corvus

Heart Hope

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There’s a beautiful collaboration threading its way through Flickr at the moment, created and curated by my always thoughtful and tremendously artistic friend GoodCross, on behalf of the White Canvas Gallery. It’s called the I Stand For Peace Challenge, and its aim is to “disown the mindless violence around us, and do something about it as artists”.

I have to be vulnerable for a moment and confess in honesty that when I first learned of this wonderful challenge, my heart just wasn’t in the right place to participate. I don’t mean from an ideological standpoint; I think the world of GC’s intentions, and I’m a passionate advocate for peace, equality, and freedom in all its myriad forms. But rather, in the days since my last post, SLife has been a riotous roller coaster of marvelous highs and melancholy lows. Everything from spontaneously spiriting around the course at Relay For Life whilst performing a choreographed pom-pom dance with two of my dear friends, tears of joyful laughter blurring my vision as we lag-looped our way through the connected regions … to finding myself once more in tears of a far more somber sort, deeply akin to those I wrote about several days ago.

But clouds, as they gracefully do, started to gently lift, and a bright parhelion began shining in my direction. Several of them, actually, in the form of nominations to participate in this challenge. And I realized that I was being indulgent and selfish in my sadness, and that’s so uncharacteristic of the beautifully collaborative nature of SL. One of Linden Lab’s original slogans was “Your World, Your Imagination”, and that always resonated so deeply with me, because the “your” in this case can be both singular and collective, and often times our community comes together in incredibly thoughtful, poignant ways. From supporting a virtual world designer who’s facing a health crisis, to fundraising for a tragedy like the Pulse Nightclub shooting, SL residents have always had a profound desire to support and inspire, to pay it forward and pledge solidarity for a worthwhile cause.

And because the universe works in brilliantly thoughtful ways, when I was contemplating what kind of picture to take, this song came on my SL playlist and its symbolism aligned perfectly with my thoughts in more ways than one. When it comes to peace, whether inward or as a greater hope, I always return to one of my touchstones, Joseph Campbell’s teaching: “follow your bliss”. I truly believe that if we all followed this simple but tremendously profound philosophy, peace would prosper because genuine bliss never creates divisions, strife, feelings of lack, or unworthiness. If we could all just express heartfelt love, appreciation, gratitude, and respect for each-other, we would do just as GoodCross yearns and all be united in every world and reality.

It’s a beautiful hope to hold onto; hope is so essential and a truly enlightened state of grace. So until that hope becomes a reality, I stand for peace. And it’s my dearest wish that you will too. ♡


Please click for full size.

“Cause I need something more than everything
A higher self deep within
And I know, we need a little heart hope
I know we’ve gotta outgrow, and feel a little heart hope
Cause there is something more than everything
So feel the love and let it in
Cause I know, we need a little heart hope …”

Look
Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Izzie’s Freckles – Body Freckles II (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink Appliers & System Layers)
Mandala Ears – Steking Ears Season 5
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Sky v2) *
Eaters Coma Hair – Hair 49 (Light Mauve)

Style & Pose
Paper Arrow Jewelry – Heart Necklace (Gold)
Corvus Wings – Mesh Wings (White)
Phedora Bodysuit – Asteria Bodysuit (Maitreya Lara)
Imeka Pose – Loli Pose 1

Destination & Inspiration

L$2 Legit 2 Quit

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Ever’s Age: 6 Days
L$ Balance: L$615

Every noteworthy era has to meet its end, and after schooling a newbie on metaverse sextiquette, I decided I’d had my fill of the Tutorial Land That LL Forgot. After poofing through the portal, I landed at Social Island, and a quick peek at the world map revealed that there are six Learning Islands and three Social Islands total, which new members are presumably rezzed on at random when they sign in for the first time. Oddly, Learning Island D looks nothing at all like Learning Islands 1 – 5 (at least from the overhead view on the map), so I’m wondering if there are special circumstances that result in someone rolling the D experience. But as suspected, I could no longer access the Learning Island sims, while all three Social Islands are ripe for the teleporting.

Ahhh, Social Island(s) – an oxymoronic name if there ever was one. Let me put it this way: I immediately encountered a gentleman whose profile mentioned his love of perving and fapping, and while his forthright honesty was commendable, I wasn’t particularly keen on being molested. I happened to land at Island #1, and after camming around a bit, I checked the other two and found them to be identical in build and in visitors. Which is to say, an even mix of 0 day newbies standing around seemingly confused and lost, and primarily silent veteran residents, many of whom had completely blank profiles despite hundreds, if not thousands, of days in their respective account ages. It reminded me of a shopping mall I worked at as a teenager, where all of the smaller boutique shops had closed and only the larger department stores remained. The facades were there, sometimes even the lights were even on, but no one was home.

Out of curiosity, I ticked the box to allow Voice, as I wasn’t sure if spoken word chatting was more common in these areas. Social Island 2 and 3 both have voice chat turned off at the main hub, but Social Island 1 allows it, and even the two or three people whom my radar indicated were voice-enabled were keeping quiet. However, I did run into one newbie who spoke to me in an distinctly young-sounding voice, which prompted me to quickly teleport away. I know that children do sign up for Second Life against the TOS, but hearing one speak was nonetheless alarming. I’m not even sure if you can send in an Abuse Report for that kind of thing, since voice doesn’t have the same ability to be captured as proof of abuse in the same way that local chat or instant messages would. Regardless, I’d had my fill of Voice for the night. Which means – drumroll, please – it was time for Operation Ever-Lution: The Marketplace Edition!

Ever Afterr - Day 6
How YOU doin’?

Skin: Insol Body Skin Scarlett – Ivory (L$0)
Eyeshadow: XCW Freebie Eyeshadow – Pink/Orange (L$0)
Lip Gloss: Alaskametro Light Lipgloss Tester – Golden (L$0)
Eyes: TSYI Light Me Eyes – Light Blue (L$0)
Hair: Alice Project – Summertime Sadness (L$0)
Hairbase: Delizio Hairbase Tattoo – Chocolate (L$0)
Dress: Corvus 13 Dress (L$0)
Jeans: LARRY Jeans Dollarbie Pack (L$1)
Shoes: MYLU Cora Boots (L$1)
Pose: DESIRE Free Model Pose F08 (L$0)
Wall Texture:  Dy’s Yardsale & Texture Shop Grunge Shaded Texture (L$0)
Floor Texture: DT.com Parquet Wood Floor Textures (L$0)
_____________________________________________________________
Total Spent: L$2

2 Legit 2 Quit
L$2 dolla bills, y’all!

Pretty cute, hey? I probably could have gotten away without spending those Lindens, but I have both the Larry Jeans dollarbie pack (comes with 3 pairs of jeans) and the MYLU boots on my main account, and I’ve gotten lots of use out of them. Speaking of footwear though, one thing is becoming troubling clear: it’s going to be problematic finding shoes for system feet, particularly ones that aren’t boots or sneakers. Thankfully I have a penchant for both, so I won’t necessarily mind wandering around the grid in a summer dress and close-toed stompers. But Slink mesh feet are becoming so ubiquitous, it’s genuinely difficult to find footwear options (mesh in particular) that don’t require them. Here’s hoping that the system avies in the upcoming Project: Sansar platform aren’t saddled with the same clubbed tootsies that SL ones are!

So I’ve officially “arrived” in Second Life! While I’ve made stops in newbie-friendly spots like Caledon Oxbridge (where I enjoyed a quick chat with Miss Lindal Kidd), New Citizens Incorporated and The Shelter, it was primarily to snag landmarks for my “helpful tips” notecard, so my visits were brief. But with the weekend finally here, and my inventory stocked with a modest cache of freebies, I feel like I’m ready to become a true resident of the grid at long last. Excelsior!