For Darren

Map of Qormia, a fictional land

(adapted from a short speech given in-person).

The worlds of “Vancouver Tech” and “Vancouver Progressives” are pretty small. And the intersection in the Venn Diagram of them is even smaller. I’ve known of you, Darren for a long time – we were both early bloggers and you have one the absolute great memorable names – Darren Barefoot! so I knew of you, for much longer than I’ve known you.

There’s a meme that I quite enjoy which is roughly “describe what you do, poorly”. If I describe you, I think “you write smart things about hard things for yourself and others”. & here’s the thing – you write annoyingly well! As someone who loves to write & read, having read you for so many years has always been a great, great pleasure.

Making friends as adult can be weirdly hard; one of the things I’m actually glad about is that I never worked with you – our circles of work interconnect as mentioned earlier – but I know you only through play; and it has been such a delight.

We were pulled together through another great Vancouver connecter – Boris – who wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons together. And after that stopped, you wanted to go on. I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons for most of my life – often as the dungeon master – and as it turns out, Darren, you are an annoyingly good dungeon master too. You tell these amazing, creative stories, you’ve built this incredible world for us to play in.

And what’s more incredible is this group you’ve pulled together to play. We started a little chat group – just to coordinate: when are we going to meet? Who’s house are we going to meet at?  And then the world kind of ended. During the pandemic, we all just started talking to each other about everything and anything. The joy, the friendship and the emotional importance of this group to me over the past couple years, now and into the future cannot be overstated. I am just so, so grateful. You leave this incredible legacy of how your writing, your creativity, your ability to connect has created this beautiful new crew.

I’m so grateful to have had this time with you – to play, to listen to your delightfully awful accents (ze german gnomes!). Your particular pedantry – which I mean as a deep compliment  about the details – has created this incredible imaginary world that we few have had the privilege of living in for a few hours every few weeks together. It has been amazing, and I’m just so grateful for it, for you. This has all been so incredibly important to me – you have helped see me, see us through some pretty hard times and I just want to thank you, for all of it, for everything. Qormia forever.

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