Greetings fellow listeners and fused and welcome to another edition of the Oathbringer reread, featuring your hosts Alice, Aubree, and Lyn! In this week’s chapter we’ll be delving deep into Bridge Four’s loneliest member, Rlain. What’s it like to be the only remaining member of your entire race? Come along with us as we try to understand…
Reminder: we’ll potentially be discussing spoilers for the ENTIRE NOVEL in each reread. There is a brief discussion of Mistborn’s Shards, and Shards in general, in the Epigraph comments this week, so beware of that. As always, if you haven’t read ALL of Oathbringer, best to wait to join us until you’re done.
WHEN: 1126.96.36.199 (same day as Renarin’s opening the gemstone archive; one week after the previous Bridge Four chapter)
While Kaladin leads his squires in some training exercises, Rlain ponders a great many things, from racism against the listeners (of which he is the last remaining, or so he believes) to his place in Bridge Four.
The Singing Storm
Title: Alone Together
The title comes from Rock’s admonition to the members of Bridge Four who are feeling uncertain about their culture and their role:
“Life is changing. We will all feel alone because of this, yes? Ha! Perhaps we can feel alone together.”
AA: The immediate context is pretty obvious, and we’ll discuss it more below. In context of the entire chapter, though, it’s extremely poignant from Rlain’s point of view. He’s far more alone than anyone else here, and he has to work pretty hard to feel any of the togetherness.
AP: This chapter is such a great character portrait. It’s such an important look at how marginalized people within a community feel. There were several people of color among the beta readers who thought that Brandon captured this feeling extremely well. Of being the only person in the room who didn’t belong to the dominant culture in the same way, and how it feels to be among friends who still didn’t totally get it.
L: Even when they try to. Sometimes especially when they try to.
Kalak is the sole Herald on this chapter. He is the patron Herald of the Willshapers, holds the role of Maker, and is associated with the divine attributes of Resolute/Builder.
AA: On a guess, this is about Bridge Four en masse—not only being resolute in holding together, but also in building their own new culture from a bunch of outcasts and wannabees.
Bridge Four—pretty self-explanatory by now, eh?
I am the least equipped, of all, to aid you in this endeavor. I am finding that the powers I hold are in such conflict that the most simple of actions can be difficult.
AA: Mistborn spoiler: Sazed is finding that Ruin and Preservation are difficult to harmonize. I find this both interesting and sad, in a way. Ati and Leras were once friends who decided to cooperate in building a system they could share. We don’t know how long it lasted harmoniously, but eventually their Intents overwhelmed their personalities and their good will toward one another. It’s fair to believe that the same is true for any Shard, so… watch for it, I guess? It’s something to consider with regard to anyone who picks up the power of a Shard, at the very least.
AP: And yet at one point, all of the shards were together as one being. So I think that there must be some way to get all these disparate shards to work together.
Stories & Songs
Time to add to our running tally of Listener Rhythms, as we have a new one this week—Longing, which belongs with the “positive” rhythms as opposed to the “negative” Voidbringer ones. So far for this book, we’ve got: Curiosity, Awe, Peace, Pleading, Skepticism, Appreciation, Anxiety, Consolation, Praise, Reprimand, Mourning, Lost, Longing.
For the Voidbringers: Rhythm of the Terrors, Craving, Command, Fury, Satisfaction, Derision, Spite.
He could attune one of several dozen to match his mood, or—conversely—to help alter his mood.
L: That second half is very interesting to me. It makes perfect sense, even with my limited (from a listener point of view) understanding of music. Certain types of music will change my mood for certain. If I’m feeling down, an upbeat song can lift my mood and make me happier, while a song in a minor key can leave me unsettled. While the concept of the Listeners and their attunation of Rhythms is pretty alien and foreign, there are some parts of it that strike a chord (haha get it) even with us dull humans of Earth.
His people had always assumed the humans were deaf to the rhythms, but he wasn’t convinced. Perhaps it was his imagination, but it seemed that sometimes they responded to certain rhythms. They’d look up at a moment of frenzied beats, eyes getting a far-off look. They’d grow agitated and shout in time, for a moment, to the Rhythm of Irritation, or whoop right on beat with the Rhythm of Joy.
It comforted him to think that they might someday learn to hear the rhythms. Perhaps then he wouldn’t feel so alone.
AA: So… we know that several nominally human Rosharan ethnicities have some Parsh ancestry. It seems possible that, through intermarriage, many humans might have some trace as well, doesn’t it? Could it be one of those genetic traits that comes out more strongly in some individuals than others? Or is it just that the ones Rlain has noticed happen to be the ones who are from those few cross-bred ethnicities, and he just doesn’t know that they have Parsh blood?
L: That’s the most probable explanation. Another is that the humans are slowly evolving to this planet, and are beginning to attune themselves subconsciously to the rhythms.
AP: I like the “human evolution” angle. I think that would be really interesting if true. Where do the rhythms come from? Is it from Roshar itself?
Bruised & Broken
He swung a spear to his shoulder, the spear they let him carry. He loved the men of Bridge Four, but he was an oddity, even to them: the parshman they allowed to be armed. The potential Voidbringer they had decided to trust, and wasn’t he just so lucky.
L: I can somewhat understand the cynicism in Rlain’s last sentence here. This is something that I’ve experienced in a small way through some of the things in which I am a minority, but those are things that I can hide if I so choose (religion, sexual orientation). Rlain does not have this choice. I can sympathise with him, but I can’t fully comprehend how difficult it must be to be forever apart, forever outside. To only be included if you’re allowed to be. To be the enemy, the exception to the rule, the outsider not only to Bridge Four but to his own people, now, as well. More than anyone else in Bridge Four, he’s alone.
AP: Oh absolutely. And not only that, but:
His people were gone, now. Yes, parshmen had awakened, but they were not listeners.
AP: He’s completely alone, the last of his entire culture.
They were his friends. It was merely…
How could Rlain be so fond of these men, yet at the same time want to slap them?
L: Been there, Rlain. Been there.
AP: I’ve heard this from a lot of people in marginalized communities. Sometimes people that want to be allies are trying, and genuinely care about their friends and family members that are part of minority communities, but they just can’t fully understand the lived experience.
“I have thing to say,” Rock added. “During last few weeks, how many of you have come to me, saying you feel you don’t fit in with Bridge Four now?”
AA: I won’t quote the whole thing, but this discussion starts with Renarin learning to read, and whether that’s acceptable for an Alethi in Bridge Four. The examples we’re given of those who feel out of place include Sigzil and Skar, whose thoughts we saw in their chapters. Hobber feels like he can’t keep up with the way things are changing. Leyten has nightmares about fighting the Midnight Mother. Huio, for all his Herdazian bravado, is embarrassed by his inability to speak Alethi. Torfin is acrophobic, which has to be tough on a Windrunner squire. Teft refuses to admit the depth of his addiction. Rock refuses to fight. Each one of them feels different, weird, alone even in the company of Bridge Four. (I’d suggest that Lyn, the rest of the scouts, those brought in from other bridge crews, and the sole lighteyed officer—the group training with Peet on another plateau—would all join in the feeling of not quite fitting in. We heard Lyn talk about it once, and I’d bet that drawing in Stormlight, though it certainly helped, would not make them feel like they were 100% of the team.)
L: In the case of Lyn and the other female scouts, there’s also the fact that they’re breaking new ground as women who are allowed to fight, in addition to the fact that they weren’t a part of the group back when it started as a real bridge crew.
AA: Rock’s recognition of this, his understanding of the need to belong, and his willingness to bring it out in the open, is one of the best things about Bridge Four. We’ve talked about this in the Moash discussions, how he turned away from the one group that had accepted him unconditionally. It’s worth noting that many of them feel just as much an outsider as Moash ever did, and Rlain more so—but they’re holding together anyway.
AP: I think it’s an excellent contrast to Moash. Both felt like outsiders, but they handled it extremely differently. Interspersing the Moash novelette in between all the Bridge Four and Dalinar flashback chapters makes such a great contrast in motivations.
Squires & Sidekicks
Soon after he left through the Oathgate, everyone would slowly start to lose their powers. They’d be gone in an hour or two. Kaladin had to be relatively near—Sigzil had placed their maximum distance from him at around fifty miles, though their abilities started to fade somewhere around thirty miles.
AA: And there you have Sigzil’s need to measure All The Things coming to our aid. Of course he’s measured both the time and the distance at which Kaladin’s squire effect fades. Thank you, Sig.
AP: I really like Sig’s obsession with numbers. It’s a great way to give magic mechanics to the reader without being too obtrusive.
Flora & Fauna
He landed with his squad, including Lopen, who juggled an uncut gemstone the size of a man’s head. They must have found a chrysalis from a beast of the chasms.
AP: Do we have any idea what the chasm fiend population looks like now? I know that there was some speculation that they had been nearly hunted to extinction. Are they finding some now because they are travelling further? Or are they able to find the last of an increasingly endangered species?
AA: We really don’t know yet, but not too far back, Dalinar was worrying about the possibility of extinction. In this case, it sounds like there’s a chance they found one already dead—would it perhaps have been killed by the unpredictable (to the animals) Everstorm?—and I think the idea that they found it just because they were able to travel further has merit. However… I’m pretty sure this is going to come up as a Thing before long; Sanderson isn’t likely to set it up this much and then not go somewhere with it.
L: Also, the listeners aren’t around to harvest them anymore, so there’s bound to be some carcasses lying around that no one has touched, even if their population is greatly diminished.
Places & Peoples
“Kalak help them if they have to fight those shellheads,” Eth added, taking a drink from Rock. “Um, no offense, Rlain.”
AP: Argh! This makes me so upset! Because this is also a real thing. People have a token friend in a minority group, and they feel empowered to use a slur, or tell an off color joke, but “oh, it’s not meant toward you, no offense.” So now Rlain would be the problem if he spoke up about it. Because he’s making a big deal over “nothing” and “he didn’t mean it that way”. So frustrating. And brilliant of Sanderson to capture. The perspective here is just great, it continues with the next bit:
He had protrusions on his arms and legs too, and people always wanted to feel those. They couldn’t believe they actually grew from his skin, and somehow thought it was appropriate to try to peek underneath.
AP: Bodily autonomy and personal space is a thing that people of color struggle with. Ask any African American woman you know if someone has tried to touch her hair without asking. Be prepared to get an earful.
L: Same goes for differently abled folks. I have some friends in the disabled community, and the number of times they talk about people just randomly grabbing their mobility aids is horrifying.
AP: To a much lesser extent, this happened to me when I was pregnant. Complete strangers would try to touch my stomach because they somehow felt entitled to be able to touch my body because it was different. It’s one of the most skeevy things I’ve experienced, and I can’t imagine having to deal with it as a routine part of my life.
Apparently, monks came from Jah Keved to preach the Almighty to the Horneaters, and Rock let his children follow any god they wanted. So it was that the pale-skinned young Horneater wore a glyphward tied to his arm and burned prayers to the Vorin Almighty instead of making offerings to the Horneater spren.
AA: This is a fascinating twist on a culture. The Horneaters do have their own religion, though it seems mostly to involve spren, and perhaps Shards, with little “priestly” (such as the Heralds) intervention. It makes sense, actually, since they’re genetically disposed to be closer to the Cognitive Realm. But they don’t seem to have the slightest problem with someone who wants to take a different approach. Roshar seems to have quite a mix of attitudes about religion!
AP: This makes sense to me. The Horneater religion is based on spren worship/reverence and the spren can be from either Honor or Cultivation, and Vorinism is at least nominally devoted to Honor. It seems reasonable that they would be okay if someone leaned more toward one or the other.
L: It does say that Rock allowed them to follow “any god they wanted,” though, not just the Vorin one. I really love that.
Other than Rlain, Sigzil’s dark brown skin was the most different from the rest of the crew—though the bridgemen didn’t seem to care much about skin color. To them, only eyes mattered. Rlain had always found that strange, as among listeners, your skin patterns had at times been a matter of some import.
AA: I really want to know what this is about—and I have some hope that in the next book, we’ll learn more from Venli and/or Eshonai. We know by now that the Fused can alter the pattern of their host bodies’ skin, though physical features don’t change. Is that part of why it matters? Or is it similar to human skin tones—those from certain areas have different color combinations. Am I right, that the Listeners tended to black-and-red, while the Alethi parshmen were more often white and red? Or something like that? And then there’s the tricolor ones, which might maybe only be Fused? Anyway, we’ve been given hints about color combos, and now we know that sometimes it’s important to them. How and why??
AP: I think it’s both. That there are the color combinations themselves, various combos of red/black/white, as well as the rare form where some have all three. But there are also unique patterns that seem more like fingerprints to me, that are unique to the individual. And physical features of the Fused can literally change all the time, as they take different forms. It seems like the patterns are a good way to tell apart individuals who are shapeshifters. If my partner always has a pattern on his forearm that looks like a cat, then I can identify him even when he changes forms.
“But storms … the Plains sure do seem smaller when you’re up there.”
“Yeah,” Lopen said. “And bigger.”
“Smaller and bigger?” Skar asked.
“Smaller,” Leyten said, “because we can cross them so fast. I remember plateaus that felt like they took years to cross. We zip past those in an eyeblink.”
“But then you get up high,” Lopen added, “and you realize how wide this place is—sure, how much of it we never even explored—and it just seems … big.”
AA: I didn’t really have anything important to say about this, but I liked it. The Shattered Plains isn’t huge on the map, but I love the way their perspectives are being challenged by the ability to see so much more of the landscape at once.
It was sad that humans were so burdened by always being in mateform. They were always distracted by the emotions and passions of mating, and had not yet reached a place where they could put that aside.
He felt embarrassed for them—they were simply too concerned about what a person should and shouldn’t be doing. It was because they didn’t have forms to change into. If Renarin wanted to be a scholar, let him be a scholar.
AA: This is such a fun little take on human emotions. We’ve seen it before, but it strikes me every time. He’s got a point…
L: He really, really does. So many things in life would be so much easier if we could just turn that part of our physiology off.
AA: I also find it interesting that no one gets mad at Rlain for failing to understand or accept human sexuality—so very different from the Singer/Listener/Parsh version!—though we readily get irritated at the humans for failing to understand him. Just sayin’…
AP: I think that’s a great point! The difference, as I see it, is that Rlain isn’t treating them differently because he doesn’t understand sexuality. First off, he’s not in a position of power where he could, because of his isolation. But no, he definitely doesn’t understand that it’s not something most humans would want to put aside.
Tight Butts and Coconuts
“Drehy likes guys. That’s like… he wants to be even less around women than the rest of us. It’s the opposite of feminine. He is, you could say, extra manly.”
L: For awhile I was torn on this (it’s a smidge insulting and simultaneously hilarious), but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I like that the Alethi aren’t imposing gendered standards on gay men as we often see happen in our real world—though, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just Lopen who doesn’t, as initially Kaladin does revert to that. (This is a bit of a side note, but once again I’m happy to see Kaladin immediately shift his perspective once he realizes his error, instead of doubling down or getting defensive.)
AP: I do think this highlights how adaptable Kaladin is. Drehy’s bit just before this also shows that because someone is a member of one marginalized group, that it doesn’t follow that they will be able to empathize with a member of another marginalized group. People are messy little bundles of misconceptions and prejudices all around!
Well, except Lopen, who had snuck away from the group and for some reason was lifting up rocks on the other side of the plateau and looking underneath them. Even among humans, he was a strange one.
AA: Bahaha! Talk about foreshadowing! Lopen is out there playing hide-and-seek with Rua already; we just don’t know what he’s doing until near the end of the book. Too funny.
L: Figures that his spren would be super playful, reminds me of how Syl was when we first met her!
AA: While there are several units where we could talk about Rlain, I wanted to collect it all here, in one place. This chapter is the last we’ll see of Rlain in this book, and it seems worthwhile to consider what he might be doing. We don’t know where he goes after these events, but he seems to vanish. Where did he go? Why? Are there any clues for us here?
L: It’s worthwhile to note that this wasn’t authorial oversight. Sanderson has stated that it was intentional, so Rlain’s off doing something of import. We just don’t know what.
His people were gone, now. Yes, parshmen had awakened, but they were not listeners. No more than Alethi and Vedens were the same nationality, simply because most had similar skin tones.
Rlain’s people were gone. They had fallen to Alethi swords or had been consumed by the Everstorm, transformed into incarnations of the old listener gods.
He was, as far as he knew, the last.
AA: So to start with, he’s alone the way no one else is.
L: Poor Rlain. The world has moved on without him.
AA: He feels no kinship to the awakened parshmen, who had served their ancestors right up until their Connection was broken and they fell into slaveform. Now that they are restored, they’re right back there serving the same ancient spirits. He feels no kinship to those Listeners who accepted the Voidforms brought by the Everstorm; they are no longer his people. Those who accepted the Fused bonds are even less so; they are the old gods now. So far as he knows, the only Listeners who don’t fall into one of those categories are dead. Our one consolation on his behalf is that a few—a thousand or so—rejected the stormform transformation like he did; whether they survived the Everstorm is still in question. He probably doesn’t even know they existed.
AP: I really, really, reallyreallyreally want to know what happened to those thousand!
AA: Really really really. I hope that, with the focus on Venli and her people in the next book, we may find out.
Rlain, though … well, who knew what would happen if he could use Stormlight? Might it be the first step in turning him into a monster?
Never mind that he’d told them you had to open yourself to a form to adopt it. Never mind that he had the power to choose for himself. Though they never spoke it, he saw the truth in their reactions. As with Dabbid, they thought it best that Rlain remain without Stormlight.
The parshman and the insane man. People you couldn’t trust as Windrunners.
AP: Again, this is so well captured. There is a huge amount of internalized bigotry that Sanderson explores so well here, and it has such great resonances with how people in minority communities interact with a dominant culture.
AA: I think Rlain is missing something, though. There’s not a single man in Bridge Four—except maybe Kaladin—who could actually prevent him from becoming a Windrunner. As far as I can see, he hasn’t tried, because he assumes they won’t let him. So the question I have is what would happen if he sucked in Stormlight? Would it be possible for him to become a squire, if he believed he could? Is the belief or acceptance of the others necessary? Lyn struggled in an earlier chapter with feeling like she didn’t really belong to Bridge Four; it was only when she could articulate her reason for wanting to be a squire in a way that fit, that she was able to draw in the Stormlight. Is it the same sort of limitation that holds Rlain back—he not only believes the others don’t want him to, he also doesn’t know why he should be able to, and so he can’t?
L: That would hold true with a lot of the Radiant abilities we’ve seen so far. So much of it seems to be tied to belief or ideas. Look at Kaladin’s scars/tattoo, for example. He doesn’t believe himself to be worthy of freedom, so he can’t seem to lose those scars and his body rejects the tattoo.
Teft led the other four in a streaking wave of light overhead. Rlain looked up, and found himself attuning Longing before he stomped it out. He attuned Peace instead. Peace, yes. He could be peaceful.
AA: This sort of makes me want to hug him and shake him at the same time. While I’m a big fan of learning to be content where you are, I’m beginning to be frustrated with Rlain. He’s a little too ready to seethe inwardly at everyone else’s failure to understand, without trying to do the things he says he wants to do.
L: I don’t blame him. He’s dealing with millenia of prejudice against his kind, here. He’s not going to be able to overcome all that in just a few months, or even a few years. It’s going to be a long process. And when everyone’s still treating him differently… well. That’s just going to make it harder.
AA: As a side note, he attunes Peace here. Peace was the one Rhythm Eshonai avoided after taking stormform, because through it she could hear herself screaming. I don’t know whether that’s significant, but there it is.
Don’t blame them, he thought. They don’t know. They don’t understand.
“Eth, Yake,” Rlain said carefully, “my people did everything we could to separate ourselves from those creatures. We went into hiding long ago, and swore we would never accept forms of power again.
“I don’t know what changed. My people must have been tricked somehow. In any case, these Fused are as much my enemies as they are yours—more, even. And no, I can’t say what they will do. I spent my entire life trying to avoid thinking of them.”
AA: That was a bit of an eye-opener for me: to realize that for Rlain, the Fused are not just “the other side in this particular war.” They are the monsters his people sacrificed everything to escape; he hates and fears them not merely for their ability to kill him, but for their ability to take over his soul. The humans only fear losing their lives; the Listeners fear an annihilation of self, of everything that makes a person … a person. For a people so attuned to the Cognitive realm, and possibly more aware of the Spiritual as well, this would be terrifying beyond anything the humans could comprehend.
AP: Yes. This is so important. The listeners are a distinct subgroup. Just as the humans have separate cultures and we don’t assume all the humans are in accord (we can’t, with all the emphasis on wars between nations), the same is true for the native people of Roshar. To the Alethi, they are literally the “other,” with all the complications it carries. This is hard for us as readers too, because as we struggled with last week, we don’t even have a name for the collective group of native Rosharans, or even just for the awakened slaves.
The others jabbered excitedly, but didn’t think to include him. Parshmen were invisible to them—they’d been brought up that way. And yet, he loved them because they did try. When Skar bumped him—and was reminded that he was there—he blinked, then said, “Maybe we should ask Rlain.”
AP: This is so complex and important. Bridge Four are Rlain’s friends. They want to be allies and are socially progressive. But they don’t know how.
L: They have no touchstones, nothing to guide them. They’re literally in uncharted territory, here.
AP: It’s simultaneously comforting to Rlain that he does have friends who care about him, while frustrating that they are still lacking in so many ways.
AA: This is a personal irritation for me. He believes that none of his friends here are able to understand him because of the species and cultural differences, and he’s right. That being the case, it’s hardly fair—for him or for us—to be angry at them for not understanding.
L: Fair, perhaps not. But realistic? Yes.
AA: I think Rlain has it more right than most of the readers seem to; he accepts their inability and appreciates their efforts—yes, and loves them for trying—even when their effort can’t bridge the unbridgeable gap.
AP: He’s not angry here, he’s irritated, which is much milder. It is an irritation to be constantly having to adjust because people don’t understand you, but he does care for them deeply. As a much milder example—you can be annoyed that your partner doesn’t put their dirty socks in the hamper, but you still love them. The love means tolerating dirty socks.
He belonged here as much as he did anywhere else. Bridge Four was his family, now that those from Narak were gone. Eshonai, Varanis, Thude …
AA: ::sniffle:: Eshonai is dead, and Varanis took stormform. I hope Rlain can be reunited with Thude, at least.
Kaladin squatted down beside Rlain. “Hey. You heard what Rock said. I know how you feel. We can help you shoulder this.”
“Do you really?” Rlain said. “Do you actually know how I feel, Kaladin Stormblessed? Or is that simply a thing that men say?”
“I guess it’s a thing men say,” Kaladin admitted, then pulled over an upside-down bucket for himself. “Can you tell me how it feels?”
Did he really want to know? Rlain considered, then attuned Resolve. “I can try.”
AP: This is how you be an ally. Good job, Kaladin!
AP: It’s not just on Rlain to explain, Kaladin has to really listen to understand. He has to put in the emotional labor here as well to make a connection across not only cultures, but species.
AA: My fond, fond hope is that Rlain really explains the whole thing to Kaladin, and from here goes on a search for Listeners that escaped the Everstorm. And, of course, that he finds them.
That’s really the only thing I can think of to explain where he disappears to after this chapter: a quest to determine if any of his people survived. It occurred to me that perhaps Kaladin saw something of the others which he could tell Rlain, but it would be very unlike Sanderson to hide something that critical. “Let’s just not tell the readers that the protagonist knows something” is too cheap, so I don’t think that’s the answer. At the same time, I think it has to be a decision that Kaladin makes, and something the two of them come up with as a valid option, that sends Rlain off on a mission. Could he go back to where the humans and Parshmen first met, or something? Oh, the mystery!!
A Scrupulous Study of Spren
You had to read their emotion in their expressions and the way they moved, not in their voices. Maybe that was why emotion spren came so often to humans, more often than to listeners. Without the rhythms, men needed help understanding one another.
AA: I wonder… There doesn’t seem to be a difference in intensity of emotion between the two species, so that’s not a reason for the spren to respond differently. It would be fun to know whether he’s right, or whether the correlation is valid but the causation is something else.
AP: I wonder if it’s because the listeners consciously attune a particular rhythm that keeps other spren not of that ‘type’ away? When the listeners attune the rhythms they are in sync with Roshar, so all is as it should be, and no spren attention necessary. But maybe they are coming to the humans because they are effectively a disturbance in the force, so to speak. If the humans are only incidentally touching on the rhythms, then the spren may be checking out these occasional ripples?
Rlain sipped his drink and wished Renarin were here; the quiet, lighteyed man usually made a point of speaking with Rlain.
AP: Renarin is making a great start at being a good ally, and a good friend.
Next week we’ll be tackling chapter fifty-six, a Dalinar chapter. (At)tune in then and in the meantime, join us in the comments!
Alice is delighted to finally have Skyward in her hands, with all its pretty artworks. She is also delighted to report that her daughter’s volleyball team has made it to the state tournament, so if she’s absent from the comments for a while this week, it’s because her attention is Elsewhere.
Aubree is a social justice shardbearer.