I found some old friends again recently.
Life has a horrible tendency to get in the way of the relationships we care about most, particularly when those relationships exist solely through the fellowship and correspondence of the Internet. I don’t make many friends In Real Life, but the ones I make through my participation online are no less real to me that anything I might find in this mundane existence.
They are my sisters; they are my family and my tribe. Even if I am never able to meet them face to face, they matter to me.
And the fact that we all read the same comic book series helps.
I started reading ElfQuest back when I was in high school and I have been entranced by the world and what it says about how people can be different and yet equally valuable and valid at the same time. Yes, Elves aren’t Humans. But they don’t have to be. And neither is really “better” than the other for being different.
When Suntop, as a mere five year old elf-child, said “I’ll be what I’ll be” it was a profoundly empowering moment, not just for him but for every reader who felt painfully pressured by this world and the expectations of those around us to be something that maybe we weren’t meant to be. It was validation that being different wasn’t wrong; it wasn’t evil; it wasn’t some cosmic mistake perpetuated upon us by some force beyond our understanding or influence.
We, like Suntop, could be what we would be. And that was alright.
ElfQuest allowed us to look at the assumptions of the world around us and understand that they were, in fact, assumptions and not cardinal truths. That the circumstances of our births did not define us or our potential. It’s a gift that I am still struggling to fully understand.
I’ve been somewhat active in the ElfQuest fandom online since… well, since there was one online, as I understand it. I was a member of the listserv discussion group Equest-L back in the day, and joined the Scroll of Colors, the forum discussion group back when it was still unofficial. The official discussion forum recently underwent a rather massive reincarnation of sorts and it’s bringing old members back in some cases while welcoming new members in.
So this is what is bringing me back into contact with some of the sisters that I’d lost contact with over the years for various reasons. It’s not the only thing, but it’s one part of the cascade of reunions taking place.
There is a point to all this rambling, I promise, and it has to do with one of those sisters I’d lost contact with. We called her Krwordgazer. She, like me, was a writer and a storyteller within the fandom. She, like me, was a Christian woman who felt something profoundly empowering in the elves and their outlook on life, even if she disagreed with some of the details. But it’s like Kahvi said, in the stories, “differences make good sparks”.
Krwo was one of my first real “beta readers” back before I met the Mysterious Co-Writer. She was my friend and my sister in a very real way. We both came from backgrounds that were painful and difficult and we were struggling to find a sense of who we were intended to be in the face of what we were expected to be. I have missed her presence in my life for a while now.
I mention this because I found her and at the same time I found the blog, Wordgazer’s Words, that she’s been writing for several years now and as I was reading through the posts there I found tears falling down my face because I agreed with her on so many points and I could see exactly what she was talking about. I’m sure that there are things that we disagree on, but that’s because we’re different people and that’s okay.
She writes about Christianity and the socio-political aspects of it in relation to biblical teaching. I write silly stories that are essentially soap operas that span time and space and alternate dimensions. She’s still my sister, though, in all the ways that truly count and I am so glad to have her back in my life again.
So here’s a Wolfrider’s howl in honor of her and all that she is doing. Because she’s my sister. In Christ and in ElfQuest.