This is a poem about a man known to us here on Everything2 as 'sensei'. When I first arrived at the site, he was known to all as a departed hero - a voice of serenity and understanding on an internet where people were experimenting with new ways of interaction, expression and identity - and sometimes, as these things do, it would get messy. Sensei would be there as needed, to dispense wise words and delicious mochi.
His last writeup, A message from sensei, was posted a few months before I first joined, and it must have been one of the first things I read when I came here. In those days you would see '/me misses sensei' everywhere.
It is sort of a love letter to the people of Everything2, in which he tells us that he is 64, and very ill, and has moved back to Japan to take care of inheritances and intangibles. It was written as a response to 'Our sensei', Everything2's love letter to him, to which I append this poem, all these years later. This is our sensei.
When our sensei laid down his toil
And shuffled off this electric coil;
When Our Sensei passed into myth
What was it that he left us with?
Returning home to far Japan
(The story's home, if not the man)
A dying leader points the way
(Death stalks us all, it's true to say)
Patience, kindness, wisdom show
But if I lie here, who's to know?
Like Castaneda, Bokonon too
Did he point the way towards the true?
Were slanted facts or outright lies
A way to open up our eyes?
Or just a way to get away
And keep attached minds well at bay?
He left us sad, but full of hope
That even senseiless, we'd cope.
And maybe it was strictly true
He did the things he said he'd do?
When words are all you know of me
Can I be who I want to be?
Should you believe my history?
In virtual worlds, what's honesty?
Is any of us who we say?
Or is identity always play?
Perhaps you'd feel wronged if I lied -
Is that your right? I can't decide.