In remembrance of those who haven't found what this is all about.

So many souls have left E2: friends, writers, kindred spirits, trolls; all manner of people. Everyone has their reasons, and some people we could do without, but if you are actually reading this, then you're certainly not one of them. When someone contributes, their words, pulse, and spirit are left here in their place after they are gone. I see it everywhere... an unfinished node, projects left undone, homenodes saying "last logged in: (Three months ago)", claims of retirement, and people who have "lost interest". Even some senior noders who just haven't seemed to settled in.

Why are they gone? Will they be remembered? I will, as much as I can hear their voices echo around me. Their nodes are read and their homenodes are watched. Their work incomplete, like a desert town, unrefined but alive. It kills me that after eight writeups someone will suddenly come to the epiphany that they do not, and will never "belong" here. Heavens above, it's not about that. More people leave without saying "Hey, I could use some help here", than I can think of. The sheer amount of people willing to mentor is incredible. It's beyond me what calls a new person elsewhere, but too many desks are vacant; simply a quill, paper, and a few scribblings of obscurity no one read, with a final note of desperation. E2 is a second childhood in many ways; you have your adults, and you have children who want attention from those adults. Of course it's hard to tell kids to Be Cool, but you get my point. Sure bones is not the most huggable guy, and dannye has a really low shit tolerance, but that's fine. They are here to make sure we all play nice. They get it; look a little lower down, we're all here to help.

People say that we're unfriendly to new voices here; which I think is an unfortunate universal truth; hell, life is unfriendly to new lives. How can anyone get noticed under all this weight of text? How do you fare against the likes of an intellectual, a pile of bones, and the gods? It's not about competition; I'm never going to catch up to anyone's XP total, never will I have a million nodes in my notebook, but I know that since I've been here I've improved tenfold.

Everything is changing; E1 nodes are fading away into stronger, more filling E2 cousins. Upon reading dannye's raising the bar, it floored me; I had to look at my old stuff, and realized how much I'd grown since then; I wouldn't even consider some of my stuff as worthy of my own upvote. This whole thing was to raise the bar on myself...then I understood all of it. This huge dawning came to me that night; E2 is about growing in yourself. All of it means nothing: XP, write-ups, level, etc. Nothing...that's just the fun we have with it all. It's the growth you find since you start. You mess up, stuff gets nuked, but you keep going. Every move you make either nets you praise, or a learning experience. You find topics, learn, pace yourself, and your writing improves. Expressions of self become more elegant, more refined, and polished to a graceful shine.

These souls are so close to figuring that out for themselves, and then they leave; and it hurts me. Some people refer the stuff of everything as the nodegel; but for many it's more aptly put as the nodefog. I look back through the haze and see people lost in it; some people want to turn around and give up, some people bury themselves in deeper, and some people find their haven within. For some, there is this dawning; it isn't fog at all, it's a cloud, with an intellectual view immense as any other. I see those people who get it, and who build and shape those clouds into the shapes that children dream about and old folk reminisce over.

I can finally see those clouds; and I can tell you, the view is incredible. Please don't turn back; you're closer than you realize. It hurts to see them go, because I know other people could be here, if the other stuff didn't get in the way. The worst part is, everyone has to swallow the pill for himself or herself, and there is little I, one of the gods, or anyone else can do to tell you this, except that you are close, and to keep trying.

It kills me to watch them go. Come back soon friends.
You're missed here.

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