The Last Road

Living every day like it's the last… because one day, it will be.

Archive for the ‘Hope’ Category

Of Elevators and Keynotes and Other Fancy Things

Posted by Rystefn on July 7, 2011

So apparently people have been following my comments back here. Given that my last post was a year and a half ago, I don’t imagine it’s serving much purpose. Now, I can’t imagine a reason why anyone would follow one of my comments back here unless they cared to some degree or another about what I’ve been saying, I guess I should go ahead and spell it out neatly, in plain English, all in one place. Yes, this is going to offend some people. No, I don’t give a shit.

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40 Years

Posted by Rystefn on July 20, 2009

Following up on my last post… 40 years ago today humanity took our first steps on an alien world… While Luna is not so distant we cannot easily see it on almost any night we care to look up, we shouldn’t downplay what a momentous achievement this was. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look at the sky for a bit.

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Posted by Rystefn on July 16, 2009

40 years ago today, something momentous happened. By now, I think everyone reading this knows, it’s the anniversary of the launch of the first manned spaceflight to the moon. In the four decades since, we’ve only returned a handful of times, but it marks one of the most powerful dividing lines in human history. Before that, we were a species confined to the narrow spaces of one single world. After, we have become a spacefaring people. So go out and lookm at the moon tonight. Remember how far we’ve come and dream about how much farther we’ll go.

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Running Hawk

Posted by Rystefn on July 16, 2009

So here’s a piece of short fiction I wrote recently. It’s still pretty rough, but I think it holds up fairly well. I’ll probably smooth out some of the more obvious D&D references sooner or later, but since I wrote for someone’s D&D game, the references went in when I wrote it, and they’ll stay for a while, at least.

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Silence is the Enemy

Posted by Rystefn on June 1, 2009

I know sometimes I write about horrible things, but today there’s a difference: the horrible thing in question is really happening. Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget, but we live in a world full of horrors to which most of us turn a blind eye. We close our eyes and pretend it isn’t happening in the hopes that it will go away… or at least that we won’t have to think about it. By doing this, we give the perpetrators of such crimes the power to continue. There are brave people in this world, though, who refuse to be silent. Who stand up and make noise, and donate money to helping the victims. There are those who question how much good raising awareness can do, and they make some valid points, but the simple fact is this – so long as people remain unaware, evil people can keep committing these atrocities. Silence is the Enemy

Posted in Hope | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

I don’t have a solution

Posted by Rystefn on January 8, 2009

Somewhat longer than I expected, and now I’m back. During my absence, I came across something that is frustrating, but not surprising: even though it was utterly destroyed in the courts, the concept of Intelligent Design has a strong foothold in the moderate Christian camp. Not ID as the creators mean it, but the phrase itself, which is certainly what they intended when they called it that. To the average person, the phrase “intelligent design” means nothing more than guided/directed evolution, or even deism. The idea of a designer that set the universal constants in place and then didn’t touch anything in 14 billion years falls under the heading of ID to the lay person. No wonder it’s so hard to fight.

The fundamentalists and YECs have been allowed to choose the battlefield and to arrange it such that it appears to the people in the middle that they are on the Creationists side, and act as though that were the case.Much as they have also pitched the idea to so many that evolution = atheism, and the the Big Bang = atheism, and that evolution = the Big Bang.

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to convince people of these basic facts of the universe? That’s why. Because they’ve been primed to reject the idea out of hand without so much as listening to it.

Of course, anyone can list off problems, how about some solutions? Frankly, I haven’t got any. All we can do is the best we can, and hope we’re making some headway. Education is the key, but with so many actively avoiding learning the facts, it’s a long, hard road to teach it.

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To Open the Door, Part 4

Posted by Rystefn on December 18, 2008

Ok, so either I couldn’t find a good spot to break it, or I just wanted to hurry up and get to the end. I’m honestly not sure which, but either way, this is the rest of the story, some ten pages or so.

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To Open the Door, Part 1

Posted by Rystefn on December 16, 2008

I wrote this short story a couple of years ago to do something a little different (at the time I was writing mostly fantasy stuff). At first, I considreed posting it all in one big piece, but it has a couple of convenient break-points, so I’m going to take advantage of that and put it in smaller sections. This first one is very tiny, but don’t worry – the other two are quite a bit longer.

Fair warning: it’s still pretty rough becuase partway through editing, I noticed that there’s clearly much more to the story here, and decided to adapt it to a longer form piece and explore more of the story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Still Writing

Posted by Rystefn on November 18, 2008

If you’re unaware, SkepChick has a tradition called the Afternoon Inquisistion wherein every day one of the writers posts a question to the readers and opens a discussion. Sometimes these are serious and sometimes silly, but they pretty much always make you think and give an excuse to excercise your brain. Today, the question kind of resonated with me: “What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?” It is, of course, a highly personal question, and the answers vary greatly from person to person (as the comments clearly demonstrate). Obviously, I have my own ideas, but I won’t be sharing it just now, as it’s irrelevant to the point I’m about to make.

My point relates more directly to the answer given by TomDG (scroll down to comment #8): “The worst I can imagine would be a knowledge of absolute solitude caused by you. I can’t imagine the mix of grief, guilt and loneliness that would come from that.” I don’t know if it’s the worst, but I’m willing to bet he’s not far off of the mark. Self-imposed absolute solitude isn’t the worst, because you can generally end it when you tire of it, but I think he’s talking about your actions driving everyone away and having no one to blame but yourself. While it’s not absolute, I’m sure anyone reading this knows that recently I managed to alienate a rather sizeable swath of my friends. Many people I loved and cared about are gone from my life, most likely forever, and the fault lies entirely with me.

“Grief, guilt, and loneliness.” Yes, I think that sums it up quite well. And, unlike so many of life’s problems, there feeling of helplessness that goes with it is pretty well justified, since there’s nothing that can really be done about it now. It is simply too late to undo the damage. Time heals, moving on, blah, blah, blah… cold comfort all that. I suppose I could make it easier on myself by, well, not reading their writings and such, but quality information and conversations that actually make you think are a rare commodity in this world.

On a semi-related note, I had a conversation today about what to do with this site. Part of me wanted to just scrap it and be done with the whole thing, but something stopped me. The more I thought about it, the more reasons I saw to let it be. The Last Road will be staying, and I will continue to write here, both as a reminder to myself of my past mistakes, and so no one can ever accuse me of trying to cover up or hide the things I’ve done. I expect this will upset some people, but I can’t imagine that any of those people ren’t already upset, so I it’s unlikely to affect my decision at all.

Posted in Hope, regrets | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Update on Rystefn

Posted by sabrinaremains on September 29, 2008

Um, hi. I’m the one who typed in the last post for Rystefn. I posted this already over at the skepchick site, but it was suggested that I put it here as well. I just copied and pasted it, so it might not fit here so well…

I looked around and didn’t see a good place to put this. I’m sorry if its not right. Rystefn talked about you guys a lot and I think he would want you to know what’s going on. So I’m going to just say it here, and if its wrong you can move it or whatever.

Last night, he took a turn for the worse. The pain was so bad, he finally let me take him to the hospital. If you know him well, you know how bad that is. He did make me type in something for him before we left. He was always so stubborn…

Late this morning, he woke up and asked for water. He seemed very normal at first, thanking me for being kind to him and generally being very sweet. After a few minutes, though, I realized he wasn’t talking to me… He spent most of this morning talking to the memory of his high-school sweetheart… I think that’s when it finally sunk in that I might actually be losing him. He was always so full of life, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that he would beat this. I guess wishing doesn’t make it so. Not even if you want it to really bad.

They won’t let me stay with him overnight because I’m not family. Not in the way they demand, anyway. I wish I could. He doesn’t sleep well alone, and he should be with someone he cares about right now… Anyway, I’m going back tomorrow morning, and if want me to pass along any messages, I will.

Feel free to reply here, or if its more private you can email me at sabrina.remainsATgmailDOTcom

I know this isn’t the place to ask you to pray for him, and he wouldn’t want you to even if it was… but I don’t really know what atheists do in situations like this. Whatever it is, please do it… and do it for me, too.

Posted in Hope, love | 19 Comments »