When I moved to Arizona, one of my first missions was to visit the Grand Canyon. Something I only had familiarity with through pictures and film references, I was awed by the thought of seeing this extraordinary geological sight in person, and I made the trip with a mixture of eager anticipation and deep reverence.
But something I was not expecting was that the Grand Canyon (as the official website brilliantly describes), “overwhelms our senses through its immense size”. I felt as though every iota of my vision was filled, my peripheral vision straining for a small measure of relief, and after a few minutes of ardently gazing, but seemingly not being able to take it all in, I genuinely felt a sense of anxious regret settling upon me. “Why do I feel so unfilled by this?” I wondered. “I feel so small, insignificant, unworthy. Is this just too immense or intense to be fully experienced in a meaningful way?”
So I did the only thing that I knew would center me: I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. The crystal clarity of Northern Arizona air was kissed with a gentle, autumnal chill that filled my lungs and quieted my mind. And in an unusual but seemingly perfect way, that’s when I began to finally to feel the fullness of an appreciation for nature and its incredible and awe-inspiring power.
But Mother Nature, as my best friend Lux wrote the other day, “is beautiful, but can also be devastating and terrible.” He knows this firsthand; his home country of Italy was beset by a powerful earthquake on August 24th, its harrowing tremors and aftershocks claiming nearly 300 lives. When heartrending events like this occur, whether caused by natural disasters or man-made violence, it’s human nature to ask why, to wonder at the sad destiny or fate that allows so many lives to be claimed long before their time. But something equally profound also takes place: we, who are so often consumed by the frustrations, stresses, and disappointments of our own personal microcosm, begin to make a profound nascent shift into caring about the macrocosm. Apathy gives way to altruism; callousness is replaced by compassion. It’s as if all at once, we remember that we’re all in this together. That being able to give our empathy, care, and support to others is perhaps the greatest expression of our humanity.
We shouldn’t need to stand on the edge of a vast and astounding canyon, or wait for the aftermath of a significant and life-claiming event, to understand the depth and breadth our significance and value; to recognize our ability to be gracious and compassionate; to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open enough to receive, and to begin sharing those gifts with others. All is full of love. Sometimes all we need to do to see it and feel it is to close our eyes, and open our hearts. ♡
“You’ll be given love, you’ll be taken care of
You’ll be given love, you have to trust it
Maybe not from the sources you have poured yours
Maybe not from the directions you are staring at
Twist your head around, it’s all around you
All is full of love, all around you …”
Style & Pose
Just Because Top – Tess Tank Top (Fatpack for Maitreya Lara) *
Just Because Pants – Jen Capris (Fatpack for Maitreya Lara) *
Thalia Heckroth Shoes – Ciel Ankle-Strap Sandals (in Blush for Maitreya Mid) *
!Bang Poses – Recline 4 (Edited)
Destination & Inspiration
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. ♡
“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?‘”
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