“Vampyre No More”. Pearl laughs!
The new communications hub for the Second Life Viewer was released less than a week ago and I was a little upset at yet another change to deal with. My main concern was being overwhelmed during roleplay. Things are amping up in my real life, I’m not getting enough sleep, I feel impatient with the rate of social and evolutionary change and the part of my brain that shifts from the cosmic into “mouselook” to deal with changes in how stuff works was not happy.
I’m excited to be involved in a new roleplay sim, Pandemonium, and I’ve had an opportunity to play using the CHUI about four times. Last night I attended an Aristocrat’s Ball there and maybe eleven other people were in attendance at one point. Only once have I posted a private IM into the In-Character local chat and it wasn’t too bad. I do get distracted when too many conversations are going on for me but it was like that before. I’ve usually had difficulty in keeping up.
Last week I had my first pro photoshoot for my profile and several picks. The photographer was Peep Sideshow (not to be confused with the Victorian Freak Show roleplay photo above) and the whole experience went very well; I got the finished photos the day before the CHUI was released and I was relieved about the timing; I’ve since calmed down. I’m using my profile photo as my new Gravitar and I really like it. The new roleplay has been rich with writing and story so far and the excellent roleplayers have been including me to an appropriate degree, staying out of my IM box, not being nosy and even the bad guys are witty and amusing. So far.
I’ve also moved into a skybox. All the other places I’ve lived in have been roleplay homes in different time periods–Medieval/Fantasy, Victorian or Cyber-Grunge. I’ve made time to read blogs and have a growing list going of places I want to visit when I’m less busy. I’ve also read many of the pet peeve meme posts and have since turned off my shoe sound. I don’t miss it, although I felt comforted by it when I could hear the sound as I was walking around inworld. No one ever complained to me about it although I did see shoe clicking mentioned in profiles that were otherwise so pissy and whiney about so many things that I didn’t care.
This blog was born out of the frustration and downtime of my Second Life not going so well and it isn’t my main priority. Engagement with others is a priority for me, wherever that’s happening, although I do want a record of my Second Life. I have drafts with photos; posts will be published when I find time to write, in a lag-like way.
Lately I haven’t been examining and philosophizing my Second Life so closely; I feel much more clear about my focus there as I do in my first life and that’s wonderful. I feel like I’ve moved to a different level and am not in a review cycle right now; instead I’m in a creating/exploring part of the cycle. It all works better when I don’t struggle with where I’m at or compare it to where others are.
Life is good.
“Katia continues with her writing and the dishes remain soaking, the sheets remain unchanged and the time moves on. She actually has to remind herself that this is not a failure; she really cannot be in more than one place at one time. The horrors of taking on the energy of others, the horrors of people who felt overwhelmed by duties making her feel a failure because they focused on what she hadn’t done instead of what she had accomplished for them. It’s in her cells and nervous system now. Whatever choice she has made, a part of her could say that it was the wrong one; she has been programmed.
There are people and organizations she can finally see clearly as her oppressors, those she wanted to please and could be easily manipulated by with the withholding of appreciation and approval. They’d wrung everything out of her that they could because it was the way the world worked in places. They thought that they deserved it to make up for what had been done to them, for their losses and for their conditioning of overwhelm, for Katia’s stupidity for actually caring and mostly because they didn’t have the blessing and curse of feeling what it’s like to be someone or something else.
They give her nothing now; they do nothing for her but make noise in her life. She no longer cares what they think of her; she thinks of them rarely at all. What of value can they withhold from her now, when she turns and walks away?”
“Right now it is shining more than the enormous amount of frightening, yet also dull information and the distractions and the conflicting opinions bouncing around her world. She can look at it and put it in a simple, beautiful container in her mind and practice—next step, next step, next step– and then move to play with the simplicity of another beautiful container that holds what is her own chosen priority.
Almost everything she’s been taught about living has been wrong. She has to write her own manual now and it is a great responsibility and a great adventure. It is clunky and awkward work. Many mistakes are made. It is like having to transform into another species with no appropriate elder to explain the process and the signs and gently point out the wheat from the chaff. She moves between feeling the trembling of her hands working with the material of the moment and pausing to listen to the soft voice amongst the cacophony and babble of the world. Sometimes, for a brief moment she can attend to both. It takes a lot of energy yet it appears to look like nothing is being accomplished to those mostly focused in the third dimension. There’s no more time to try to explain.
She has been saved by her ego many times; she can see that now. That ego that has been pointed out with head shaking and frowning scorn by the well-meaning when she didn’t stay in the line, get with the program, keep up with the pace, do it the way it worked for them in their shoes and on their path with their resources. Only one reality, they seemed to think, and the one belonging to the most intimidating, the most rich, the most confident, arrogant, complacent and smooth is the one that wins. Sometimes that looked like the only game in town.”
Last Friday I went to see Samsara, a film by the creators of Baraka which you might have heard of. Our real, human world looks more amazing and unusual that the virtual world of Second Life sometimes.
I loved this film. It was about an hour and half and seemed longer, in a good way. There’s no narrative with the original music and shows stunning images from all over the globe. It was shot with 65mm film according to the actual movie; the website says 70mm. Shot in twenty five countries over a period of five years, it screened at Sundance last year and is in select theaters now. I saw it in a small art house theater; it must be even more awesome on a bigger screen.
There were unusual things I found beautiful, things I was surprised that I wasn’t disturbed by and I had to examine my feelings about quite a lot of it. It isn’t judgmental and while everything looks artistic it isn’t all pretty.
The natural world shown is beautiful, of course. Some of the areas of civilization that have been affected by natural disasters some time ago and have not been reclaimed are eerily beautiful, interiors frozen in time. I was particularly moved by an old house that was partially filled with silt and sand.
There are people in the film, often staring right at the camera for a long time, mostly unblinking and unsmiling. I don’t know how the creators were allowed to film some of what is shown. There are amazing shots of ancient, sacred places with modern buildings having satellite dishes nearby. There are shots of crowded, poverty stricken areas with luxury high rise condos next to them, pools on each balcony.
Many of the beginning scenes have a timeless feel and then there are more images of modern humanity rushing about in a very patterned and creative way, all set to music that is kind of hypnotic. I noticed that I wasn’t feeling too awful about that but the people were beginning to seem….less human. The life-like Asian robots were a little creepy and I began to be on guard somewhat. Then came the scenes in modern factories, food production in poultry, dairy and other meat plants, all looking choreographed and set to music.
There ares scenes of workers in what looks to be a sulfur mine, ladyboys in Thailand and poor, young children sorting through mountains and mountains of disgusting trash, all non-narrated and with the wonderful, original music. Responsibility and awareness regarding interpretation seem to be required of the viewer, which I like.
One of the most amazing scenes to me was a huge group of prison inmates doing a dance routine in the yard. Another was of African villagers that looked as though they’re from another time with traditional huts, all the paint and body modifications yet some are posed with guns–men, women and children.
The military scenes are sobering as are young men on guard duty with clenched fists.
The cinematography is amazing and I was reminded of the wide diversity of expression in this world. Humans seemed to be more fragile and temporary in these settings yet I wasn’t really disturbed or feeling burdened by the time the film was over. A woman near me said that we’re doomed but I didn’t see it that way at all. Likely everyone will have a different perceptions and I can see that this isn’t for everyone. I’m pleased that I got to see this.
A neighbor and I were talking this weekend about the film Cloud Atlas. He made a remark about how intelligent and deep I must be (he didn’t seem to be sarcastic) because I get something other than confusion from these kinds of films. There are many kinds of intelligence and tastes in the world and since I’m trying to not be overly critical of myself I didn’t tell him about how hard it was for me to figure out how to clean the different filters on my new vacuum cleaner.
Lately I’ve been spending less time in Second Life because of real life requirements and because the apparent waste, asshattery and lack of appreciation in the virtual worlds annoy me.
I’ve greatly enjoyed a visit to the Halloween sim and Lost City with Yordie Sands and I’m posting some photos today because if you hurry, there’s still a little time to see it before it goes away. It was fun, challenging, beautiful and there’s a prize at the end. Who would really want to miss an experience of touching a sandbag you’ve been warned not to, having it splat your skull open into a bloody mess and then getting up and going on your merry way? There’s also a little time left to visit BURN2 which is well worth a visit.
So much to do today, but when I’ve looked through my wordpress reader the last couple of days, I’ve noticed more than the usual intelligent, thoughtful blog posts about SL. I’m reminded again that there are resident creators and fellow bloggers who carry on and contribute what they do best. I’m once again pleased to be able to show up inworld, appreciate the best of it and write about it from my point of view and experience.
Reflection is important but there are things that need doing as well. Sometimes a girl is just walking along in her world, carrying an axe, minding her own business when she sees strange symbols near her path. Does she dare pass them by? If she gazes at them long enough will they divulge their mystery? Should she run like hell? Perhaps the symbols aren’t important.
She’ll likely use the skills and wisdom and courage that she has available and will do her best with that.
“Join the celebrations at the three-day International Peace Event at Nirvana Island, held the weekend of September 21–23. Over 40 spiritual organizations, musicians and performers will gather on Nirvana Island in a celebration of peace and unity in honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace, which is a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”
I went for awhile on Friday. There are lots of notecards offered on first arrival. It was pleasing to me that some of the information was available in Arabic, French, Russian, German, Italian and Spanish.
There was a disconnect for me between the mood I was in and the presentations. This fair is listed in the Featured Events and there were several noobs with starter avatars bumping into me and greeting me with “hiiiiiiiii”. I found I needed to ignore them. /me sighs.
There was obviously a lot of work, thought and collaboration put into this. If you’re curious about spiritual things there are resources here to point you in directions in a kind of SL way.
My character Pearl, took a final stroll through the Vamporium sim in Second Life. I’m posting about it now because I doubt if I’ll want to do a rehashing, post-mortem later. The pictures are rather dark, as are the ones posted on my flickr page. As I’ve mentioned before, if I wait until I’m proficient at everything I’ll never get anything done.
The Vamporium sim was supposed to go “poof” at midnight SLT last night. I’m surprised to see it still standing as of now. Perhaps someone else has taken it over without the demolishing and rebuilding of it, for how long I don’t know. Most of the people in Legacies 1891 appear to enjoy very dark roleplay, where I do not and Vamporium is an excellent place for that sort of thing. If it’s a group of people, well good luck with that. That may sound cynical, but I’ve been aware of much behind-the-scenes drama in my brief experience in Second Life.
Regular readers of this blog have likely noticed that I tend to look towards solutions, the light side and that I believe most of the chaos in the world is a shift towards a more evolved way of life. Things don’t transform until we’re aware of them and I don’t care to spray paint pink color and glitter all over poop and call it good.
I’m certainly not an expert at the things I blog about here. We teach what we most need to learn and this is what has my attention. My perceptions and awareness that arises from the weird virtual reality that is Second Life is nothing that anyone wants to listen to inworld, hence the blog. When a reader finds it useful, inspiring, entertaining or even if they disagree which clarifies something for them, that’s icing on the cake for me.
Just as in real life, sim ownership takes more work than might first appear. I’ve often been an outsider looking in, both in real life and SL. When people are involved in a project and no one’s on the same page and a few have to take up the slack and get burned out, things can dissolve quickly and sometimes after ugly words. It’s even easier when it’s something like Second Life.
I’ll keep an eye on this. Of course, there’s much I don’t see behind the scenes and I have no intention of making this about gossip and other character’s privacy. Everyone eventually needs to learn how to effectively engage in group endeavors, whether in this timeline or another.