May 27, 1850
The wind had finally settled down about mid-morning after keeping Wren awake most of the night with howling and the flinging of small pieces of debris against the windows of the tiny flat above the tavern.
Today she would venture outside after having kept to her quarters for most of two weeks except for forays downstairs to check on the staff, receive supplies and for meals and a bit of company.
She’d felt a bone-weary, soul-numbing fatigue and had waited it out–just a cycle such as occurs in the natural world. There were some moments when she’d wondered if she’d been poisoned, but she wasn’t important enough for that. She’d also considered whether she’d acquired the affliction that had been spreading around London for several years now, but the familiarity of her extreme languor and irritability called for dismissal of that possibility.
It was more than simple melancholy; she’d paced the floors, slept a lot, gazed out the windows and avoided her scrying ball and cards.
Today would be the day to coax and push herself back out into the bustling city even though she didn’t feel quite ready–in fact, she had a sinking feeling of dismay in her solar plexus.
Without a mental list of things to do or any plan at all really, she cautiously opened the tavern door and stepped out into the street. The air was damp and sooty; she was drawn immediately to the gentle and patient eyes of a horse attached to a nearby carriage. The driver was in the tavern having a quick pint; Wren whispered in the horse’s ear and scratched around his head–a perfect beginning to re-entry into the world.
The annual hula competition is over. The last three nights I watched it from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. my time on the live stream, last night while talking on the phone with a friend who lives in Hilo and was watching it too.
I haven’t had much sleep lately. Was I ready to get back to important, first life today? No. I had tea in 1850’s London instead.
March 7, 1893
Pearl played for the Queen in her new red gown. The Queen wasn’t actually in the room; Victoria was elsewhere in the world, England to be precise, if she were still alive. Pearl didn’t know for sure because there hadn’t been any news on the island for quite some time. It was 1893 and Victoria would live for eight more years.
Glancing up at the photograph above the piano, Pearl played her best, which was only average but inspired and that may be more important after all.
Having been born and spending her childhood in France, Pearl hadn’t had Victoria for a Queen for most of her young life. That changed when she found herself in a weird, alternative version of London for what seemed to be an eternity but was actually less than a year. Having learned she had to create a sense of home for herself wherever she was, she’d looked to the larger-than-life Monarch for a sense of normalcy in the nightmarish world she’d found herself in.
London seemed long ago and so far away now. There was no one around to wear the gown for; she’d finally put it on to play to the empty room in the tavern and to the portrait of the Queen. She’d found the dress packed away in one of her trunks months before, and was looking forward to an opportunity to wear it–an opportunity which had yet to arise.
She continued to lose herself in the music and this let her forget for a while one of the real issues at hand; the ships had stopped coming to the harbor. Not only had there been no news of politics, the theater and of ladies fashion, which she was sure was all changing, but there had been no supplies delivered of late.
There was plenty of liquor in the tavern and she had a fair amount of wealth but the ships had simply ceased arriving. She’d taken careful stock of her food supply, the chutneys she’d made during the winter and the dry goods in the pantry. She’d found a shovel near the open crypt, the one with the coffin and strange altar, nervously borrowing it to turn over some soil to plant a small garden. There were still tea and scones to be gotten at the Café Serenity and Hester never seemed concerned about anyone starving, although she hadn’t been forthcoming with any details, being as efficient and brisk as ever.
It was likely that all was well; still Pearl could not help but wonder. There were signs that others had been about the island although she rarely saw them.
She sighed and got up from the piano to pour herself another brandy and then raised her snifter in a toast to the portrait of the Queen.
A spiral notebook and a gel pen are my favorites for writing. Another favorite is going to an empty sim with streaming music that I like, writing in chat and copy/pasting to a document that I can clean up later. It’s even better when there are ambient sounds, as in this location that has crickets, a rooster and ducks among other things.
Most of the followers of my blog aren’t in Second Life. A few of them who actually read the posts, seemingly like the pictures and this post is for you. Any Second Life resident who happens to read this knows about machinima, and this points the way to my favorite one in the recent The Machinima Expo 2012. To be honest I’ve only looked at the short ones and that will work for this blog post. How has it come to ten minutes being to long to watch something? The one I’ve selected is less than four minutes long.
Machinima is cinematic production using real-time 3d computer graphics. Most of it seems to have to do with computer games, of which I know little about. This one is from Second Life, which really isn’t a game.
It’s called The Last Syllable of Recorded Time by Tutsy Navarathna. I don’t know how long these clips will be available but it’s well worth a look. This film looks and sounds amazing and I agree with the message. I like to watch it full screen.
I wish I could do this. (/me sighs.)
“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.”
When I played in the dark Victorian roleplay of Legacies 1891 I had a second character, a fat crow named Lucas. He looked to be the size of a dog and waddled when he walked. In a world with demons and vampires of course Lucas could talk, though not very well. He had his own character page, stats and bank account. When I was playing the Pearl Grey character, I had a small crow I could take out of inventory; it would fly and take commands in local chat so I could have it “speak”. It could ride on my shoulder when I walked around. I called it Lucas as well so Pearl could interact with him. She gained expert skills in animal care, teaching the bird to speak and some table manners as best she could.
The Lucas character came into being as a solution when Pearl was hiding in her home because of all the mean people and vampires. I trained him to send messages (via residents IC chat and notecards) so that I could play and yet survive. As the avatar Lucas, I got to fly all over the sim and explore in ways that the human Pearl could never do, going into very dangerous and small places. The details of that sim were amazing. Other residents used to IM me about how they were camming Lucas just to watch his fat, funny body waddling down the street.
Lucas had several enjoyable encounters with Nekos, one of whom wanted to have him for lunch and the other wanted to take some feathers because she believed it would help her fly.
It was a lot of fun and as I mentioned was a solution to some difficult times. It was inspiring to come up with story lines and I’m surprised how much I invested in the character. On the LaRPs character page, I see that Lucas hasn’t been played for 222 days now. He is now added to my list of things to get around to, at least for a short photo shoot.
I’m not into Halloween much but it’s almost everywhere in Second Life right now. I’ve returned to Barkerville in Malaika Park several times because I like the theme and also taking photos there. This most recent time I went I noticed they have a contest for writing a story about what happened there. I don’t have all the details because I’m not doing it but the stories will be voted on and the winner will get a healthy amount of Lindens.
The music stream they have going is awesome as well as the ambient sounds. The outfit I’m wearing is Medieval and I don’t recall if it was free or I bought it but it’s my favorite thing to wear now. It’s warm and autumn-like, has boots and there are knives and other little gadgets on the belt for traveling. I think I’ll wear it everywhere for awhile, even if I go to a club.