“Cross-dressing rogue” is a misnomer. It implies some sort of Ed Wood “Stealing Girlfriend’s Pink Mohair Sweaters Out of Closet” compulsion, and he is not that. Just want to keep his identity somewhat on the down-low, to protect the innocent. He is a real person in real life, just like all of my family, friends, and colleagues are, and his character is like all of our characters in WoW, somewhere on the spectrum from “alter ego” to “marionette.”
But, he is real. He and I were talking about the characters whose back-stories and presence become to mean something to us, authentically and wholly. And between that line of what makes us cry in the real world, and the fictional world, makes no matter.
|The Death of Gwyneth Bly’leggonde|
When WoWHead says, “The location of this NPC is unknown,” I want you to consider the metaphysical and existentialistic ramifications. (Ouch, I think I just broke my brain. Too early. No sleep. Coffee not done yet!) But, where do we go when we pass on? Do we “go” anywhere? Think about it: these are the big questions based on our varying beliefs, fears, and cultures. Big stuff.
So when we talk about our journeys through Azeroth, and he still mourns the loss of Gwyneth Bly’Leggonde, whom he says was there at the beginning for all of his characters, a steady, calm voice in a sea of fiery chaos, a gentle guiding soul. An angel, if you will. (Although his personal belief systems would argue with me over that. What makes life interesting, you know? Not having all the answers.) But she, her character, represents other deeper connections for him I won’t go into: suffice it to say those connections are tender and very, very sweet. Part of a bigger photo album.
Recently, Navi wrote the most loving tribute to Lunk. It’s a darling narrative, one of altering fixed perceptions, breaking stereotypes and remaining true to oneself, despite all the evidence and societal rules that try to break us down. Doing good when it’s hard, being a true hero. Is it hyperbolic to compare Lunk to great pacifists in history? Perhaps. (No, no “perhaps.” It is. But you must see the similarities?)
When we share these stories, be there with a toddler on our knees, blog post, or a piece of gossip while getting pedicures with a girlfriend, we remain connected to one another with a powerful force. We share of times when we our in mourning or joy, and that’s what keeps us coming back, again and again. That’s my belief system.
Many years ago, too long for even their archives, I heard a great eulogy by a physicist, for no one in particular, just being human. It talked about the Laws of the Universe, about energy not being able to be created or destroyed, how all of the matter and anti-matter continues, infinitely and out of our humans’ range of perception. I wish I could find it, and will search again.
Anyway–thank you to all who share your stories. You are not sharing them with just me, necessarily, but you make me feel like you are.
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.
– Aaron Freeman