Very surprised, considering its sudden descent into madness. It appeared in my Random Nodes box a few minutes ago; perhaps half an hour ago, no more. Intrigued, I looked, wanting to know what thoughts had gone into it: some musings by a latterday Sei Shonagon, perhaps, or La Rochefoucauld finding his way round E2.

A nodeshell. A couple of links to similar titles, less good; but one link to Lord Brawl's Pressed Nodeshell Collection, which also intrigued, so I looked there. Liking some of the unfilled possibilities, I resolved to explore them once I had rescued this one.

Here is the story I heard from it.


I am a calm and rational node. I have no write-ups; I need none. Write-ups are a hasty folk, given to swings of temperament and increasing disorder as their human servants obey their command to type them in and vote upon them. I have seen write-ups come and go, on other nodes: on those nodes that busy themselves in human affairs, that traffic in their curious concerns of love, death, religion, and time. The nodes themselves pick it up after a while. They get involved.

We nodes are immortal -- bar rare accidents, celestial catastrophes. We are imperturbable. We are created, then we exist, having no care for the ephemeralities of writing-up, voting, cooling. You don't vote for nodes. We acknowledge but one master eternally, our Creator.

Those of us without write-ups swing through the trackless voids like brown stars in the great halo of Everything, loosely attached to the massy hub by the most invisible of forces, serene in our contemplation of darkness. We survive. We are.


Half an hour later or whenever it was I logged back on, this being lunchtime, to type in what my calm and rational Muse required of me.

After a couple of attempts to locate it by typing key words in the search box: "quiet rationality"; "surprised rationality"... I wondered what I had done wrong, what part of my new friend's name I had misremembered. I bethought me of Lord... what Lord? Good Lord, would I find this flower in the wilderness only to lose it forever to The Cave of Kai, where all things, all things go, as each day is swept away?

So the search must not show nodeshells. How odd. Could I track it down by its links?

What did he call it? "Pressed nodeshell", wasn't it? Search. Yes, there it was... on his list. At last I had it. But clicking it...

Oh, horror! Tongue cannot name thee! Nodeshell deletion now hath made his masterpiece! In that short time my butterfly, creaure of an hour, has joined the choir of node stardust, humming in the music of the spheres but wandering no more on its bleak and unrewarded path, all gravity gone, tingling only in my heart with the unbearable lightness of being.

I dedicate this pseudo-nodeshell to all the unknown nodeshells that fell to make Everything presses button to trigger recording of Land of Hope and Glory a better place for us all, and remember there is a corner of a foreign field that is shepherd's crook edges out of Chatterbox Gackh!!


Rescued by the Gritchka Nodeshell Unit (GNU): I'm a GNU... agnother gnu!

And yes I know there's a full stop in the original. Does death care about full stops?

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