This tripartite tree seems rather like something out of a Zelda game, does it not? (Taken at Good Earth State Park in South Dakota, USA.)
Well, thus far I have been failing miserably at my goal to finish one article per month. I have three done at this point, and am busy working on a fourth (The Gerudo Desert, which explains why that page only has a single quote, albeit a good one), and I could not have imagined the busy-ness of this year and how unprepared I would be to sit down and work when I do manage to find free time.
With traveling, writing, reading, teaching, seeing friends, studying, and all the other things one finds oneself doing in life, at the end of the day I am rather tired, and find myself wanting to simply read or watch The Durrells on Amazon (which, though quite different from the book series, is still charming). Oftentimes this website gets short shrift as my energy wanes. I think I'll settle for six articles — being one every two-ish months, then. Hopefully I can at least manage that.
I did finish an article on Skyward Sword (under "Random Articles" — The Mirror of Demise) at the behest of someone who emailed me, though. So, never hesitate to write in!
Over the past months and years, really since the inception of this project, several people have inquired about a few consistent things, though perhaps not in so many words; to that end, I want to clear up the air on some related matters.
1) How do you plan on growing this thing?
I don't, honestly. Since my goals are based in personal understanding and contributing to the greater pool of human knowledge and appreciation, I have no plans to promote my work in any way. I long ago decided not to be a proselytizing force in the world, and that, if people were lucky, interested, or determined enough, they would find their way here, and hopefully take something of value away. (Or, better yet, improve upon my work and give even more unto the world.) I am deeply, deeply opposed to instant, cheap, and petty fame, and to those incentivization structures that enslave people into feeling the need to post constantly about nothing, promote sensationalized, disgusting material, or fret about how many "followers" or "friends" they have. Nothing on earth is more geared toward our baser impulses and desires than these schemes to drag user data and attention from us. If you find yourself caught in such a structure, please find a way to escape. You, and the world, will be better for it.
This is not to say that I will deny any opportunities given to me (like my interview with Le Monde), but I have never been an attention-seeker. (Finding the golden mean between privacy and publicity is always a razor's edge.)
2) Why don't you make money from this?
I have no desire to, and why would I? This project has ever been a hobby to me. I have a full-time job in education to pay for my worldly needs, and there is no reason to monetize what I find pleasurable and meaningful. To admit money into the environment would . . . well . . . poison the thing. It would add another dimension to what I do that would ineluctably sap some of the purity of this work, and I have always been skeptical of people who seek to monetize every action they take in the world. Of course, Patreon would be a less-intrusive way to manage this aspect of things, but, again, even the approaching scent of money is enough to sour the waters of philosophy and aesthetics. Call me jaded.
3) What is the good of this project? Why bother with it?
I'll admit, this is my question, posed to myself. I do entertain this subject at times, though I always come down on the side that: it is worth it, both to myself and to others. I have three primary virtues in life, being self-growth, mindfulness, and balance, and this website is but one canal into which I can pour the waters of my energy. I think humans are happiest when connected to larger structures of meaning, other people, and with their own deepest thoughts and ambitions. Yet, we live in an age wherein none of those things is incentivized and encouraged. We are pushed toward atomized isolation, superficiality, and frivolous plenitude, none of which is healthy. And, together, they are downright destructive. Can this website dispel those poisons? Nope. At least, not alone. But, it can act as a healthier place in an online climate -- one without ads, anger, and superficiality -- and that is all I can give in this way.
4) Why do you write like you write? (This question has also been phrased as an insult multiple times.)
Because I can do no other. I've read a lot across a great domain, found a voice that is somewhat mine (though it can never be purely mine, and that's fine and natural), and then refined things based on my personal tastes. Sure, it's a bit "purple" as far as prose goes, but that's what I like. So, I make neither concessions nor apologies.
As I state in the About Me section, this website is but one off-shoot of my Philosophy of Life, and it is a pure one (in that it represents me truthfully and authentically) that I see perfectly in-line with my hopes for humanity and for the world. I genuinely do want to see the world made better, no matter the magnitude of that betterment. We all have our corners of the earth, and our own gifts, and to use them for the Good seems something worth doing.
One last thing:
As I look at the data for this website, one of the most frequently-visited sections is the Contact page. There appear to be several hundred hits on that page per month, yet I only get a few emails every blue moon. Consider this an invitation to reach out; there's no need to be frightened or apprehensive. I respond to each email I get, and the emails I've received thus far have only ever been lovely and heart-felt. In this life, fleeting though it is, it's always a good thing to share appreciation and warmth with others. You're welcome to my time and energy.
Have a wonderful, meaningful day.
A few housekeeping notes:
1) There is a new article on Dodongo's Cavern within the Ocarina of Time menu; I had originally skipped the Cavern, not finding much of architectural worth within it, but recently had a random thought that I should cover it, at least in some depth. So I did. As I expected, there was not too much to analyze or discover, but it was still an enjoyable afternoon, and yielded some interesting findings.
2) Another new article can be found under the Random Articles tab, and it concerns game design within the Great Deku Tree. As a warning, I have no experience writing about game design; I simply felt moved to try my hand at it. I hope the result is worthwhile.
And, as a final note to all my Buddhist friends and fellow sangha members around the world, happy birthday to Siddhartha Gautama; may all sentient beings find peace and equanimity.
Some research (though there is not much on the topic) shows that the use of hyperlinks in articles, e-books, and their ilk radically interrupts our engagement in a piece. (If curious, look into the work of Nicholas Carr.) Each hyperlink, while potentially useful, also represents a Carrollian rabbit hole of twisting, shifting information. Each thing we click on reveals a new visual world to take in, changing our attention momentarily, separating us from the work with which we are engaged. Each new stimulus rips us from our object of focus. And it takes us far longer than we realize to become refocused. I don't want to drag on about this, but I think it is a thing very important - that we control our own attention. Few things are as important as that. Without the ability to place our attention where we want and when, we are basically slaves to impulse and random stimuli. To that end, I try to strip this website of everything unnecessary: ads, comment sections, hashtags, etc.
The internet is distressing because it encourages fast-paced skimming, flitting around between media, a plethora of simultaneous stimuli, and efficiency over depth, none of which is good for our psychological well-being or cultivated habits. I hope this all makes sense.
As always, I'm interested in your thoughts, as well.
A few mental mathoms* for you all:
1) More riddles have nestled into their homes among the others this past week; a few were added to the "Middling" section, and a few to the "Simple" section. I encourage you to hone your linguistic and mental faculties upon them! (They're not too difficult, of course, but even a moment's thought can be the equivalent of a few jumping jacks.)
2) The holidays, while wonderful, have meant that I've given almost no time to anything Zelda-related for a few weeks; I have been playing through the new DLC (to mixed review) slowly, and am perhaps close to the end, now.
3) The next article will be on Kakariko Village, which means that I need to venture in time thousands of years (perhaps only hundreds, depending on our timeline here) to new eras in Japanese history, alighting on some sense of vernacular architecture (being the "folk" architecture of homes and public structures). I really loved this incarnation of Kakariko, and I have quite a bit to say, especially concerning the music, which I greatly enjoy.
Winter wellbeing to everyone.
Until next year,
*Mathom - an old word of the Hobbit-dialect, not recorded as being in use outside the Shire. It was used to refer to "trinkets" or any item that had no particular immediate use.
The universe of The Legend of Zelda is replete with multifarious architectural oddities, beautiful and resonating structures, and ineffably-mysterious temples hidden in the remote corners of the world. It is my hope to explore said places, shedding light upon some of their salient features, and fulfilling the goals laid out by the introduction, the main goal of which is to help people understand and appreciate the unspoken, yet deeply-felt, allure of these locations and structures.