Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Observations from the Window 5.11

This is one of the rare moments when I do what I had planned on and write about my Second Life too. Along with some friends I had a very emotional couple of days last week. For well over two years I and two of my best friends in either life lived together on the sim of yet another friend. As my best friend wrote on flickr "a place we all lived, loved, danced, cried." In a matter of days it was gone. For reasons unknown the sim owner was suspended and gone forever and our land was offline.

"The region has been reactivated until tomorrow to allow you to reclaim your objects," was all Linden Labs would say and so Thursday became a night only Dante could imagine. I really can't think of words to describe how emotional I was. I named my land 'Paradise Lost' after the book in which John Milton wrote "The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." It was my little piece of heaven, my escape, and a shelter from my sometimes stormy real life.

My friend can create beautiful jewelry, had a store, a workshop. It's something I never seemed to be able to transfer from real life and at times I had a hard time creating a box. I might not have created the pieces of my paradise but I created the whole out of the pieces I found. It was mine from the kites to the water lilies, from the movie posters on the walls of the house to the art work on the walls of the bedroom. It was my garden, my gallery, my home, it was my art, and now I miss it more than I thought I ever could.

I'm not quite sure why I even started writing this. I have had a debate with people now and than about emotions in sl. How I think a person has only have one set of emotions and that no matter how hard you try to be otherwise you can’t keep them separate. But I didn't even get into that here. I guess my friend was right when she said part of the grieving process is to admit it's alright to hurt and it does hurt. This is just my way of admitting it.

"Paradise Lost" seems a more fitting name than ever.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World


  1. A good friend, now long gone from SL said to me 'SL and RL are integrated, keeping them separate doesn't work' and it took time for me to see it too but it's true. Our emotions are hard to separate so why even try?

    My experiences in SL shape my RL and vice versa. I'd be very surprised if it didn't do the same to you and your friends KC. When you invest your emotions and energy into something, the attachment is natural and real because even pixels mean something in a place where people interact.

    Paradise Lost sounds like a wonderful place and will hopefully bring many smiles to you when you and yours think about it fondly. It's doubtful most of us thought we'd feel strong attachment to places we've called home in a virtual world. We're guilty of being human, that's all.

  2. "SL and RL are integrated, keeping them separate doesn't work." That's exactly how I feel about it myself. Everybody seems to try and handle it differently though. The funny thing is my friend tries to keep them totally separate and I have never even tried, yet the way we reacted was closer to each other than anybody else. I guess keeping them separate actually makes her more attune to how she feels in sl. Just a theory.

    It was wonderful but I suppose I must move on but I'll never forget it. So many memories.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. It's called Immersion. I love what the late Rheta Shan said: So we should stop asking ourselves if there is a fine point to be made between immersion and non-immersion. There is not. Second Life-You-Know-Where is an immersive world. The most advanced and most powerful to date, because while it does nothing as well as specialised ones, it does make nearly anything possible. Its power has nothing to do with how much we want to disclose about our RL selves, or how much we care for the impact it might have on society at large.

    And her bottom line: Reality is not about truth or physics. It's about crafting a story so persuasive it will be taken at face value.

    My heart goes with you as you mourn for for what and hopes you will also celebrate it.

  4. Thanks for the comment Lacie, god I wrote you one back but it got lost in the great blogger meltdown. Now I can't remember what I said. Sorry! But .... "'SL and RL are integrated, keeping them separate doesn't work' and it took time for me to see it too but it's true. Our emotions are hard to separate so why even try?" Exactly how I feel about it.

    And thanks Pay for the comment, quote, and thoughts. I never saw that before and again very true.

    Well its been a bit and I'm not so emotional about it but I always will miss it. No matter what I do it just wont be the same. A lot of good memories there ....