the trace too

Waiting Where the Light Goes

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If in my last post I was fielding gentle riots inside my thoughts, this one finds me with absolute ants in my pants. Not presently, that is … the turbulence in my mind has soothed itself to a sort of truce between tranquility and unrest. But this last day or two, oh my stars. There’s a wonderful word that originated in the Italian neighborhoods in New York City and blossomed outward into my part of the state in the 1980s, which my mom picked up on and used on my brother and I with frequency. “You’re giving me agita,” she’d say when we were being particularly troublemaking or otherwise childlike. Agita comes from the Italian word acido, meaning heartburn, but New Yorkers used it to mean anxiety, agitation, or stress. And that’s what I had been feeling: a whole heapin’ helping of agita. Suffice it to say, the center could not hold for long. I either had to deal with it, or be driven crazy.

Something I’ve practiced for many years, though not as consistently as I’d like, is meditation. Having had little luck with mantras, my most blissful experience with it is lying in darkness, white noise or ambient music filling my mind, just focusing on my breathing. Inhale for 7 counts, exhale for 5 … always an unbalanced rhythm to keep my mind from wandering too far. So I spent some time meditating in the early morning hours before getting up to work on this picture, and I noticed when I was trying to make my mind settle, that everything causing me agitation kept coming back to my perceived lack of time. And this is a tricky one, because time is finite; we can’t get more of it no matter how hard we try. But we can manage how we spend it, and that’s what my thoughts were gently trying to express as they urged, eased, and compelled me into quietude.


Please click for full size.

“take the darkest hour, break it open
water to repair what we have broken
there’s something that you won’t show
waiting where the light goes
maybe anywhere the wind blows,
it’s all worth waiting for …”

Look

Maitreya Body – Lara v3.5
Genesis Lab Head & Skin – Melissa
Damien Fate Eyelashes – FATELashes v2.0
Avi-Glam Eyes – Elysian Eyes (SummerNight) New Release @ Cosmopolitan, through July 16th *
Exile Hair – Wisteria (Fifty Linden Friday HUD)

Style & Pose

Maxi Gossamer Jewelry – Boho Bliss Tassel-Tastic Necklace (Short 1)
TETRA Dress – Sahara Dress (Maitreya HUD) New Release @ Uber, through July 23rd *
Imeka Pose – Loli Pose 7

Destination & Inspiration

✈ Sights: The Trace
🎧 Sounds: Toad the Wet Sprocket – Windmills

Toward the end of meditation, I started to feel what I can only describe as a sensuous buzz, sort of ricocheting outward from my chest in all directions at once. And even though the lights were out and a sleep mask covered my eyes, I began to feel a kind of radiance and warmth, like sitting outside by the coals of a bonfire: close enough that you can still feel the heat, and be hypnotized by the crimson and gold as it gives off its lingering glow. I felt broken open, like the charred log anchoring the blaze, its skin blistered and carbonized, cleaving open its insides at last. I didn’t feel renewed, more like succumbed– and it’s a feeling I actually cherish more. Because I think I’m finally coming to peace with the understanding that I can’t see, experience, or please everything and everyone all the time. The gamer inside me who chases the Completionist goal, who wants to turn in every quest and pick up every stone unturned, will needfully take an overdue rest. I won’t ever truly stop trying to Do All The Things; it goes against my nature. But I have to be more kind to myself when time isn’t on my side. The things that matter most, they’re like embers: they linger patiently, persistently, just waiting to be stirred once more. And those most important things, they’re all worth waiting for. ♡

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 …”

Gold in the Air of Summer

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Years ago, I was in an unhappy relationship that was proving to be tricky to disentangle from, as we owned a small business together. In an effort to make things smoother between us, I did a lot of reading about how personality types differ, and how they can best mesh and mingle together. While the relationship ultimately ended, I have appreciation for that time in my life, as that was when I came to understand and embrace that I fall deeply into the wells of the Empath and the Sensualist. They both sound kinda sexy and alluring, but each has its interesting challenges.

An Empath experiences emotional events deeply, has a tendency toward melancholy when they’re not “feeling all the feels”, and can easily take on the mood of those around them. Sensualists are so into the things that provoke the senses – rich colors and appealing sights; evocative music; heady scents and tastes – that boredom comes easily when they’re not in some way aroused. This often leads to financial trouble (and probably some issues with addiction), as they feel compelled to continually chase and fuel their desire for stimulation.

Recently, someone asked me why I’m always so cheerful, and while I think they were playfully teasing, it gave me some food for thought. I think the Empath in me just tries to project the mood and feelings towards others like I would enjoy having reflected back at me; sort of a secular “do unto others” vibe. And when it comes to a place like Second Life which exists so much in the virtual, anything that’s particularly visually stimulating, like Flickr photography and style blogs, serves as the best possible stirring of the senses that I could hope for when the RL me can’t be physically inside the SL world. So when I’m browsing Flickr or immersed in Second Life in some way, happiness is often – as I’ve seen it beautifully and poetically written – “inhabiting my every molecule”. Or, at least, it’s valiantly trying its best to!

Gold in the Air of Summer
Please click for full size.

However, this morning I was feeling a bit blue, but I very much wanted to get another blog post done, so I cheered myself with every possible sensual experience I could think of. (Well, not every possible experience. Insert an appropriately sly, winky emoji here!) But I poured myself a hot cuppa, put on a beloved Spotify playlist, picked out some of my favorite new releases from the debut Luxe Box and the current round of Tres Chic, and found myself a beautifully cozy perch in the always mood lifting The Trace Too region to watch the waves. The warmest, most inviting windlight I could find (with my compliments and sincere thanks to Torley), was that extra boost I needed to feel a true rising in my thoughts and levity in my heart.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
Ears // Steking Ears Season 5 by Mandala
Hair // Luxe Box May (Size A) by Magika for Luxe Box May 2016

Style

Top // Dakota Blouse (Lace Maitreya) by Stories&Co by Flowey for Luxe Box May 2016
Shorts // Liza (Maitreya Fatpack) by EVANI for Tres Chic, through June 10th
Shoes // Vitality Sandals (Black for Maitreya Flat) by REIGN

Destination & Inspiration

Location // The Trace Too
Song Spark // Kings Of Convenience – Gold in the Air of Summer

Sometimes, the best possible balm for a trying day or a blue mood is to find the things that stir and compel you, turn them up to 11, fill your mind and view with their unique light, and then bask in the warming glow. ♡

“I think I brought everything we need,
so don’t look back,
don’t think of the other places that you should have been;
it’s a good thing that you came along with me.
You’ll shine like gold in the air of summer …”

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss

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Happy new week, dear friends! I know the usual mood is to be grumbly about the weekend’s passing, or to have “a case of the Mondays”, as they say. But I’ve just been so jubilant and merry these last few days, that the dawning of another lovely week full of promise and possibilities is something to look forward to. I know, I know – I sound like one part Snow White, and another part a very dedicated MDMA-enthusiast or similar! But honestly and truly, I’m not intoxicated, a Disney princess, or an intoxicated Disney princess (although that sounds like an absolute blast!) I’m just really, really enjoying being back in Second Life again. It’s so good to be home. ♡

Another thing that finds me so happy is the discovery that familiar sights and sims are still in-world and open for visiting and exploration. One of those favorites for me is The Trace Too, a gorgeous beachside sim with such a lovely vibe and peaceful ambiance. It was the perfect locale for my pictures as I enjoyed my return visit, and paid quiet homage to places that had left the grid, perhaps never to be seen again. But this fluidity of our virtual world has a certain grace to it, not unlike a beautiful dancer: you become captivated by the sights, but in order to keep from being in stasis, a sense of vitality and motion can be essential.

I’m getting a little esoteric and poetic, and it’s probably the lack of sleep playing with my thoughts, but as much as I appreciate and adore sims that are “institutions” on the grid, I also appreciate the new iterations that rise from the ashes, or the new inspirations that make the grid a constantly evolving place. But while there are some days when I’m mesmerized and magnetized to discovering new places, there are others when I just want to set adrift on blissful memories of the past …

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
Please click for full size.

Look

Body // Lara Mesh Body v3.5 by Maitreya
Head & Skin // Melissa by Genesis Lab
* Hair // Convolution by Rezology
* Eyes // Ardent Eyes (Aqua v2) by Avi-Glam for Cosmopolitan, through May 21st
* Tattoo // Madi Tattoo (Black) by Aurica Store for Fair Play, through May 27th

Style

Jewelry // Aditya Headchains (Fatpack) by ECCO for Thrift Shop, through May 30th
Top // Dalena Laced Crop Top (Fatpack) by Blueberry
Skirt // Lise Skirt (Coral) by Miss Chelsea for Uber, through May 22nd

Pose & Destination

* Pose // Brenda Poses (#6 and #1) by Label Motion New Release!
Location // The Trace Too

Song Spark

PM Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss