It's hard to describe this to someone who hasn't had it happen to them. You'll think i'm just crazy. But it does happen; it could happen to you.

Maybe it will be something in Random Nodes; maybe you'll see it softlinked, somewhere. Either way, somehow, it happens: you find yourself looking at a truly wonderful nodeshell. You see the title, the softlinks, and you are overwhelmed by the niftiness of it all; how cute, you say. So much potential rests here.

But then you drop your cursor into the Enter your writeup box, you realize it doesn't need a writeup. The title and the softlinks are all that needs to be said, all that could be said; they are whole on their own. You could add a writeup, but there is no reason; any possible writeup would be redundant, would contribute nothing, would serve to do nothing more than shatter the zen-like nihilistic simplicity. And so you leave it as you found it; a nodeshell. But you don't forget it. And so, every so often, you think of the nodeshell, and you come back to it, and smile at it, and play with it, and every so often come by and feed it some softlinks. And with time, as the nodeshell reshapes itself from what it was created as to what you want it to be, you start to think of it as yours. Your nodeshell. Your pet.

I have a couple of pet nodeshells. And my feelings toward them are odd; as much as i love them, i'm terrified to let them be exposed to the world. I won't mention them in the chatterbox; every time i softlink i do it nervously, although i know the softlinks are all that make that nodeshell good. I'm terrified someone will come and steal my nodeshell, will contaminate that wholly sufficient whitespace with a meaningless writeup, and have their name on the node. Not mine; theirs. No one will know i was ever there; all that nourishment and meaning i bestowed upon that nodeshell will be nothing in the eyes of the world.
I want to shelter my nodeshell; i want to hide it away from the world, protect it from harm, put it where the Bad People can't find it and crush it. I want to do this even though i know i shouldn't, even though i know i can't.

I know the nodeshell rescue team has done some wonderful things; i know most nodeshells tend to be just dumb. I know that i can't make that nodeshell mine, that no one can really own a nodeshell, that it belongs to everyone, to Everything.

But dammit, those are my pet nodeshells. And i don't want anyone "rescuing" them.