• Member Since 17th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Skywriter


loves tiaras.

More Blog Posts197

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  • 69 weeks
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Oct
13th
2019

The Orchard, or, the perpetuation of things past their endings · 5:37pm Oct 13th, 2019

I took a walk in an orchard yesterday.

This is an annual thing with me. If my recollection does not fail me, I started doing it in the fall of 2012 as a celebration of the completion of Contraptionology! as a way to show solidarity with Applejack. Yesterday was much like all my previous trips--sharp blue skies, the cold air of fall oncoming, and everywhere, the extremely faint, delicate, wine-like smell of an apple crop in full harvest. Apples are not like oranges--I know, this is a metaphorical chestnut, but it's true--because you kind of have to work at smelling apples. Even in the sorting house, where the aroma is most plain because of the sheer mass of them, it remains a subtle thing. Out in the orchard it is even more rare, something you just barely catch once in a while.

It is typical for me to find a spot on the orchard and look down a row of trees where nothing man-made spoils the view. It gets more difficult as the years pass--right next door to the orchard of choice, a shiny new house and manicured yard has been carved into the wilderness and farmland, in a trend that has always sat poorly with me. But if you look, you can still find places where there is no visible trace of human construction.

So I sit in those places, leaning my hand against a tree and feeling its earthy solidity, stare up at the bright sun and the crystal blue sky (maybe the faintest wisp of curling cirrus to punctuate everything), and listen to the wind rush through the high deciduous trees on the overlooking ridge. It positively roars, and it almost makes me cry.

This, I inevitably think to myself, is what Ponyville feels like.

This morning, I watched the three-part season finale of MLP:FiM, and thank goodness they structured it the way they did. (I've always disliked the big two-part action finales, and I really needed a more sedate closer of the Best Night Ever variety.) I'm not going to be Debbie Downer here, but let's merely say that the action finale made a number of seriously objectionable story choices in my opinion, and leave it at that. I'm in a complex mood here, dealing with some mild grief over the lack of my emotional support crutch, though I don't rely on it as much as I did during the middle years, so I'll be fine there.

I debated about this blog post, nearly did not write it because it seemed sappy to me; but here I am, and I'm going to say what I'm going to say. Equestria is more than just a fictional place. It is a mindset we all, to greater or lesser degrees, fell in love with. It is the belief that joy and innocence can prevail, that simplicity can trump complexity, that friendship is magic, and that it is 100% okay to geek out about your special talent and to be overwhelmingly, outrageously proud of your little place in the world.

The show's over now, but if you're kind of where I'm at, and now quite sure what to do, please listen as a weird guy on the Internet makes a humble suggestion:

See the world as the ponies do. For whatever meaning this holds to you, for however long as you feel comfortable doing so. Trust more. Tend to your own needs. Go to farmers' markets and pick out vegetables. Care for animals. Throw parties. Give gifts. Get dressed up for fancy occasions for no other reason than that looking great can be fun. Enjoy pancakes unapologetically. And most of all, wake up every morning, and, whenever possible, smile because you know that you are important. With any luck, we can take the world we see around us, and the world we loved through the lens of a silly little television program, and not think of those as two such different things after all.

Me, I'm going to continue visiting orchards. 'Cause ponies love that crap.

Sky out.

Report Skywriter · 890 views ·
Comments ( 33 )

Well said. I can get behind any philosophy where one of the tenets is "Enjoy pancakes unapologetically."

5138043
Seconded! ;)

And this was well said, Sky. :)

I am going to my first brony convention next year. And yesterday, I had friends over and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows like camping children.:twilightsmile:

“See the world as the ponies do”
This is rather inspiring.

Enjoying life to the fullest should be the goal of everypony. Plus, it’s a Zombie Land rule: “enjoy the little things.”

I personally enjoy looking at clouds and mountains in the distance. I feel that there is nothing that quite rivals the serenity one can achieve when looking at the beauty of nature.

5138043

“Enjoy pancakes unapologetically.”

Or waffles. Both are pretty good. :trollestia:

I whole heartedly agree with this philosophy and will continue to do so, as I've been doing it more or less for six years.

And more pancakes are already on the list!

5138078
Seconded. That lit a candle in my heart.
I should eat more pancakes and give my friends a hug.

See the world as the ponies do. For whatever meaning this holds to you, for however long as you feel comfortable doing so. Trust more. Tend to your own needs. Go to farmers' markets and pick out vegetables. Care for animals. Throw parties. Give gifts. Get dressed up for fancy occasions for no other reason than that looking great can be fun. Enjoy pancakes unapologetically. And most of all, wake up every morning, and, whenever possible, smile because you know that you are important. With any luck, we can take the world we see around us, and the world we loved through the lens of a silly little television program, and not think of those as two such different things after all.

This paragraph is the closest I’ve gotten to crying about the finale.

It is, I think, a most charming philosophy to have and I can certainly get behind it.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

I won't forget seeing you at Bronycon this year, how you decided to wear the same hat your pony does, to make yourself easier to recognize. :D

We got Pinkie Pie as a mum.

I forgive all other sins for this blessing.

I have two things to say:
I honestly, sincerely appreciate your philosophy, and I can’t agree with you more. :heart:
I can’t imagine any words of mine to describe how beautiful this is to me. :fluttershysad: Congratulations, Sky, you have rendered me speechless and I can’t thank you enough. :twilightsmile:

And another blog post today that made me start tearing up...

Thank you for writing.

Thanks. :)

See the world as the ponies do.

I have half a mind to print that paragraph. Then to frame it. Then to hang it on the door of my bedroom.
Because, often, this is a reminder I sorely need. I think everyone does at times.

I do agree that parts of the finale were questionable, but in the end I enjoyed immensely. In large part because it got me to do something I rarely do, which is to watch the livestream. And good pony livestreams, as we all know, are insane.
I'd had a bad week. Deadline on the draft version of a paper. Got told on the day before the deadline that the lion's share needed to be redone. Sprained my finger. And finally, there was a juggling convention over the weekend, a block away from where I live. I used to be part of the association that organised it, even helped organize it at some point, but I just... lost interest in juggling over the past few years. I still know the people, still friends. Even hosted the takeout dinner for everyone who was there to help out. But I didn't much feel like attending. I was tired, grumpy and just wanted some time to myself. Which I did for most of the saturday.
But I watched the livestream. Stayed up till 2am so I could watch. And more than the show I enjoyed the wild energy in the livestream comments. The random jokes, making fun of the commercials as is always a part of it. GAK came back, and I always loved that bit of random nonsense. And at the end, everyone wished each other the best. Best wishes and mock salutes were flowing freely.
I went to sleep, and in the morning, I went to the convention. Learned some new tricks. Saw a lot of friends I only see once or twice a year. Spent the evening baking pizzas and playing Smash Bros with one of them. And I feel happier than I have in months.

So, seconded. In my way usual long-winded way.
Remember to do the things you love, with the people you love. Remember to do enjoy doing something and to do it well. And take some time to just relax and smile.

Thanks for this. I really needed it today.

5138043
And post-apocalyptic donuts!

Really beautiful. Thank you. I want to be able to carry this meaning for the rest of my life so I can appreciate the world like they would. It is sappy but it is also true. The worlds you immerse yourself in, even though fictional, hold a lot of meaning and significance, not only for the escapism they provide, but because they are a way we can change our perspective by seeing through another set of eyes.

For me, the show died essentially after S5. So I've long made my peace that it was going to go and probably continue in a direction I wouldn't enjoy. But to hear just how it all finally ended...how this show I used to know the showtimes of religiously to keep up with every week finally finished and ultimately concluded the canonical endings of these characters that still mean so much to me in such a unsatisfying way, it almost insults me. Like, they couldn't care a little more? It really is a shame for such a trailblazing show at its start to end on such an obviously sub-par, corporate-enforced offering depresses me.

That's some of the best advice I've ever seen on this site.

Thank you man.

I already enjoy pancakes unapologetically, so I've got one thing down. :trollestia:

Though as the years go by I find I've had to start apologizing to my intestines.

Anyway...

Thank you for posting anyway, even if it seemed sappy.

Huzzah, is all I can say.

>trust more
When the two sisters first turned Discord into a statue, they should have immediately hurled that statue into the sun. Your other suggestions are solid.

Thank you.

I really wish we could upvote blog posts. :eeyup:

Can't say I ever really bought into the "Equestria as utopia" line of thought, something that has only become more absurd as the show ran on, but thanks for sharing.

5140422
I agree that canon Equestria as presented is patently not a utopia, and became even less so as time went on. But the thing that continually led people (erroneously?) to that conclusion, and the feeling I'm trying to capture here, is a derived thing. A mood, an attitude, an ideal. Do I want to emigrate to a cartoon world? No, in general, and especially not to a place whose safety and well-being teeters on the brink as much as Equestria as it is presented does. Do I want to experience a world where ideals have power, where people believe the in the best, where sincerity is championed, where harmony is viewed as a cornerstone of civilization instead of a by-product? Yes, absolutely. And I think that there's a possibility that I don't have to live in a cartoon to do that.

Well said! (Says someone who's still trying to process all his feelings about the end-of-an-era to the point where coherent words can be formed again.)

5157103
It'll come eventually. Take your time processing it, no need to rush.

5140567 Like I say, I can't live in Oz, but I can live in Kansas, which is the next best thing. Except for winters. Brrr.

5159996
I'll see your Kansas and raise you a Wisconsin.

5159997 Just because your football team regularly whomps ours around the field...

5160000
I'll take your word on that! You could have said just about anything about the relative quality of our teams and I would have accepted it.

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