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. ♡
“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 …”
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)
Destination & Inspiration
Isn’t serendipity in Second Life the most wonderful thing? When I picked up the flawlessly-fitted Elina Shorts by Blueberry the other day, I knew straight away what kind of picture I wanted to take. Then I spied the beautiful, summery-colored Tied Up Camis by Eaters Coma at Kustom9, and they worked out perfectly. Then as I was once more eagerly strolling around at Blueberry to pick up their latest release, pondering at the time if I had any shoes in my inventory that might work for the pose, I quite nearly stumbled right into a wall that advertised the Georgina Work Out Shoes as a free gift for group members! And to top it all off, Nanika had a surprise 40% off sale last week, which is where I found this divine tattoo and pose. I just love when everything falls into place so beautifully!
Pose & Destination
The region 0 0 Adore is filled with pretty little gardens and picturesque sights. When I was growing up, my brother and I were climbing rascals, getting up on everything and anything that we could so we could feel mighty and tall like our parents. So with a cheeky smile, I glided up atop the stone wall surrounding these lovely flowers and eased into my languorous ballet pose. No flora or fauna were harmed in the taking of this picture, honest! ♡
Some of the loveliest people I’ve met in my 2nd Second Life journeys are from Australia, and I frequently marvel at how adept they and residents from around the world are at figuring out the time zone disparities when it comes to SL events. Second Life server time is the equivalent of Pacific Daylight Time in the United States, and many in-world events are timed to correspond with typical US work and leisure schedules so they can attract the biggest audience possible. Now you would think that someone such as myself, who happens to live in a place that syncs up with SLT, would be killin’ it with all my event attendance and time-sensitive deals, but that would be a logical and rational assumption, silly!
After reading all about the surreal experience of the LL gathering at Basilique, I really wanted to attend the next one, but y’know, life and stuff. /me sighs. I’ve also been sleeping really poorly lately, snatching cat naps here and there and working altogether too much for anyone’s good. So if someone would kindly clone themselves to my likeness and take care of all the day-to-day drudgery for me so I can enjoy my 2nd Second Life, I would be tremendously grateful! At this point, I’ll even take a trio of kitty cats standing atop each-other’s shoulders, draped in a trench coat and ginger wig. Hey, beggers can’t be choosers! ;)
Since I couldn’t make it to the LL Premium Member meet-up on Thursday, here are some excellent blog posts about the event and the special event area: Tymmerie Thorne, Inara Pey, Ziggy Starsmith, Markham Weatherwax. Interestingly, the SL Premium Coast regions are still open to the public (presumably they’ll be closed after the SL12B Celebration), so I sneaked over this weekend to take a look around.
My first stop was the crocodile wrasslin’ pit, because of course it would be. What else does one do at a deserted SL jungle-beach? I gave it a valiant effort, but after amassing approximately 17 pairs of prim crutches, I determined that victory was not to be mine. I’ll get you next time, Crocky McNibbles!
The SL Premium Coast areas are split across two regions, which Inara notes was a very smart move on the Lab’s part to help ease lag during the meet-up. There’s are beach and bar areas, and various scenic spots for relaxing if you cam up into the jungle. Flying is disabled on both regions, but you may either use the Fly Override setting (found in the Advanced menu of the Firestorm viewer), or you can port around quickly by locating cushions and seating areas and choosing the “Sit Here” option from the right-click menu. As long as you’re clicking on a seat-enabled item within the same region, it should get you from place to place very quickly. That’s how I found myself on a lovely sunbeam-lit jungle pathway, climbing upward toward the curiously crumbling ruins.
While I had an enjoyable time peeking and poking around the SL Premium Coasts, the builds felt rather primitive, both literally and figuratively. There was mesh to be found here and there, but many of the items and objects were old-school prims and sculpties, and the animals had very rudimentary animations. Still, I found this to be charming and authentic in a way; it reminded me of Learning Island and the sort of vintage SL style that I associate with the in-world building and modeling tools. These aren’t slick regions by any stretch, but they still offer some pretty vistas for photography and general sight-seeing.
Linden Lab also sent out an email recently offering an incentive on Premium Memberships: 50% off for new subscribers, limited to the first billing period of the quarterly membership plan. As I wrote in my recent post, Second Life Premium Membership and Value in the Virtual World, I genuinely feel that the annual billing option is the preferred way to go, as it really is an exceptional value when you factor in the price break for yearly memberships and the amount of in-world currency that’s rewarded over 52 weeks. Still, this incentive would be a great way for new residents to try out the SL Premium benefits and determine if springing for a longer membership is worthwhile. The promo runs through Monday, June 29th!
Skin / Essences | Kendra – Medium 01 | Free Gift, No Group Needed
Hair / Eaters Coma | Hair 03 – Dark Mocha | Group Gift
Eyes / Asineta | Fantasy Eyes – Tropical | SL Marketplace
Lashes / Ri | Lashes 03 | SL Marketplace
Lipstick / Pink Fuel | Harley Sheer Gloss – Light Coral Pink (Mouth) | Past Group Gift
Earrings / Pure Poison | Tiandre Gold Earrings | Group Gift
Necklace / Pure Poison | Boho Time Necklace | Group Gift
Ring / Fawny | Sweet Rose Ring | Past Event Gift
Jumpsuit / Ricielli | Kenya Jumpsuit – Tropicalia | Group Gift
Shoes / Daisy Shop | Mesh Ankle Boots | SL Marketplace
Willard / Young & Beautiful 1 and 2 / SL Marketplace
SL Premium Coast