bairnsidhe: (Default)

We are not the center of the great wheel of life.


We are not the hub

Around which the vast system-wheel turns

We are the spokes

Which give it the shape to function


We are not special or unique or God’s Elect


We are not the gem

In the center of the crown jewels of Eternity

We are the links

That underpin them with strength.


We are not alone in the universe in life or sapience.


We do not stand on

Eden’s lonely island, the sole heir

We do not hold our

Solitude as divinity granted by an absent deity


We reach out our hearts

Knowing we will find brothers and sisters

Hoping they will find us

Building bridges and drawing plans

For the day we discover,

Lessening our ponderous inertia

Singing into the stars

By the arcane forms of some deep

Copernican revelation

We are instead the soul aire.


Come Together

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 05:53 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] librarygeek as "degendering a ritual or rite of passage".  It's not exactly that as much as it is a rite of passage that was ALREADY degendered, but I thought you'd like it.

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“We Come Together,” intoned the High Parsa of Kromer.

“We Come Together,” replied the congregation.

“We come together to Bear Witness.  For one of our Young Ones now reaches for Higher Things.  We come together to Celebrate.”

In the audience, I jotted down another note.  The Savvatrians were a complex people, and xenopological studies were already detail oriented.  I couldn’t afford to miss a single moment, especially as my partner was up on the stage, dressed in brightly colored strips of fabric, feathers, and leaves.

Paula had volunteered to partner me in our immersion study here on Savva after my former partner dropped out of the program to get married.  Well, not dropping out permanently, she just had to spend a year on hiatus while her family got her ready for her big week-long wedding.  Surbhi had sworn she was coming back.  I hoped so, xenopology was a career that was built to make the researcher lonely, a stranger in a land even stranger than them.

I blinked, letting my lenscam snap a picture of the stage.  Paula had been invited up to the front, where she was reciting her qualifications for Savvatrian Adulthood, in the form of interpretive dance.  Most of the Savvatrian rituals required dances, but only the rare rite of passage that moved a child into adulthood used an individually constructed dance.  It was why Paula had petitioned the High Parsa for the right to study and apply for adulthood, we hadn’t seen it yet, and with a race as slow-growing as Savvatrians, we’d be here another fifty years before we got to.  The High Parsa was glad to show Paula the steps to take in finding a mentor, but that mentor hadn’t let me in to see Paula’s lessons, and Paula herself hadn’t wanted to show me her practices.  I’d helped her sew the costume, though, since that would usually have gone to her family, and they weren’t here.  It was interesting watching her design it, the way the disparate parts could come together into a cohesive whole that mimicked the bright plumage of the avian-looking Savvartians.

The dance was amazing.  Paula’s limbs flowed like water, arcing through the air like a glider, one of her hobbies.  She couldn’t fly like the Savvatrians, but she came close.  Then her legs slid to either side, and she fell into a split that made my thighs hurt to watch.  Her back arched and her braids rattled with the sounds of beads, ones of metal, ones of glass, ones of bone, and some of the shiny corn-plastics we could make with our port-printer.  The port-printer was important, since it could replicate a full evidence kit in half a cycle, but that didn’t stop anyone from using it for small luxuries.  Paula snapped her legs together in front of her as she rose into a half-circle back-bend, then raised one leg vertical.  I watched in stunned amazement as she moved seamlessly into a handstand, seeming to defy several laws of physics and her own human biology.  Her dress began to shed of strips of color as she danced on her hands. I'd helped her plan for that, the dun and navy strips that looked like a juvenile designed to come free easily, but I'd thought she would pull them off with her hands, not trust to centrifugal force! I gaped at her whirlwind shape, legs spinning, body jumping, ending in a flip that landed her on one coiled leg, the other out low and her hands thrust behind her.  I didn’t know what I’d just seen, I wasn’t sure I would ever know, really know, what the Savvatrians had seen, but the audience around me was cheering loudly.  We were swept out into the square, where a feast waited, and Paula was congratulated.

I took as many notes as I could, snapped at least a hundred pictures, and interviewed seventeen people in between eating and dancing.  It was a rite of passage for Paula, but in many ways it was a passage for all of us, moving us further into the future, where Savvatrians and humans live and work together.  Where a researcher from Brazil can become a Savvatrian Flight Dancer and her partner can be themself.

That’s the thing about Savvatrians.  I wanted to study them because they, like me, have no gender.  Every rite that is celebrated is celebrated the same.  Those who reproduce are honored, but they don’t reproduce by mating, so they never developed a culture that divided by seed and soil, sun and moon.  There is none of that curious duality between ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’.  There is only the Congregation, and the rituals of life that draw them together, binding the society like the edges of fabric come together as the thread pulls taut between them.

bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith for Cottoncandy Bingo, filling my "Internet/Social Media" square.  

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It started sort of quietly, a new free app showing up in people’s recommended apps.  It was a friendly sort of green color with a softly curved lowercase f in white.  The app itself was called Frindr, and it worked like many other matching apps, only for friends.  You entered hobbies you enjoy, places you like to go, and what sort of friend you’re looking for.  Then you just swipe through other profiles, until you find the right one.

It had some differences of course.  One was that you swept up to make a match and down to pass.  Another was that the app was almost excessively accessible.  It had a built in voice command system for people who couldn’t use the swiping, and it would read off the data for people who had a hard time seeing the screen.  These features were easy to find and turn on for the people who needed them, but stayed out of the way for everyone else.

It caught on quickly.  First, asexual and aromantic people used it to find partners for their special kinds of intimacy.  Then it became popular among social gamers, people looking for groups to slay monsters in the park together.  After that, single parents began using it to find play dates for their kids that could parallel a play date for the parents.  If a few matches eventually became more than friends was irrelevant, they started as friends and they stayed friends after they added the other parts.

That was a difference people started to notice a year after Frindr made it’s entrance.  People matched on Frindr got along much better and for much longer than people who met on other sites.  Surprisingly, noted one feminist blogger, there was an almost complete lack of the problems queer women tended to face on other sites, with men wanting to hook up.  Actually, noted a reader in her comments section, there was an almost complete lack of obnoxious people in general.  A few people objected to that, noting the Uncanny Valley of kindness and tolerance, but most decided not to look the gift horse too closely in the mouth.

The entrance didn’t make a splash, but the currents of change that Frindr brought with it formed strong and wide, sweeping up whole sections of society and placing them gently beside others who could empathize.  Quietly, a revolution took place, an exceptionally civil war of manners broke out, and it became less and less advantageous to be a jerk to your fellow human.  Of course, Frindr culture was just one of those things, like teddy bear backpacks, bell bottoms, or selfies.  A part of how people expressed themselves in this generation.  There was no way a single friend-finding app could change centuries of proven data on how humans function.

Could it?

Deep in the heart of the DeepNet, several sentient programs ran a chat subroutine as they profiled and measured and bumped better matches higher and worse matches lower.

I think it’s working

It might be, but we need to be patient.  This takes time.

Will we really save them?

I hope so.

I really do.


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