like saltwater into gaping wounds, and every fiber of your soul wept.
fearful, you took the broken glass road still, walked it fully aware of what laid in waiting;
like a bride the night she is wed to a stranger, you swallowed your terror and saw it through.
often, those ignorant make you out to be such a bumbling coward. you’re not. you just aren’t.
(in fact, you’re on of the bravest people I know; it takes so much courage to let the world
see you weep – and it takes even more of it to wipe your tears and keep moving forward.
above all, it takes immense courage to allow yourself to love even when you know it’ll hurt.)


Leo —
the size of your heart puts to shame both Jupiter and your own pride and ego; to this day,
I am not sure if you would have been better off with one much smaller, but I know for sure
the world would have been emptier by far. you see, your touch is one of gold; whomever
you decide to invest your time and love into grows the size of Atlas, and so, without you
as you are now there would have been much less in the world. that is your downfall, isn’t it?
always has been. the way you’ve always put others first, giving them all of you, never asking
for anything to be given to you in return. you are a gardener, dearest, and people are your roses.
(it breaks my heart that all your selfless effort was almost always repaid in hurt and sorrow;
know that you are not to be blamed for any of it. you have done nothing wrong – sometimes,
things simply fall apart. don’t shut your heart. I’d hate to see your love rot and turn to hatred.)


Virgo —
you have endured well the contempt of others, my dear; you have taken every blow with open arms.
they have called you frigid and prude and arrogant and everything in between, but you knew better.
tell me then: if you can endure so well the slander of others, if you don’t care what they make of you,
why do you worry so? why do you see only blemishes when you look at yourself in the mirror?
your hesitance to trust others stems in your fear that if you let them in they’ll see your ugliness, all
the imagined imperfections you see in your reflection. you can’t trust others because you don’t trust
yourself; and I wish so badly that you would have a little more faith in who you are, in your beauty.
(being unable to forgive, jealousy and lust do not make you terrible. hate is human nature as much
as love is; emotions, be they bad or good, are intrinsic to mankind. you are such a passionate being,
despite your outward delicacy, and that, my dear, is simply stunning. please try to love yourself.)


Libra —
darling child, didn’t the gods tell you the mob sees dancers as something of the devil, especially
when their preferred stage is the sharp edge of a sword? few in this world love truth, and fewer still
are fond of things like righteousness and justice. your ability to remain indiscriminate in the face
of contradictory realities and deny none of them is both a blessing and a curse. your mind, I fear,
is the Pandora fate has crafted specifically for you; a beautiful gift that hides such doom and sorrow.
and you are aware of all of this – how you were meant for greater things, with your noble mind
and your true heart, yet on you dance, fighting against the windmills of adversity. how brave you are.
(know that your effort will not go without reward. know that you won’t be forever unloved, nor
will you be forever misunderstood. there will be those whom, like you, have the makings of just men,
and they will understand. keep your eyes open and search the crowd; that is what you do best.)


Scorpio —
I look at you and my heart grows small; there is so much sadness in you, from the flower
of your eyes to the slouching arch of your shoulders. you have been misjudged
and falsely accused for so long: whore, they said; monster, perverter, sickness of the soul –
and all of it because you like sex, as if somehow they are the virgin mary reborn,
the goddamn hypocrites. this, too, is something they have misunderstood; it is not sex
that you crave or are interested in. it is intimacy: it is the vulnerability that comes with having
your soul completely bared and lain before another; you crave love, in its’ purest of forms.
(and I know they have convinced you that someone of your kind is not “worthy”; fuck that.
your love is priceless, and one day someone will call your battle scars a masterpiece.
one day someone will love you as wholly as you deserve to be loved. they will love all of you.)


Sagittarius —
there is such wanderlust in you – you’ve made a home out of the long, long roads,
walked the earth to its’ ends and bathed in the oceans of the horizon; the sky was
your sole companion, its’ stars your map, the wind a spellsong to ward off the passing
sadness and melancholia that threatened to dim the flame of your heart. oh, my child;
how very wonderful you are, a barefoot nomad forever in awe of the world. the feeble
minded call you rootless; how wrong they are. having a voyager heart does not make you
afraid of commitment. it simply means your roots lie elsewhere, splat across the world.
(do not let their malice plant doubts into your mind’s garden; your gypsy heart is worth more
than all their empty ones combined. keep daring the world, sate your thirst for journeying;
only exploration can ever lead to discovery, so let your feet and head both walk the world.)


Capricorn —
good god, you’re so tired. life has worn you down to the marrow of your bones,
took everything from you until you were bare-handed; and yet.
and yet you’re still here, standing before me, your spine hardened to titanium,
a delicate thing that can withstand even the most apocalyptic of sieges;
you still find it in you to smile, bitter-bloody-all-teeth and still happy, somehow.
know that I am proud of you; of your bravery, of your resilience,
of how you’ve clung to life by the skin of your teeth. I am proud of you.
(and know that you deserve happiness – you may feel like you don’t, you may feel
that it is above the likes of you, but you deserve it; you have earned it.
know that one of these days, the sun will shine down on your lane, too.)


Aquarius —
there’s so much of you inside your skin I am often surprised it has yet to come apart at the seams;
there’s so much of everything inside your skull I am left in awe of your bones – often I wonder,
how are they strong enough to contain the exploding universe inside? my god, this world of ours
has seven wonders and you are all of them. the fortitude of your bright mind ceaselessly
surprises me; I know what to expect, and yet I am still thrown off by your ingenuity and your
ability to remain rational in your abstract ways. nobody but you is open enough to accept it all;
nobody but you can see through the prism of all eyes and walk away with their sanity intact.
(I know they call you “cold”, an ice queen of the Siberian tundra. let them be. those who cannot
see your white-hot warmth are not worthy of your brilliance. you are the brightest star, my dear,
someone accepting and embracing of it all. do not settle for anyone that is blind to your light.)


Pisces —
and how terrible it must be for you, who lives always halfway, to be stuck in a world
that demands certainties which you will never have to give. it is not to say you don’t want
to be resolute – you simply cannot. your world does not have truth, nor does it have falsity;
all that your world has are colors, swirling, forever mingling anew like the clouds in the sky.
one day you are overflowing with everything that blooms inside of you, and lilies
are spilling out of your ribs; the next, you’re empty, and you can’t for the life of you
find something that is all-encompassing enough to fill the growing abyss south of your sternum.
(know that it is okay. the most humane thing you can be is full of contradictions;
as maddening as it can be, each paradox gets you closer to the entity your peers call god.
it was never the devil that built his home on the crossroads, you know. embrace your nature.)

—  poetry for the signs: the “you’ve done well” edition, L. Schreiber
3

Ricardo liked this post on my Instagram today!!!!!!!!

I am not breathing.

i think that it’s a human desire to become a legacy. we want to leave a mark on this cold yet forgiving world and i say forgiving and not unforgiving because despite what humankind’s coarse hands and harsh ambitions have done, the world has always found a way to grow flowers in warfields.
—  artmsia 

Every inch of you is perfect from the

to the

Villain or Hero Edition:

-“You’re going to save them and for what? They don’t appreciate you!”

-“You spill your blood for this city/village and for what? So they can never know the name of the man/woman who saved their miserable lives?”

-“How many times are you going to bleed for them?”

-“Aren’t you tired yet? Haven’t you had enough?”

-“Despair, misery, and chaos. It’s like air to me. But to watch them suffer is much more entertaining.”

-“Look at their miserable lives and tell me what you see. They’re just begging for you to end them.”

-“You’re conflicted I can see it. You don’t want to be the hero but you’re not evil enough to be the villain. So what are you?”

-“You can’t be nothing because you have to be something.”

-“You can’t be nobody you have to be somebody. They need you. Help them.”

-“You’ve shed enough blood. It’s time to stop. You’ve avenged their deaths enough.”

-“You’ve fought until your face was bloody, your ribs cracked, and your soul broken. How much more can you give to them!”

-“You won’t be satisfied until your dead.”

-“This city/village has torn you apart. They don’t deserve anymore saving.”

-“You’d give your soul to them? They won’t ever be satisfied until you’re dead.”

-“You give and you give and give when is it your turn to take?”

-“You’ll burn this city/village to the ground. Murder its people. And then will you be satisfied?”

-“I can’t watch you tear yourself apart anymore for these people.”

-“You’re cruel.”

-“You’ve been caught. There’s nothing more you can do so why are you still fighting?”

-“It’s over. It was a long war filled with countless bodies and bloodshed. So stop…it’s over.”

-“I know you. You aren’t this terrible person people see you as and made you become. There’s still some light within you. I see it…”

-“What has the world done to you to make you feel this broken that you feel the need to hurt other people?”

-“You hurt others because they hurt you.”

-“I can see the torment within you. I can especially tell by the way you mangle the bodies of your enemies.”

-“You don’t owe people anything else.”

-“You’re like the sun and moon. You can either be the light that guides peoples lives to a better world. Or you can be the moon and darken their world. Or- you can be an eclipse and be a little bit of both good and evil.”

-“What do YOU want to become?”

-“You’re the only one who can give others hope.”

-“If it wasn’t for you we’d all be dead.”

-“The histories will never know who really saved us because he/she didn’t want to be known as a hero.”

-“Don’t die for our selfish selves.”

-“You brought this upon yourself.”

-“You can either save lives or take them. So which is it? Who will you become?”

-“You say you’d burn the city/village to the ground. But what happens when you’re standing on a pile of ash and smoke with no subjects to rule?”

-“Your mentor molded you to be a monster.”

-“Your mentor molded you to be a beckon of hope for others.”

-“They will never bow to you.”

-“You’re nothing but a usurper from a foreign place to us. We will never call you King/Queen.”

-“You hide behind a mask all the time and I don’t mean the one upon your face.”

-“Of all the things to have happened to you are you still capable of love?”

-“You were born a villain but you will die a hero.”

-“You were born a hero but will die a villain.”

-“You’ve changed since we first met. You’re becoming something I don’t recognize anymore.”

-“You’re no longer a man. You’re a beast.”

-“Greatness was thrust upon you but you decided not to take it. Why?”

-“We don’t choose these roles they just happen.”

-“I won’t watch you die.”

-“What are you fighting for?”

-“Fates can be changed there’s still time.”

-“Your fate isn’t set in stone.”

-“There’s pain in my chest every time I see you in anguish.”

-“You never meant anything to them. So you turned into the thing they feared the most to leave an impression upon them.”

-“I wish you could see your worth.”

-“Your life is not worth the weight of gold they will pay you for helping them.”

-“I won’t watch you become someone I don’t recognize.”

-“I can’t even say who are you becoming because I don’t even know what you are anymore.

-"When they write of your history they will say it began on this day.”

-“Your scars are a reminder of who you were. So never forget who bled for this village/city. Who it was that saved the damned and the good. Who it was that almost died for them. Who it was that became a legend in their eyes. A legend to be remembered a thousand years from now.”

To all the Maggie Sawyers out there:

You are heard.

You are recognized.

You are real.

You are valid.

You do not need to apologize when you have trauma responses.

You do not need to apologize for what this heterosexist, racist, ableist world has done to you.

You do not need to apologize for demanding to be heard.

You are gorgeous, inside and out.

You are perfect, just as you are.

You deserve the best of all things.

You have chosen family that loves you unconditionally.

You are not alone.

You are valuable.

You are worth it.

You are the shining star of your own story, and you are forged from the most beautiful stardust.

To all the Maggie Sawyers out there:

You are so, so, so loved.

Aries — 

 Oh, my sweet, sweet child, what has the world done to you? You were a bright promise, the tomorrow we had hoped for, holding flowers in your mouth without crushing them and trusting blindly in those around you. And then came the blood; and now your fire is a quiet thing, a crackling murmur hidden in the shadows. You’ve curled into yourself like a newborn babe, held your heart tightly to your chest and began the tedious healing. And all the salt in your tears made the deep wounds sting; was it this what kept you pure? I wonder, oh, I wonder. Before you, I had never seen an anathema so full of innocence. (The world tried to cast you down from paradise; and it succeeded. But the fall couldn’t maim you, for fire cannot kill fire – it simply shrunk you, much like a mimosa bloom. I hope one day you’ll feel safe enough to flower, for there is so much beauty in you.)

Taurus — 

 I wish I could wrap my hands around your shoulders and hold you close for a while, because oh, what sad things they are, your bones. I am so sorry, beloved; so very sorry. And I am well aware these apologies cannot change anything, but I want you to know that there is someone who sees you as you are – even when all the others see is your superfluous frivolity and your desire for riches, I see the thoughtful mind, the gentle gestures, each and every of your heartbeats. The song of you is imprinted into my memory
as the change in seasons is; you are unforgettable, something so precious and so very dear. (Don’t let them shame you for your greed – those who try to do so cannot wrap their all too little minds around the fact that sin is not necessarily negative. Your love for gold has root in the same place as your love for others; you only want it so you may share it.)

Gemini — 

 It’s lonely, isn’t it? not being the way all others are. They tell you you’re a forgery, that your smile is a mask and your composure an act, simply because they cannot accept the idea that people are supposed to be multidimensional. On and on they go, pinning their ignorance to you under the name of blame, seeing in you only that which they wish to see. Sometimes, you wish you were like them. I know you do. You shouldn’t. It might be lonely where you are, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing; lonely doesn’t mean secluded. There are others like you, with minds like diamonds. Others like you, who are only habitual in their tendency for change. (You will find someone who can make sense out of you, one day, you know. They’ll know you better than you yourself do – every single aspect of you, every single frantic facet and feeling. And when you do, the wait will be more than worth it. I promise you won’t die nor live alone.)

Cancer — 

 You poor, poor, poor thing. It’s been a thousand years since you’ve curled into yourself, hid your heart deep in the cradle of your ribs and let yourself sleep; then the time came for you to awaken, and you found the world unchanged – it was as if everything had stood still. Reality swept into you like saltwater into gaping wounds, and every fiber of your soul wept. fearful, you took the broken glass road still, walked it fully aware of what laid in waiting; like a bride the night she is wed to a stranger, you swallowed your terror and saw it through. Often, those ignorant make you out to be such a bumbling coward. You’re not. You just aren’t. (In fact, you’re one of the bravest people I know; it takes so much courage to let the world see you weep – and it takes even more of it to wipe your tears and keep moving forward. Above all, it takes immense courage to allow yourself to love even when you know it’ll hurt.)

Leo — 

 The size of your heart puts to shame both Jupiter and your own pride and ego; to this day, I am not sure if you would have been better off with one much smaller, but I know for sure the world would have been emptier by far. You see, your touch is one of gold; whomever you decide to invest your time and love into grows the size of Atlas, and so, without you as you are now there would have been much less in the world. That is your downfall, isn’t it? Always has been. The way you’ve always put others first, giving them all of you, never asking for anything to be given to you in return. You are a gardener, dearest, and people are your roses. (It breaks my heart that all your selfless effort was almost always repaid in hurt and sorrow; know that you are not to be blamed for any of it. You have done nothing wrong – sometimes, things simply fall apart. Don’t shut your heart. I’d hate to see your love rot and turn to hatred.)

Virgo — 

 You have endured well the contempt of others, my dear; you have taken every blow with open arms. They have called you frigid and prude and arrogant and everything in between, but you knew better. Tell me then: if you can endure so well the slander of others, if you don’t care what they make of you, why do you worry so? Why do you see only blemishes when you look at yourself in the mirror? Your hesitance to trust others stems in your fear that if you let them in they’ll see your ugliness, all the imagined imperfections you see in your reflection. You can’t trust others because you don’t trust yourself; and I wish so badly that you would have a little more faith in who you are, in your beauty. (Being unable to forgive, jealousy and lust do not make you terrible. Hate is human nature as much as love is; emotions, be they bad or good, are intrinsic to mankind. You are such a passionate being, despite your outward delicacy, and that, my dear, is simply stunning. Please try to love yourself.)

Libra — 

 Darling child, didn’t the gods tell you the mob sees dancers as something of the devil, especially when their preferred stage is the sharp edge of a sword? Few in this world love truth, and fewer still are fond of things like righteousness and justice. Your ability to remain indiscriminate in the face of contradictory realities and deny none of them is both a blessing and a curse. Your mind, I fear, is the Pandora fate has crafted specifically for you; a beautiful gift that hides such doom and sorrow. And you are aware of all of this – how you were meant for greater things, with your noble mind and your true heart, yet on you dance, fighting against the windmills of adversity. How brave you are. (Know that your effort will not go without reward. Know that you won’t be forever unloved, nor will you be forever misunderstood. There will be those whom, like you, have the makings of just men, and they will understand. Keep your eyes open and search the crowd; that is what you do best.)

Scorpio — 

 I look at you and my heart grows small; there is so much sadness in you, from the flower of your eyes to the slouching arch of your shoulders. You have been misjudged and falsely accused for so long: Whore, they said; monster, perverter, sickness of the soul – and all of it because you like sex, as if somehow they are the Virgin Mary reborn, the goddamn hypocrites. This, too, is something they have misunderstood; it is not sex that you crave or are interested in. It is intimacy: it is the vulnerability that comes with having your soul completely bared and lain before another; you crave love, in its’ purest of forms. (And I know they have convinced you that someone of your kind is not “worthy”; fuck that. Your love is priceless, and one day someone will call your battle scars a masterpiece. One day someone will love you as wholly as you deserve to be loved. They will love all of you.)

Sagittarius — 

 There is such wanderlust in you – you’ve made a home out of the long, long roads, walked the earth to its’ ends and bathed in the oceans of the horizon; the sky was your sole companion, its’ stars your map, the wind a spellsong to ward off the passing sadness and melancholia that threatened to dim the flame of your heart. Oh, my child; how very wonderful you are, a barefoot nomad forever in awe of the world. The feeble minded call you rootless; how wrong they are. Having a voyager heart does not make you afraid of commitment. It simply means your roots lie elsewhere, splat across the world. (Do not let their malice plant doubts into your mind’s garden; your gypsy heart is worth more than all their empty ones combined. Keep daring the world, sate your thirst for journeying; only exploration can ever lead to discovery, so let your feet and head both walk the world.)

Capricorn — 

 Good god, you’re so tired. Life has worn you down to the marrow of your bones, took everything from you until you were bare-handed; and yet you’re still here, standing before me, your spine hardened to titanium, a delicate thing that can withstand even the most apocalyptic of sieges; you still find it in you to smile, bitter-bloody-all-teeth and still happy, somehow. Know that I am proud of you; of your bravery, of your resilience, of how you’ve clung to life by the skin of your teeth. I am proud of you. (And know that you deserve happiness – you may feel like you don’t, you may feel that it is above the likes of you, but you deserve it; you have earned it. Know that one of these days, the sun will shine down on your lane, too.)

Aquarius — 

 There’s so much of you inside your skin I am often surprised it has yet to come apart at the seams; there’s so much of everything inside your skull I am left in awe of your bones – often I wonder, how are they strong enough to contain the exploding universe inside? My god, this world of ours has seven wonders and you are all of them. The fortitude of your bright mind ceaselessly surprises me; I know what to expect, and yet I am still thrown off by your ingenuity and your ability to remain rational in your abstract ways. Nobody but you is open enough to accept it all; nobody but you can see through the prism of all eyes and walk away with their sanity intact. (I know they call you “cold”, an ice queen of the Siberian tundra. Let them be. Those who cannot see your white-hot warmth are not worthy of your brilliance. You are the brightest star, my dear, someone accepting and embracing of it all. Do not settle for anyone that is blind to your light.)

Pisces — 

 And how terrible it must be for you, who lives always halfway, to be stuck in a world that demands certainties which you will never have to give. It is not to say you don’t want to be resolute – you simply cannot. Your world does not have truth, nor does it have falsity; all that your world has are colors, swirling, forever mingling anew like the clouds in the sky. One day you are overflowing with everything that blooms inside of you, and lilies are spilling out of your ribs; the next, you’re empty, and you can’t for the life of you find something that is all-encompassing enough to fill the growing abyss south of your sternum. (Kknow that it is okay. The most humane thing you can be is full of contradictions;  as maddening as it can be, each paradox gets you closer to the entity your peers call God. It was never the Devil that built his home on the crossroads, you know. Embrace your nature.)

— Poetry for the Signs: The “You’ve Done Well” Edition, by L. Schreiber.

give me nina zenik who is ruthless with her powers

give me nina zenik who knows that matthias asked her to save the drüskelle and is doing her damn best but jumps at the chance to fight because of the violence in her bones

give me nina zenik who knows she was made to be a soldier and owns it

give me nina zenik who remembers matthias and on bad days his name gives her the strength to put one foot in front of the other

give me nina zenik who embraces her new powers and her place as queen of mourning

give me nina zenik who is angry as hell about what the world has done to her because goddamnit she was just trying to make it better

give me nina zenik who carries around shards of bone and infected cells because she’s never going to be caught off guard again

give me nina zenik who knows that she’s living for a reason

L I S T E N

I will forever stand by Draco.

He was a boy.

Who had to act like a man and make decisions which would impact upon everyone around him and threaten his life and the life of his friends and family.

He didn’t really hate Harry.

He saved his life.

He was a bully, I know he was but he wasn’t a bad person.

He made bad choices because he didn’t have many and the ones he did have were influenced by fear.

He came from a family of riches but they lacked the love and connection other families had.

In a way, he’s kind of like Harry.

Just battling the war on a different side.

And never forget, once all that was over, he aimed to be the best father in the world.

Despite what he has done and where he came from, he is an amazing character and I love him so much.

Kaneki and Touka: Parallel Journeys, Part 3

Link to First Part here.

Link to Second Part here.

Touka’s Self-Reconciliation

When we meet Touka again, 3 years later, she practically glows with human kindness.

Thankfully, her feelings of impotence have not convinced her to erase the admirable human side she had been developing, because she has had the support of the remainders of Anteiku and their hybrid viewpoint. And since that is a hybrid viewpoint, the Ghoul side of her has resurfaced as well, as we find out at the end of the Tsukiyama Family Extermination arc.

Her re-acceptance of her Ghoul self is reflected through the regrowth of her kakuhou and being able to use her kagune again. But while she has brought herself to kill people again, it is not a revenge killing, as it was with Kusaba, but a commitment to violence in order to save a friend. Like Yoshimura before her, she is peaceful when she can be, but when a friend is endangered, she’s willing to fight. A true spiritual Half-Ghoul; something she proves again when she helps rescue Hinami from Cochlea.

And the symbol of this reconciliation is her creation of :re. As Tsukiyama points out, it is a second Anteiku; a second symbol of human nature and Ghoul nature co-existing. And just as Yoshimura created Anteiku as a home for the prodigal Half-Ghoul close to his heart, Touka created :re as a home for the prodigal Half-Ghoul close to hers.

Kaneki’s Self-Reconciliation

Kaneki’s struggle to reconcile his two selves, however, is still ongoing. At the end of the first series, in Kaneki’s mind his Ghoul self comes into direct contact with his Human self, and the Ghoul realises what a great mistake he’s made in abandoning the Human. But the Human sees the virtue in the Ghoul self as well. 

They embrace, and they fade away together, to merge into one.

To merge into Haise, whose hair is both black and white to symbolise the co-existence of the two selves. As Haise, he seems, like Touka, to have mastered this balance. Simultaneously, a kind and gentle soul…

…And someone who is willing to fight when it’s called for, especially when it’s to protect his loved ones.

However, the transformation is not yet complete. Haise still fears sliding back full-swing into the Ghoul World, reluctant to use his kagune. Rather than his two selves being in union, they are fighting for dominance. He sees his past self as the demonic figure in Yamori’s chamber, and it frightens him.

The reason that he has adapted so badly compared to Touka is that the pain the Ghoul side of himself brought him was so extreme, he tried to shove it away entirely, locking away his memories. Being raised in the CCG with its strong prejudice against Ghouls only made his self-denial worse, to the point of crying when Urie calls him a Ghoul.

Touka equally fears Kaneki slipping back in the Ghoul World after seeing what it has done to him (and the own pain she felt because of it), and it’s her principal reason for not trying to bring back Haise’s memories. She believes him to be better off in this not-quite-there state, lest he regress dramatically (as indeed he later does).

(And of course Tsukiyama wants Kaneki back in the Ghoul World, because that’s where he is.)

But to Haise’s surprise, the mental image of the devil within changes into that of a child.

A white-haired child. The Ghoul self he was hiding from was as vulnerable as the human side he treasured. Haise re-examines his perspective, and seeks to understand the part of him he was suppressing. Beginning to understand the Ghoul inside of him is an important part of Kaneki’s development, but it takes him to darker places before brighter.

The confrontation with Eto, the reflection of himself - the Half-Ghoul who strayed from Anteiku into the Ghoul World to fix the world herself - brings Kaneki to a crucial revelation about himself.

Kaneki had always believed that the Ghoulish side within him was something that came about with the implantation of Ghoul organs into his body; indeed he initially tried to carve them out in the hope it would make him human again. However, with the flood of recaptured memories, Kaneki remembers that his life characterised by violence had begun long before that. He had been in the ‘Ghoul World’ even when he was human. The stream was poisoned from the source, and there was no escaping what he saw as his tragic fate - so he embraces it, seeking to at least do something positive with his Ghoul abilities before he can destroy the violent monster he so detests for good.

The white-haired child had represented the major memory Kaneki had been suppressing all along, an ability he possessed that was foreshadowed by the existence of Haise. It represented that he had his Ghoul nature even when he was a child - as foreshadowed by the ‘Black Goat’s Egg’, suitably written by his doppelganger - and so, though it is red in actuality, in the monochrome style of manga, his hair turns black as he accepts the Ghoul as an irremovable part of himself. Black hair was the colour of his human self, but the Black Reaper is the most Ghoulish of Kaneki’s personas - it represents how the distinction in Kaneki’s mind has been utterly obliterated, and he can no longer see where the Ghoul ends and the human begins. 

This destruction of the boundaries could be a positive thing for his character, if he didn’t despise himself for it. His hatred for himself is symbolised by slicing his doppelganger in two - although, of course, she survives, and reforms, because the Ghoul within Kaneki cannot be destroyed so easily.

Another thing about doppelgangers; according to legend, when one first meets their doppelganger, death will soon follow. And that is exactly what Kaneki believes. But this is a conviction that is thrown off balance when Kaneki comes to interact with someone who has been a Ghoul since their birth, and who has dived into the human world as well. Someone who has managed to demolish the boundaries between her Ghoul and Human sides in a far healthier manner.

Though Kaneki believed himself to have been part of the Human World, his past was characterised by the Ghoul World in his mother’s abuse long before the attack by Rize. And although Touka believed herself to have been part of the Ghoul World, her past was characterised by the Human World in her father’s kindness long before she went to school. Seeing Touka again is what triggers Kaneki’s self-doubt over his initial goal. Seeing such a healthy specimen of Half-Ghoulness - having now seen her both kindly serving customers in :re and breaking into Cochlea to save Hinami - makes him start to question his self-hatred.

Then, in his mind he speaks with Hide, and recognises that the Hide he is talking to, urging him to live on and demonstrating Human kindness to the highest degree, is a mental conjuration. Which makes that Hide part of Kaneki’s own mind. And if that’s true, then Kaneki can be Human too, after all. Human and Ghoul - he’s always been both. So he doesn’t have to hate himself anymore.

His hair turns white once more to represent the new peace he has found with his Ghoul self, and to call back to the self-confidence and determination to change the world that the first Shironeki possessed. With Ghoulish hair and a Ghoulish eye, his face is lit up by a Human smile. He’s finally mastered the way of the Half-Ghoul.

And that is precisely what makes him the One-Eyed King.

And where does Kaneki wake up after all of this?

In :re, the home of the half-Ghoul.

Kaneki has finally returned to Anteiku.

Now both Kaneki and Touka have destroyed the boundaries between their two selves - also represented by the mixed membership of Goat between Anteiku, Aogiri, CCG, and independents - they have saved themselves, and now that they have saved themselves, they can save the world.