on9

For Me This Is Heaven

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There is so much to be said for recognizing when you’re not as happy as you could be, and then thoughtfully guiding the wheel in a new direction to gently correct the course.

I was a late driver for several reasons: lack of funds to buy a car, lack of time to properly learn (my parents worked long hours and my school had no driver education class), but most notably, the day my mom gave me my first taste of being in the driver’s seat, we were navigating a normally quiet neighborhood that was suddenly besieged by every manner of emergency vehicle imaginable. It turns out, I had unknowingly driven right into a domestic hostage situation. The experience shook me up so badly, I felt the anxiety rise like a diaphanous, ever-present ghost whenever I got behind the wheel thereafter. It wasn’t until I was nearly 21 that I got my license (needfully; my mom firmly believed that children shouldn’t live at home past 21, and I was summarily kicked out). For the first several weeks, I drove like a frightened bird, white-knuckling the wheel with a death grip, so alert that I felt like my synapses might ignite. Then one day I picked up my best friend to go to see a film, and he saw the stricken look of anxiety on my face. “Screw the movie,” he said. He buckled his seat belt, slipped a mix I’d made him into the CD player, and said: “Let’s drive.”

That day was the first one that I ever really listened to music whilst driving, and with Sam inching the volume ever-upward and singing lustily in the seat next to me, I finally began to relax and enjoy myself. After that day, my driving was emboldened; I went for longer distances to visit friends and see interesting, heretofore unexplored sights. And I discovered that one of my favorite pastimes was just driving for long stretches of time with no particular destination: windows down, music up high, wind whipping and plaiting my hair, and my soulfully singing voice my only companion as the miles stretched ever onward.

These last several days, where SL blogging is concerned, I feel like I’ve really started to tear the map and begin plotting my new course. I’ve always said that I’m a writer first and a photographer second, and a fashion blogger/stylist … well, I feel no shame in admitting that those are a distant third. I love our virtual world’s designers and brands, they inspire me daily and I’m ever in awe of all they accomplish. But celebrating fashion to its fullest isn’t truly wear my heart lies. For those gracious and understanding designers who don’t mind, or may even appreciate, that I’ll hopefully be showing their wares in more poetically-motivated pictures going forward, I’m tremendously grateful. And for those who prefer the more classic fashion blogs and photos, I understand completely, with great respect and appreciation. But to find the route to my most genuine happiness, I’m longing to do as Robert Frost bade, and take the road less traveled by. And with any luck, that will make all the difference. ♡


Please click for full size.

“And the mindless comfort grows,
When I’m alone with my great plans
And this is what she says gets her through it:
‘If I don’t let myself be happy now, then when?
If not now, when?‘”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Avi-Glam Eyes – Elysian Eyes (Basil) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, through July 16th *
Opale Hair – Gisele (Red Pack) New Release @ Dreamful, through July 22nd *
Nanika Tattoo – Zara (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink & Omega) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *

Style & Pose

Kunglers Jewelry – Sampaguita Earrings (Rose) New Release @ On9, through July 28th *
Ricielli Top – Lily Minitop (Desert) New Release @ Shiny Shabby, through July 15th *
Label Motion Pose – Brenda Pose 2 *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Bay Reborn
🎧 Sounds: Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven

Into the Mystic

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Do you ever have those moments in life where it feels like your karmic balance has reached its peak, and wonderful people, experiences, and happenstances begin flowing in? That’s the best way I can describe these last few weeks, really since right around my birthday, which is especially poignant and profound, considering the passing of the baton from one year to the next is often cause for strife or worrisome self-reflection. But no, not this year. I’m feeling uplifted and energized, awoken and alive, as though wildfires have been stirred from the quiet ashes that had been slumbering and smoldering inside. It’s all sounds very poetic and romanticized, I know, but sometimes those are the only words that speak to my heart. Perhaps better borrowed from the lush lyrics of Van Morrison, I feel like the world has on a mission to “rock [my] gypsy soul”, and now I’m on the most magnificent flow I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for a long, long time. ♡

Into the Mystic
Please click for full size.

“Hark now, hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea, and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Inkheart Eyes – Astral Eyes (Garden) for A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hunt, through July 21st *
Elua Hair – Daria (Browns HUD)
Nanika Tattoo – Anika (in White for Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, Omega & System Layers) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *

Style & Pose

SlackGirl Jewelry – Farah Earrings New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Mimikri Swimsuit – Joli Leather Bikini (Nude) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
AlaskaMetro<3 Anklets – Jess Fringed Anklets (Metallics Pack) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Label Motion Pose – Iggy Pose 4 New Release @ Tres Chic, through July 5th *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Trace Too
🎧 Sounds: Van Morrison – Into the Mystic

I also want to take a moment to thank the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in Second Life since I returned in late April. Some were friendships rekindled and renewed from last year, while others are newly formed, and all are so incredibly dear to me. I mentioned to a friend that I had been making an especial effort to get out and enjoy the grid, and she noted with some regret that she needfully finds herself spending so much time in her skybubble taking photographs and writing, sorting inventory and getting organized, in order to stay atop her blogging commitments. I know this tendency so well that the words felt as though they had been pulled from my own experience.

But for my own enjoyment and well-being, and after such an encouraging response to what I wrote weeks ago about the anxieties of making new connections, I’ve come to the realization that for me to genuinely and sincerely express appreciation for the virtual world, I need to get out there and experience it. It may mean blogging with slightly less frequency, or getting a bit further behind on keeping up with Flickr, but after such an extraordinary month and a half back in Second Life, I don’t want to risk those impassioned inner fires burning out once more. Even if that means something so simple as being folded in a relaxing pose on a kindred spirit’s boat, my heart bestirred by the sound of the waves and the gaze upon a beautiful vista, it still makes me feel feel as though I were soaring.

“And when that foghorn blows,
I will be coming home …”

Poison Vine

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When I was younger, I discovered a fascination for learning about what drives the creative mind. I was so inspired by people with artistic souls, so overwhelmed by the innovative works they would create, that I longed to shadow them, merge with them, climb inside their heads and understand their passion and process from within. After some time of feeling such a fevered desire to express creatively and connect with others in the same vein, my like-minded friends and I started a zine together that we typed up surreptitiously on library computers, cutting and pasting the words like a jigsaw puzzle: elaborately scripted titles next to hand-drawn artwork; ponderous think-pieces beside angsty poetry and rambling verse.

We left copies everywhere: stuffed in coffee shop sofa cushions, tacked to bulletin boards around town, pooling in haphazardous piles on the floor of every ‘alternative’ store we knew. Over time, we attracted a small following, and when the Internet became more available, a Geocities page followed. And when submissions trickled in from artists and authors countrywide, I felt I had finally found my collective; yet still, I was unsatisfied. Because reading these amazing words, seeing the drawings, even enigmatically receiving demo tapes, I felt … unworthy, like an impostor. As though I had no hope of measuring up. It was the same anxious feeling that found me able to perform in musicals, where a character’s suit of armor I could don, but terribly shy to strip away the façade and just sing for others, to be the artist and musician I wanted to be all along.

Though it’s been years now, these thoughts still overtake me sometimes with their poisonous vines. And not necessarily in times of strife; this past week or more I’ve been radiantly happy, feeling genuinely wonderful about life. Yet I look at a picture I’ve taken a dozen times, and I can’t tell if I like it, if it’s acceptable, if it’s something worthy of your time or mine. But it’s all just over-thinking, and I’m trying my best to not let doubts overwhelm. Some might say: “Hey, relax – these are just pictures, showing off pixel clothing and virtual sights.” But they have also become a way to express and connect, a means for being artistic, and for finding creative release. I’ve met some of the dearest, most beloved people to me in Second Life through Flickr, whose pictures ignited appreciation, and whose kindred spirits inspired so much more. So they begin as simple pictures, but with luck, like so many springtime buds and blossoms, something takes root and they begin to bloom. ♡

Poison Vine
Please click for full size.

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Avi-Glam Eyes – Ardent Eyes (Sky v1) *
Rezology Hair – Windswept *

Style & Pose

Baubles! by Phe Jewelry – Peacock Necklace (Gold) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Lavian & Co Dress – I Can Feel Your Body Dress (Bag 1) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
ChicChica Shoes – Perola (Nude) New Release @ On9, through June 28th *
Amitie Pose – Ella 05 New Release @ On9, through June 28th *

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: Crossing Currents
🎧 Sounds: Left – Poison Vine