murray

Perfectly Aligned

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Carl Sagan, that most wonderful and wise multi-hyphenate (astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, author, and more) said something so thought-provoking and profound that the first time I heard it, it made the breath catch in my throat and my heart shiver:

“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

I’ve remained captivated by those words because they speak so poetically and beautifully to the greater knowing that I believe is shared amongst virtually all religions; it makes itself a touchstone along spiritual journeys, and is even supported by those more rational and scientific minds, who state that energy can neither be created or destroyed, it only changes form.

Many cultures and theologies have an appreciation for this energy, this star stuff. In the Western world, we have some familiarity with the concepts of Chi (Chinese) or Ki (from Japan). But we seem to be fearful or cautious about the unseen having an effect upon our lives. That’s why meditation can be so beautiful and beneficial: the quieting of one’s mind, not to make something happen, but just to relax, to breathe, to behold and be held.

So many of us live our lives caught within a perpetual storm: thundering thoughts, sundering hope from our hearts, being in the world but forgetting that the far greater part of us is of the world too. We can be the calm in the eye of the storm; we can point our boats at the lighthouse and the shoreline and let go of the oars. We are energy, ever changing form; as vast as the ocean, and with brighter lights inside of us than the most luminous star stuff.

And in those brief, beautiful, soul-fulfilling moments when this knowing gently, graciously reminds us of who we really are … everything is perfectly aligned.


Please click for full size.

“and the years go by
close your eyes
’cause everything is
perfectly aligned
don’t fail me now
ask me how
everything is
perfectly aligned …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Izzie’s Freckles – Body Freckles II (Maitreya, Belleza, Slink Appliers & System Layers)
Murray Hair – Lindsay (Light Blondes HUD) New Release @ Hair Fair, through July 31st *

Style & Pose

Amala Headpiece – Pearl Drop (Gold)
Apple May Designs Jewelry – Body Jewelry (Maitreya Gold)
Label Motion Pose – Carrie 5

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Elysion
🎧 Sounds: Milo Greene – Perfectly Aligned

Saving Us a Riot

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I’ve been having trouble with inspiration these last few days, but not in the way you might expect. Rather than feeling the well run dry, it’s been brimming with ideas, full-to-overflowing with notions for pictures that I’d like to explore … but what I’m finding, more and more, is that my photographic interests are running much more toward artistic endeavors, and further from those that are more apropos for blogging. This has created an interesting schism in my thinking, because I really do enjoy styling and blogging with a fashion focus. Yet at the same time, I find myself so awe-inspired and intoxicated by the passion that drives my more artistically-motivated friends on Flickr.

So in an effort to be kind to myself and ease the gentle tug-of-war inside my head, I decided that I was just going to forget about blogging for the time and take a picture motivated by the song that had been haunting my thoughts. Music is such a deeply moving inspirational spark for me, and amongst the hundreds of songs in my “SL Soundtrack” playlist, this one had been playing in my mind like a mantra. As it happens, the lyrics were more poignant that I had expected, given the friendly riot that my conflicting thoughts had inspired. And even more fortuitously, two of the items I had intended to blog fit the mood just perfectly. I don’t anticipate this will happen all the time (though it would be lovely!) but I took advantage of the wonderful happenstance and really enjoyed that I could finally try something more moody and thoughtful in nature.


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“there’s a lullaby, saving us a riot
giving back the time, stilling my desire
she knows it’s mad, the snow’s come back
the rose unburned, the page unturned …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Fjord v2) *
Murray Hair – Amanda (Dark Blondes HUD) New Release @ The Crystal Heart Festival, through July 28th *

Style & Pose

Faenzo Top – Wool Sweater (Pearl) New Release @ The Crystal Heart Festival, through July 28th *
Label Motion Pose – Brenda Pose 1 *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Golden Wood
🎧 Sounds: Phoria – Saving Us a Riot

Going forward, though … well, it’s like my lovely and beautiful friend Portia wrote about so eloquently in her recent blog post: being driven by the creative process is what leads to the most fulfilling and worthwhile results. And as I mentioned the other day, my enjoyment of Second Life increases exponentially for every moment that I take to actually enjoy it: spending time, or just having lovely conversations, with kindred spirits; exploring the amazing depth and breadth of destinations that exist on the grid; listening to live music, or grooving to streaming tunes at a favorite region; meeting people, watching people, taking sneaky photographs to send as gifts … and always, always, exploring new ideas for pictures of my own. That is where my heart lies lately, and it’s where I would like to gratefully make my home. ♡

Book of the Month

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The always lush and inspiring Elysion played host to my chic look today, although I have to confess that this little library was the third picture-capturing location I tried within the region, as there were some rather … ardent couples who decided to take up residence nearby when I was photographing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! No, the sensual energy was distracting in the most appealing way. But I do get flustered easily, so I found a quiet perch in a lovely loft and set about getting my picture done.

One of the things I’ve really come to love about regions with rez-enabled is that I’m able to use pose balls for exact positioning, and the Lyrium Beach Pose Collection not only comes with a super handy HUD, but the pose balls are also included for maximum versatility, which is brilliant and so thoughtful. Some wonderful finds from the current rounds of Kustom9, Shiny Shabby, and Cosmopolitan completed the look. Have you visited all the June events that are wrapping up by month’s end? I’m so far behind! But it’s been a beautiful month, and I can’t wait to greet July with arms open wide. I hope June has been wonderful for you too! ♡

Book of the Month
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“feel the stroke of your paintbrush,
my blank sheet of paper
I’m your book of the month,
read the fine print later …”

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 – Hypnotic Eyes (Goldenrod) *
Entwined Hair – Olivia (Naturals HUD)

Style & Pose

Mai Bilavio Jewelry – Zodiac Chain Gemini (Gold v1) New Release @ Kustom9, through July 10th
Murray Dress – Mimi Dress (Onyx) New Release @ Shiny Shabby, through July 15th *
Ricielli Shoes – Kyra High Heels (for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & TMP) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, thru July 3rd *
Lyrium Pose – Beach 26 (from the Beach Pose Collection with HUD) New Release *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Elysion
🎧 Sounds: Lovage – Book of the Month

Spring Haze

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Some days, my mind is stirred up with many things to say, and others find my thoughts softly settled within a gentle haze. I took this picture a few days ago, but it perfectly matches my mood today: thoughtful, thinking, musing but nowhere near melancholy. The lyrics are more pensive than I’d like, but the song has been haunting me as spring meets its gentle decline here in the States, and the pre-summer dawns beckon blistering sunrises that will soon settle into months of 110°F+ days. But today, I feel warm for all the right reasons. I hope you have a beautiful weekend ahead. ♡

Spring Haze
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“Well I know it’s just a spring haze,
But I don’t much like the look of it
And if omens are a godsend, like men, breezing in …
Certain these clouds go somewhere,
Billowing out to somewhere …
Uh-oh, let go, off on my way
Unseen, this eternal wanting …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Mandala Ears – Steking Ears Season 5
Murray Hair – Anita (Dark Blondes HUD)
Queen of Ink Eyes – Soulful Eyes (Bright Leaf)
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Aurica Store Tattoo – Hembra Tattoo (in White for Maitreya, Slink, TMP & Omega) New Release *

Style & Pose

Foxes Top – Vintage Tied Ties (Maitreya Lara Fatpack) for Luxe Box May 2016
SPIRIT Shorts – Kelsi Shorts (in White for Maitreya Lara, Slink Original & Slink Hourglass) New Release @ Uber, through June 23rd
KC Couture Shoes – Brazilia (for Maitreya High & Slink High)
!Bang Poses Pose – Stand 486

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Small Town Green
🎧 Sounds: Tori Amos – Spring Haze

I’ll Take You on a Trip

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One of the things I love most about following and engaging with fellow SL bloggers is learning about their process for creating looks and capturing photographs. The other evening, my lovely friend Gia Swizzle sent me a message and asked what I was up to, and I said I was spiriting around the grid, looking for a country-esque region to take a picture at. She graciously sent me some suggestions, but as it happened I’d just landed at Bella Pace, turned the camera around, and found the exact vista I’d been hoping for. So yes, dear reader, I totally was that terrible soul who stands on the landing point and forces all others to rez in on her head. So rude! I mean, I did move slightly out of the way, but I offer my sincere apologies to the few intrepid explorers who showed up and essentially landed on my bosoms. … Actually, what am I saying about apologies? You’re welcome, more like! ;)

I'll Take You on a Trip
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“We have gone to the country, in your old car
We have lost our way, so many times
Hello, hello
I’ll take you on a trip …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Murray Hair – Georgina (Reds HUD) New Release *
Inkheart Eyes – Spring Eyes (Goldish)
Shiny Stuffs Lipstick – Soft Lips Applier (for Genesis Lab heads)

Style & Pose

Ariskea Necklace – Berwood Pendant
TETRA Jacket – Leather Jacket with Hoodie (Maitreya Lara, Slink Hourglass & Slink Physique) New Release @ Uber, through June 23rd *
Addams Jeans – Ginger Boyfriend Jeans with Belt (Maitreya Lara, Belleza Freya / Isis / Venus, Slink Original & Hourglass, and Standard Sizes)
Fri. Shoes – Izzie Sandals (in Buck for Maitreya Flat & Slink Flat)
Label Motion Pose – Berry Pose 1

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Bella Pace
🎧 Sounds: Cocoon – Chupee

So because I find the creative process so fascinating, here’s a glimpse at the weird, wandering, wonderful way this picture came about. It starts with my inspiration, the song “Chupee” by the French band Cocoon. I’ve adored it for years; a lovely tune strummed on a ukulele with lilting harmonies, and lyrics that are charmingly simple and sweet. One of the phrases has always puzzled me, though: “Eating your Chupa Chups …” What was a Chupa Chups, I wondered? Finally I decided to find out, and it happens that Chupa Chups is a brand of lollipops and confections from Spain.

Spain brought to mind the lush vistas of Mediterranean countries, so next I started thinking back to pictures I’d seen on Flickr that might meet that unique landscape. While I was doing so, I began putting my look together, feeling inspired by the “dress for comfort” leanings of the RL Ever, and thinking about what I might wear on a picturesque day trip. The wonderful TETRA Leather Jacket & Hoodie at the current round of Uber was perfect, and the amount of color-change options between the jacket, hoodie, and optional sweater in the HUD is truly extraordinary. I adore a pair of worn, well-loved jeans, so the Ginger Boyfriend Jeans from Addams worked out beautifully, and as my freedom-loving toesies live in sandals year ’round, the Izzie Sandals by Fri were the perfect addition.

And that once more brings me to my fortuitous landing at Bella Pace, where I found this beautiful sight right over my shoulder. What followed was about two hours of fiddling with poses and windlights, taking pictures, making the composite in Photoshop, editing the final picture, and now a few days later I’m finally writing the post. Sometimes I feel strong tuggings of envy and awe toward prolific bloggers who are able to produce amazing photographs and detailed posts much more frequently. But I try not to worry that I don’t measure up, because we all have our special sauce that sets our words, our pictures, and our blogs apart. It’s why I happily follow dozens (if not hundreds) of SL-related blogs, yet I don’t feel myself growing weary of seeing similar items; we all style them differently, and both literally and figuratively, we all look through a different lens.

So I hope this little peek into my own process has been interesting; now I’d love to read about yours! Take me on a trip? ♡