Accidentally Brilliant?: The InoSai ship.

Ready for a post about a couple not that many people care about? Good.

After watching Naruto, I, like most fans, had my favorite pairings…there were not many I actually liked. ShikaTema was the best, NaruHina was…not what is could have been, but cute…kind of…we try to ignore how disjointed the movie was…

Kishimoto, the author of Naruto, did not give a flip about writing good romance, as two of his MCs are still in an abusive cycle relationship on the current Boruto show. He admitted to not being good at it…however, he was fine at writing good couples moments between Naruto and Sakura to troll the audience with, I call BS.

(As a writer who struggles with romance writing also, let me just say, you have to push through it and be willing to experiment until you get it right, but it’s possible to overcome the difficulty.)

His indifference or straight up meanness to the female characters also did not help, the poor things barely get to be likable half the time, let alone the type of chick any self-respecting guy would date…and I would not date any of the men on Naruto either, so they are not much better.

Seriously, what girl dreams of  guy who will neglect her half the time, and spend the other half not understanding her feelings?

Luckily, the fandom is nicer to the characters than the show is, and has endeavored to fill in the blanks with imagination (and also there’s a video game that does it better than the show, for some reason.)

That is why we somehow have this thing where we like the ships, but hate how they were executed, and there may be no better example of this, for the side characters, than the InoSai ship.

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Yeah, that’s how we felt at first.

I talked about Sai and how much I like him in my review of the show, and he is one of the best boys, and the only one with a real excuse to be bad at relationships.

Ironically, he is not that bad at them. Sai puts so much effort into figuring things out that he usually stumbles his way into finding a right answer. Which is pretty much how he and Ino got together, after Ino developed a crush on him off screen and apparently between the war and the wedding timeline.

At first, I though InoSai was a terrible idea. Sai was introduced as the more foulmouthed substitute for Sasuke when he first came on the show,

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Personally, I say Sai was a step up.

and Ino was always the sloppy seconds when Cotton Candy Hair couldn’t be around to be the annoying twit.

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Sorry Sakura, you’re usually comic relief.

But I did start to like Ino a little bit after the Chunin exam…I liked everyone for a little bit after that…We find out she’s actually not a carbon copy of Sakura with blonde hair.

Ino was, at one point, that one girl all the others girls tend to want to be friends with, the one who know how to do cool feminine stuff, is good at school stuff, and is always wone for girl talk.

She and Sakura initially became friends because Ino felt Sakura needed someone to help her deal with getting teased about her face, and then they ended up having common interests, it was a sweet little friendship.

Then Sakura violated girl code by liking the same guy as Ino, and it all went up in flames.

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To be fair, Ino was part of the reason for that…

However, one gets the vibe that Ino would probably pick up the friendship again if Sakura, the ever toxic example, was not so dead set against it. During their slap fight at the exams, it’s revealed that Ino still thinks of Sakura as a friend who needs her help.

In typical Ninja fashion, instead of encouraging the traits that would save their society from the hatred and preying upon the weak that plague it, the show and Sakura both stomp on this display of Ino’s softer side by telling her it is bad and unnecessary. Ino accepts this…she really has no choice…but is never quite the same girl after the exam. Her confidence seems to be gone.

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Ninjas: Who the frick needs emotional support?

Later she becomes a bit of a sad, rather passionless older teen. One who has accepted she will never surpass Sakura. Whose progress is really do more to having people actually “expect things” of her, rather than any greater talent, initially she had less talent than Ino.

It was nice to see Ino and Sai get together because for once, Ino was able to care about someone and not have them throw it back in her face. She actually seems hesitatant to believe Sai actually does care, which carries into the future when they (SPOILER) get married and have a son.

There is not a lot to go by, but the ship that no one wanted, and no one thought would ever work, ended up becoming one of the best. Even the former haters admit they have a good relationship.

At first I didn’t understand why, it was just discount SasuSaku wasn’t it?

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Oh heck no!

But upon closer inspection, I realized that Ino and Sai are actually a very good match.

It’s one of those very rare cases in media, where the relationship makes more sense if you think it out then it does when you just watch them interact.

Sai and Ino work because their flaws actually compliment each other.

While Temari and Shikamaru function because they make up for each other’s weaknesses, Sai and Ino bring out each other’s weaknesses, but in such a way that it would be a good thing.

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Cloak and Dagger anyone?

Sai is emotionally stunted and unable to read signals. At first glance, the hypersensitive and insecure Ino seems like the worst possible combination with him, and some do hate the ship for that reason.

But if you are like me, and think one of the main things a relationship does is grow you, then it’s actually a good idea.

Sai is ignorant, but he is not at all cruel or neglectful on purpose. When Ino gets worked up, she generally calms down after reaching a certain point where she knows she is being ridiculous (I have fights like that with my sister all the time.) With Sai, one could infer this would happen much sooner, as he cannot really be said to be being a jerk on purpose, as with the other people Ino fights with. Gradually, one could assume, Ino would learn not to have such a short fuse, because it’s clear that Sai is not actually trying to make her mad.

The sad thing is generally Ino is being provoked deliberately when she loses her temper, and seems cooler headed than Sakura when she is around people who do not push her buttons.

On the other hand, Sai is unable to pick up on subtleties, but he wants to change that. His problem is that he cannot guess what is really bothering someone.

In some ways, Ino, who complains more than anyone else usually, is the perfect match for him. She does not take long to start saying what’s annoying her. Sure, usually it’s something stupid, and the real reason does not even come out till later, but eventually it does, and then communication happens…or could happen, if the other person cared to know.

What really galled me about her and Sakura’s friendship was that Sakura realized what was going through Ino’s head, and didn’t show her any mercy. Like it’s the worst thing ever to have someone actually care about you and not want to whale on you for that reason…well, I guess the record shows Sakura doesn’t mind people trying to hurt her.

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This is what we call Vicious Cycle

It is unlikely this situation would ever repeat itself with Sai, because Sai is grateful for people who care about him, and tries to learn about their feelings.

While one could forsee plenty of fighting between them during the first few years, some fans have pointed out that it would likely subside after that, once they got used to each other.

They really have no reason to fight, once that is understood, above the petty argument now and then.

What is even better than that is that the strengths of their personalities actually do compliment each other, along with the weaknesses.

Sai’s devotion to his friends is one of his best point, even if he pulls it off very clumsily, he is not half way about it. Unlike many of the characters on the show.

Ino’s tenancy to take care of people and show them the ropes, while not given much attention, is a rare quality among the negligent shinobi culture of adults who really couldn’t seem to care less about training their students most of the time. (Except you Iruka-sensei, love you.) It would go perfectly with Sai, who gets ignored by the rest of his friends and would probably love it if someone would try to help him learn.

To be sure, the show never demonstrates this happening, as a fan, you have to be willing to look at their personalities as a whole, not as what they are reduced to for convenience/comedy’s sake.

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Back when we thought Ino might actually be relevant, she was interesting, and if you choose to belief that person is still present in her as an adult, it makes for a very cute ship.

More importantly, it makes her different form Sakura, and makes her dynamic with her team make more sense.

Now, what does this half-baked ship that the fans have made valid have to do with real life?

It’s actually a great example of how the perfect person for you does not have to be the one who would cause the least friction in your life. It could be you need someone who would cause plenty of friction, but ultimately would be doing their best to love you, and in the end, it could be worked out.

I guess the lesson here, if you want one, is that Ino and Sai work because they fight together towards a point, and do not fight just because neither of them really wishes to be bothered with the other.

There is a huge difference between fighting with your significant other because you can’t stand them and want to get away form them, and fighting because you value them and want things to be better, for both of you.

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Whether InoSai perfectly represents that or not, there is that germ of an idea in it, and it is rare to find fictional, or real life, examples of it.

It’s hilarious that we all know it was 100% an accident. The ship was the most lazily written ever…but it works.

Well, that is all for today, till next time, stay honest–Natasha.

PS. (If you’re interested in fan fiction about anime, maybe check out my Wattpad page, I have the first few parts of my own work there. If you’re into it. At https://www.wattpad.com/user/worldwalkerdj)

What it’s like to be an Empath.

I looked at my Home Page post today, I hadn’t updated it in ages, boy, it was rough. Now that I’m used to blogging, I feel it was too rigid.

But it’s a great reminder how I didn’t know what I was doing 5 years ago, almost, and now I do–sort of.

In many ways I’m still an amateur who doesn’t know how to market themselves, but I have a blast writing this anyway. And thank you for reading it.

Between shifting family dynamics and shifting cool perceptions, this past year has not gone as I expected.

You know what I have discovered? A lot of people don’t put in effort to understanding each other.

Shocking, I know.

Seriously, though, I am that semi-rare individual who studies people around me constantly and I have done it for as long as I can remember. My mom even confirmed that I did it as a toddler. It’s in the genes, I guess.

Not sure whose, neither of my parents are like that.

I realized I am something called an Empath.

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“An empath is someone who is highly aware of the emotions of those around them, to the point of feeling those emotions themselves. Empaths see the world differently than other people; they’re keenly aware of others, their pain points, and what they need emotionally.

But it’s not just emotions. According to Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, empaths can feel physical pain, too — and can often sense someone’s intentions or where they’re coming from. In other words, empaths seem to pick up on many of the lived experience of those around them.” (Andre Solo. 13 Signs that you’re an Empath. Link here: https://highlysensitiverefuge.com/empath-signs/)

1. You take on other peoples’ emotions as your own

Turns out the feeling I get when other people come in a room, like I am feeling their energy and emotions, is something empaths tend to feel. That’s number one on this list.

6. Tragic or violent events on TV can completely incapacitate you

So, it’s also why I hate scary and tragic stories, it’s never just a story for me.

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Poor baby.😢

 

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Freaking why?!!!😠😣 (Not the ship, the afterward.)

(I love both shows, by the way.)

Also, apparently, I can tell when people are lying (No#10.).

Being an empath is also the reason why I am an introvert. I don’t need alone time because conversation and activity drains me, people drain me because I pick up on all their energy and emotions(No#2 and 3).

It is as natural as breathing to me to do this, it blows my mind that other people do not walk around constantly noticing this stuff.

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Oh, yeah, right, that’s why.

Every little change of expression and voice come across to me.

Another sign mentioned in the post is being able to feel pain and even sickness(No#8).

I’ve talked about this before, but all the way up to my tweens, I would feel sick after reading about sickness, or feel pain after reading about an injury. Hypochondria, in other words.

It used to scare me, it no longer does, but there are times when I still feel it, even if I don’t think I have it.

Now imagine this, having a confrontation with someone, only you can feel their anger, sadness, and frustration as well as your own, the entire  time…

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“I can feel your anger…” (Not an empath, just to be clear.)

Some of you who have a hard enough time dealing with your own want to curl up into a ball at the mere thought of that.

That’s my life. I’m Natasha, Nice to meet you.

And yeah, if anyone is every BS-ing me, I can tell pretty quickly.

I never used to believe my impressions of people, I thought I was just mistrusting…and I can be. But I am very often on point to a degree that amazes my family.

This even works with fiction. I can predict show plot points very easily. I pick up on patterns of characters. and the author, based on what they feel and how they act when they feel that way.

You may have see reviews that over analyzed every detail of something, that’s me.

However, though I have experienced all 13 of the signs of being an empath at some time in my life, I do not deal with all of them all the time, anymore.

I realized I could not take that pressure. It’s easy for me to compulsively take care of people, but I still have feelings of my own that I have to divide from everyone else’s.

The reason I want to share that with you here is that all of us, obviously, have a personality type.

But you are not limited to your type.

I am an empath, I will always pick up on what people feel, but I have grown much stronger at rejecting negative feelings when they are not my own, and positive ones, when they are false. I will feel their pain but I do not have to carry it.

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Suck it, Pain. You think you’ve got it bad.

It could be easy for me to be a sucker. What’s an annoying sob story or pep talk to you becomes a barrage of emotions flung at me, and if the person believes it, I can tell.

And if they are wrong, I have to consciously choose to reject what they said.

If you wonder how this can be dangerous, then  think bout this, I come form a background of having an Emotionally Abusive Parent.

The delusions of emotionally abusive people is that they often think they are right. Emotions are tricky like that.

Even when my dad knew he was wrong, he used my  emotions against him. He could tell when I was weakening, and he’d latch onto it.

This man liked to tell me, when I came to apologize for some stupid fight that he usually started, that he was going to give up on trying with me.

I would feel his pain, yet, I also would feel his intention to make me feel bad, and get furious.

It was not fully fake but it was never honest.

Take that, multiply it by dozens of incidents over the years that I’ve lost count of, and you have a really bad set up.

You might think as an empath that I am easily offended…

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…but as this blog and the book it was talking about point out, not all empaths are HSP (highly sensitive people).

I was once, but I am no longer very easy to offend.

In fact, instead of being weaker emotionally, I am actually stronger emotionally than many people. My ability to process other people’s emotions and my own at the same time has made me stronger, because I have to hold both.

And I had to learn to let stuff go, otherwise it would always weigh me down.

I have evidence that the empath ability starts at birth, as even as a baby I reacted poorly to people who were stressed or angry.

Empaths aren’t really easy to explain with science. Unless you believe in mind reading (and you’d be surprised at the evidence that mind reading is actually somewhat possible, though not like in sci-fi, where it’s conscious concrete thoughts) how will you  explain that we can actually feel feelings and read people so accurately.

But there is, as always, a biblical; explanation where science has not yet reached(though it’s getting close.)

In the bible there is a gift of the spirit known as Discernment.

Someone with this gift can tell truth from lies, and one emotion from another, and make sense of it.

Discernment is dangerous without wisdom.

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I can attest that empaths who do not have wisdom can end up very unhappy and make the people around them miserable. Also, we tend to get asked for advice, and if our priorities are not straight, we aren’t going to give it well.

Discernment is gift from God, but you can have it without knowing God, just like with other talents. People who do can end up in a world of hurt.

But walking with God and letting him refine and hone my gift, I have enjoyed it a lot for the most part.

God helps me avoid pitfalls, as I can’t always be right. Where my gift comes short, He will provide an answer.

Being an empath enables me to be interested in a lot of people, and to always have new things to notice about them.

If you were to ask me, after all this, what the hardest part about being an empath for me (as it is like a job in many ways, to monitor all the people around you without even wanting to) is, I would say this:

Trusting yourself.

When you know what everyone feels, deciding what you feel is right, is hard. Sometimes they can be so passionate, and yet over the wrong thing, that it’s hard to say no.

You doubt whether you made the right choice, because you can sense their disappointment or anger.

But if you keep giving yourself enough credit for when you are right, it gets easier.

I am at the point now where I can stick to my guns even if I know someone is getting upset with me. I just have to choose to think that what is right is more important that if they get upset.

And that’s an interesting thought. Because many people now say that what people feel is more important than what’s right, empaths might be more likely to buy into that, yet here I am, saying I don’t.

Which is why I say, your type does not control you. You are still a person with free will. Whatever your natural inclination are, you can choose better, if you know that there is a better.

Learn to make your type work for you, don’t let it drag you by your hair, if you have hair.

And that is all for this post, stay honest–Natasha.

 

 

Antisophy–My tale of woe.

Phew! Here we go.

I am taking a Philosophy Critical Thinking Class for the Winter. Which means I have it for three hours a day for three days, 9 hrs a week. For 6 weeks.

That’s around 36 hours.

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It’s been one week, and I’m already so freaking done with this curriculum.

The class itself is fun, I’m in Honors, so the smart people are in this class, the ones who can follow what I’m saying half the time in discussion.

But the textbook–ergh! I’m in chapter one and its already so, so dumb.

Plus, the reading materials we’re given. Is it too much to ask that they not all be leftist, liberal, progressive, and invariably biased.

I know, I know, Public College has to push the liberal agenda, but why not just pick subjects where there’s not as much of a clear bias to have us read about, this is social conditioning, not critical thinking.

(I wonder how many people would go to that class, if they offered it, because they don’t know what Social Conditioning is and think it’s a real subject.–I mean it is, if you’re part of a regime…or the school system.)

On top of that, Philosophy is taught a certain way now that is just ludicrous.

You’ve no doubt hear it before. The Relativistic approach.

I’m supposed to be practicing defining terms for my papers, so I’ll go ahead a define a few here:

Relativism: any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments. (Webster’s.)

Philosophy: the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them:the philosophy of science.
a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.

The Greek words that the word Philosophy comes from are Philo and Soph, that is, Love and Wisdom. Philosophy initially meant the “love of wisdom.”

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When you read the older philosophers, like Socrates and Plato, you’ll notice they really enjoyed what they were talking about, they enjoyed seeking the wisest, most right course of action.

In modern times, people are trying to redefine Philosophy to mean its inverse, Not seeking Wisdom, not seeking truth, but treating all ideas as equally valid. Antisophy, if you will.

It should be obvious that Relativism and Philosophy are actually polar opposites. Who can love anything relatively? Certainly not wisdom. Love is passion, not a mediocre feeling of approval.

Yet, in my philosophy class about critical thinking, I am told that certainty in our knowledge is a “potentially dangerous mental bias”, and that the goal of critical thinking is to be relativistic. To commit to the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake, and not to any one way of looking at truth.

Why the heck I should care about truth, if knowledge is impossible to be certain about, is not explained.

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Think about it: If we cannot be certain of knowledge, i. e. Truth, then Truth is not real. Therefore, what is the aim, the end goal, of critical thinking?

To discover that one non-truth is preferable to another non-truth?

As long as I don’t believe in Theism and Right and Wrong, by any chance, the Philosophy Course doesn’t really care to answer that question.

I am not kidding when I say the chart we were given to evaluate our level of critical thinking was intentionally trying to shame religious people be putting the belief in a religion and good and evil as the lowest form of thinking a college student can begin from.

(If you don’t believe me, look up Perry’s Scheme, and see for yourself. Here’s a chart of the basic ideas.)Image result for perry's scheme'
The book we’re reading is going a bit further, even, down this Rabbit Hole. Here’s a direct quote from chapter one, the chapter that sets the tone for the whole book:

“But once we acknowledge that our commitments are based on probability and not certainty, we will be much more open to the reasoning of those who are trying to persuade us to change our minds. After all we may well be wrong about some of our beliefs. We have to listen respectfully to those with whom we may disagree. They just may be right.” (emphasis mine)

In literally the next paragraph this enlightened author then says:

“There will seldom be a position on a social controversy about you will be able to say ‘this is clearly the right position on the issue.’ If such certainty were possible, reasonable people would not be debating the issue.” (Emphasis still mine.)

(If you want to see for yourself, the book is “Asking the Right Questions: A guide to critical thinking” by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley.)

Yes, students, your opponent maybe be right, but there is no clearly right position for them to be right about…cause that makes sense, in this critical thinking book.

I pointed out to my professor the hypocrisy of someone stating that certainty is a dangerous state of mind with such certainty… She wasn’t amused.😐😐😑

She also said that there is no such thing as “Moral Objectivity”, to which I asked “Are you certain about that?” She looked at me for a split second like “so…we’re doing this” and then said “No, all things change.”

Well, okay, glad we’re clear on that.👍

To do her justice, I do not think my professor is trying to indoctrinate us on purpose. She seems like a nice lady who didn’t even get too irritated at me for calling her out. But she’s still teaching irresponsibly if she does not acknowledge what are clear and oblivious hypocrisies in the philosophy of the people we’re reading.

And this book is full of it just in the first chapter, which she also does not acknowledge.

What’s disturbing about this book is that on the next page, it states that critical thinking can be humane and progressive, if it is not used as a weapon.

Critical thinking is a weapons, no matter how you use it, you are trying to clear certain fallacies and ideas out of your way to make room for the good stuff.

Also, no form of reasoning is inherently humane, Reason is Reason. It’s measuring, assessing, analyzing, it’s neither kind nor cruel.

One might reason that it is better to stick to the old thing than to a new thing. Reason is not inherently progressive. Whatever these guys even mean by that, they don’t specify.

All this tells me is that this is intentional.

It’s silly to pretend it could not be intentional.

Browne and Keeley are deliberately trying to shame students who they suspect hold different values from them into feeling stupid, and accepting their beliefs.

The student is told in a polite, concerned tone that we should listen to other beliefs, but this is not demonstrated, because they authors do not bother to consider the notion that there may actually be a higher truth, they just throw that out immediately. Therefore making an assumption that they do not test their own form of critical thinking on.

It’s condescending as heck, and it’s brainwashing. I normally hesitate to accuse people of doing this deliberately, but there’s just no way so many blatant instances could occur withing two pages, if it was not intentional.

That being said, the inconsistency within their own thinking is rather impressive, as within my professor’s, and the other articles we’ve been reading.

I know what it is, they are muddled, because that is easier.

If you treat truth as real, and clear, and teach people how to pursue it, you run into the uncomfortable fact that truth has to be true for a reason.  There has to be something behind it, or it would not be true. Like a prize on a show where you have to choose between different doors.

That Something behind Truth might just be something more powerful than us, something we might have to take into consideration when we make decisions.

What’s funny is that not everyone who rejects the idea of a Divine standard is living an immoral life, it’s simply that they don’t want to be controlled, even if being controlled would only mean they had to do the right thing, which they claim to care about.

Some people say they don’t need God to lead a moral life, they can just decided to themselves without some Great Power telling them what to do.

These people do not understand what God is, if they believe that they could even have an idea of what is right, without Him. What standard would they go by? What else could make sense bu that God put certain rules in place in the universe.

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Personally, I do not find believing in God to be limiting. Believing in a God who has no limits means that I have far fewer limits than I would otherwise have. The person who does not believe in God thinks flying is impossible without technology, the person who believes in God only thinks flying is improbable, it is not impossible. (Some mystics were said to have floated.)

Believing in God allows me to see good in almost everything, even if I mostly disagree with it, and allows me to judge anything as having flaws, if it does. I do not have to pretend.

While I can allow for some good in this stupid Philosophy Course, it cannot got the other way, The Philosophy Course can not allow for any validity in my perspective.

Those who believe God is truth can love truth, and love pursuing it, even if the path to it is through cold logic and not directly acknowledging God.

But those who believe truth is not certain cannot allow for anyone or anything that would make it certain, therefore they exclude any valid reasoning on a Christian’s part.

If it is not so, then why do they not include religious based arguments int hes classes, what are they do afraid of? If all views are equal, why is a religious view also not equal?

These are questions you won’t see addressed in college.
Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

The Restoration Principle.

Hi, Followers, it’s the end of the year. What better time to talk about fixing problems?

Specifically how fiction chooses to do it, and how it just might be a key to real life.

I wrote a post a few months back about The Resurrection Arc, in fiction, and how it works and how it can be used well.  (link here: https://wordpress.com/post/drybonestruth.wordpress.com/16361)

One thing I said in that post was that: “Resurrection means restoration.”

I’ve been thinking since finishing that too-oft-named Anime, Naruto, that Restoration is actually a big part of anime, and other shows too.

Also, it’s not just fiction, G. K. Chesterton said that:

In history there is no Revolution that is not a Restoration... all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past.”

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Restoration, it’s used a lot in Church, many people might just associate the word with what you do to an old building, or an original version of a movie. (My mom wishes they’d restore the original Star Wars movies to the pre-CGI versions.)

Here’s a dictionary.com definition of Restoration:

noun

Renewal, revival, reestablishing.

If you go by what Christianity, and a myriad of other religions, teaches, then anything Mankind does right would have to be a return to its original state.

Deep down, human beings feel this longing to return to former glory, sometimes we call it Nostalgia. A wish to return to innocence. Innocence is glory.

We also feel a desire for new things, but new things tend to be just old things in a different form.

All Revolution calls for a new thing, but an honest look at the past would reveal that the new thing is something people did long ago.

The American Government was supposedly new, but it was based on both Roman and Hebrew systems, one found in the Bible quite clearly. The Biblical Law was one of the earliest known to not have a king or ruler in charge of the people. Until they demanded it later. (A tale as old as the hills, historically speaking.)

Chesterton also had the thought that Human Beings, have grown older than God our Father, we grow tired of doing the same things, and that is why we have to package Goodness into so many new forms. We don’t like to play the same game, hear the same song, over and over again without a new change of pace.

But it is possible God does not get tired of Good Things. And those things are, in the end, what we keep coming back to.

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In the Bible, when someone strays from the path then turns from their wicked ways, it is always called a Return.

Notably, in fiction there’s a common thread that the way to fix things is to go back to a state of being. In Modern Fiction, the Ideal tends to be a normal human society, not a robot, or communist, or barbaric society. While in older fiction, the ideal was more likely to be a heavenly society of some sort, something higher and purer than just ordinary people’s interactions.

We’ve all seen the story-lines where the MC has to return some special item to some spot, and that will restore the land, the proper power, the true heir to the throne, etc. Sometimes the item has to be destroyed to restore because it is cursed.

Whether the answer is destroying or returning, the end result is always a restoration.

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Can you think of happy ending that did not include a Restoration? Go ahead, try, I’ll wait…

Anime is rife with this theme of Restoration. Usually it is through defeating the Big Bad at the end of the arc, and the land will magically heal. I watched the Naruto Movie: The Stone of Gelel today (It had the best boys in it, so I thought why not?), and it had the same thing, the trope where the land is healed all at once.

The Lion King has it too, though its over several months in that one.

I know I have readers from outside America, I may not know them, but you’ve definitely already got stories in mind that end this way. Every culture does.

In fact, it’s been noted that there is really only one basic plot in writing, even in nonfiction writing.

A problem is introduced, and a way to fix it, to restore us back to some ideal.

C. S. Lewis’s Pilgrim’s Regress is actually based entirely on the idea that any going forward, morally, is a going back. In it John, the Pilgrim, travels his land in search of an Island that ends up being the back of a mountain by his home. He comes full circle.

That is what the Eastern idea of Cyclical time is really about, that everything returns to its initial state, (we just disagree about what that state is.)

The important thing to understanding what the Restoration was is to keep in mind it can be either a symbolic physical act in the story, or it can be an emotional restoration, even a spiritual one.

Some stories will have a healing, where someone will have a physical problem fixed. Breaking Curses, undoing creepy science experiments, remedying a plague, all that falls under this category.

Other times the restoration will com in the form of finding a family member, finding a homeland, finding a title or position.

It’s more widespread for it to be an emotional restoration. From romances to kids shows, that restoration has to happen. Someone finds true love, remembers what’s important, learns what it is like to be human, learns the power of a certain virtue. And it restores them to who they are meant to be. Often who they once were, at the beginning of the tale, before the bad events took it from them.

Isn’t that what we all want in our lives, some of us want to be able to want it again.

All of us have an idea of a good life that we once had, or could have had, and we feel we missed it.

We’ve been told that the good life is in the present, yet we want to go back still. Be young again, be married again, have kids again, have that job again, like that thing again.

Like constellations imploding in the night; everything is turning, everything is turning, And the shapes that you drew may change beneath a different light, and everything you thought you knew will fall apart, but you’ll be all right“–The OH HELLOS, Constellations.

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Today is the last day of 2019, how often have we thought that this year? Or in previous year’s. Maybe we had a good year, but even in happiness there is often a nostalgic feeling, at least for me. Like “Ah yes, this is how I used to feel.”

But when I was a kid, I wasn’t often happy. The nostalgia is an illusion. I am really wanting to go back even further. To a different time, one before I was even born.

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But those ages had trouble too. I’ve read enough to know they felt the same.

We have to go back further still, before the Fall.

Stories communicate that in their own way, by settling on one disaster that really changed it all for the worse, and must be undone. On Naruto, it was the battle of two friends, and two brothers, that begun the whole freaking mess. Supposedly it is undone by Naruto and Sasuke coming to peace. Rather like Cain and Abel.

In real life, people rarely narrow it down to one thing that’s wrong with the world–or their lives. You could list a half a dozen right now, if I asked.

As Rich Mullins sang “Everybody’s always saying they need just one thing, but what they really mean is they need just one thing more.”

In stories, a value like love, friendship, courage, or honor, tends to be the One Thing we MUST NOT LOSE EVER, AT ALL COSTS.

I’d like more things to be good in the world, and my life, sure. But I’m with Mullins. God is my One Thing.

To wrap this up, I guess my final point is that at the end of the year, the end of the story, the real question is: What is that One thing you need restored to you? Or maybe you need to be restored to it.

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To find a new thing is to find an old thing.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this send-off post, it’s been an interesting year for me, and I wish you the best in 2020. Happy New Year everyone⌚⌛☺–until then, Natasha.