Category Archives: Great Places to Shoot

We have a need for enchantment

“We have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water.”

I am reading The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen. I think I will have to just buy this book and return the copy I am reading to the library. Like Wendell Berry, Jensen’s book is too rich in subject matter to just read. It will be one I want to go back to again and again. I am reading it slowly, pausing after each conclusion or big idea to think. The underlying theme is that by viewing our world as an object to possess and exploit instead of seeing it as this living, breathing subject whose existence is vital, we become alienated from the world and all sorts of other ills are natural consequences of treating everything as an object to own. The writing is beautiful and powerful and full of ideas that I want to remember. He wrote that ““we have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water.”
I think this is true. Wonder and awe are thinks we yearn for and they are most often found outdoors in the natural world.

“We have a need for enchantment that is as deep and devoted as our need for food and water.”

There is wonder, too, in Second Life®, at the beautiful worlds and stunning landscapes of our virtual world. It is less powerful, but no less real. There is no fresh, brisk breeze with the restorative power of fresh air, but there is the calm and soothing joy of beauty. Take a walk at The Trace Too and the sights and sounds will entrance you. Now if only they could produce virtual fresh air.
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it can restrain the heartless
Sanura Snowpaw made a heartfelt plea for help yesterday, one that was difficult for her to do because most of the time, she is the one answering the pleas of others. It is always hard for the givers to ask for help. But she is not asking for herself, not really, she is asking for her dog Kassie who needs an expensive surgery.

Of course, she is doing her part, too, putting everything in her store Somnia on sale at half price in hopes that folks who like her clothes will come and stock up, taking home twice as much and injecting some much-needed lindens to help take care of her dog. Since she always sells her items with a texture change hud with 8 colors, that is 90 lindens for 8 colors of this sweater and 90 lindens for 8 colors of this skirt. Seriously, even if you do not care about the dog, you should spend, spend, spend just to stock up at half off on wardrobe basics. Since she makes appliers, you can also get all your layering basics too.
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That’s how the light gets in

“There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.”

I love the music of Leonard Cohen. I have a playlist I love of Leonard Cohen covers and know nearly all his songs by heart. One of them, Anthem, is one of my favorites because although on one level it despairs of the world; it also calls us to act with hope. “Ah the wars they will be fought again.  The holy dove, she will be caught again, bought and sold and bought again. The dove is never free.” It is true, endless wars are a constant stream throughout history,  started by governmental leaders,  the “killers in high places who say their prayer out loud.”

But then there is the chorus.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring acknowledges that as bad as it is, there are still some things that you can do. Don’t let excuses stop you from doing what you can. “Forget your perfect offering” reminds me of Voltaire’s aphorism “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”  Do not wait for the perfect answer, the perfect solution, go with what you’ve got because good enough is better than nothing, and nothing is what you get if you wait for perfect. Everything we can do is going to be slightly imperfect, “there is a crack in everything” but it is those imperfections that reveal our humanity and “that’s how the light gets in.” I love how he asserts that it is in our imperfections that we will save ourselves.

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Go For It!

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second

So, this is not one outfit, but pieces from two, or three if you count my shoes, outfits that I put together. The Nisha blouse is paired with a solid black flirty flip skirt and the Kenia pencil skirt is paired with an elegant halter top. I was immediately drawn to the pencil skirt. I always am, it is one of my favorite forms in fashion. However, as much as I liked the halter, I struggled to get it to work with the alpha cuts on my mesh bodies. I noticed the blouse and thought that the two prints would work well together and produce a more exciting, bolder look than each print alone with  a solid item. Luckily for all of us, DE.Boutique releases their items as separate pieces, even though they are in one outfit. This gives us the freedom to do our own thing.

I will confess I am a little in love with Deborah Vos and DE. Boutique even though I have never met her or even sent or received an IM from her. It is just that I liked this outfit (there’s a bit of a story there) so well, I checked out her Marketplace and found so many things I want, with that combination of sophisticated and classic style and bold, modern sensibility that is completely in tune with my aesthetic. DE.Boutique is completely new to me, a discovery at this month’s showcase event The Instruments that runs through October 6th. They have a new sim, so delete your old landmarks and Teleport to The Instruments‘ brand new home.

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One stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night

one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night

“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

The Instruments, a monthly themed showcase of Second Life fashion and design opened today.  I was instantly drawn to BYRNE’s Eternal dress. It’s a shape I like and I love batik fabric. It always make me think of my three housemates in college who were from Malaysia and their seemingly endless supply of batik sarongs. It seemed like the only thing they ever wore. They gifted me with beautiful sarongs, though I never got the hang of making them secure enough to wear rolling skating like they did.

I like the form of the dress as well as the fabric. The ruffles complicated finding poses, of course, but that happens with most dresses that have ruffles off the side. I do wish the cuffs had not been rigged. It is easier to adjust the cuffs than adjust the arm. Alphas hide the arm, but the alpha cut on the mesh body did not line up with the cuffs, so I had to play around with my shape. It’s not that big a problem, I always save a copy and then go back to the original that I never edit.
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and the sun wields mercy

and the sun wields mercy
JUMO just released Arthuriana – a skirt and top combo in chocolate, oil, marsala, navy and violet The dress comes with a luxe wreath of gold and pearls, earrings, bracelets and a headpiece. However, I was inspired by the print  to take the outfit in a different direction.
and the sun wields mercyAs you can see, Arthuriana has Wow! factor aplenty with its design details such as the dramatic sweep of the skirt and drama of the cutout back.
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There is another sky

There is another sky...

There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields –
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!                        …Emily Dickinson

There is another sky...

I love the sweater and skirt from ur favorite one (u.f.o.) for Collabor88. They come in a wide range of colors and have a hint of fall, but are still lightweight and open for summer. Perfect transition clothing for September. That big knit bow is perfection.
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The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train

The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train

I went to Misfit Ghetto last night and saw this sign. It comes from Robert Lowell who said “The light at the end of the tunnel is just the light of an oncoming train.” Robert Lowell has been a favorite since I first discovered him in 7th grade. I was shy, a mumbler, constantly admonished to speak louder and my mother made me join the speech team. She believed in meeting challenges head on. I chose Extemporaneous Poetry as my specialty since I loved poetry and my mom made me memorize a poem a week. I figured I could get two for one out of the way.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train

For my first competition I drew “For the Union Dead” by Robert Lowell. The imagery bowled me over and I fell in love with his way of writing, though the poem was not without its problems for my 7th grade self. It used the n-word once, in quotes to indicate that was not a word Lowell would have used. It was a word I had never used and was certainly not acceptable. I had thirty minutes to prepare an introduction and decide how to address this dilemma. I punted and inserted the word soldiers instead. You know, as an adult, I think the person who picked the poems that day probably had not read them.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train

But also, from hindsight, I don’t mind, because that poem was thrilling to me. If you have seen the film Glory, you know the story memorialized in the statue he describes. But it was not the story, it was the images from phrases like his nose crawling like a snail on the aquarium glass and the yellow dinosaur steamshovels grunting as they work. Most of the poetry I had read (or my mom had chosen for me) had been prettier. She was a big Longfellow, Shelley and Shakespeare fan. Lowell was my introduction to a more robust kind of poetry. He felt rebellious and fierce and I gobbled him up. And yes, he was also bleak and grim and depressive – perfect for adolescence.
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Hints of autumn begin to gather

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

NYU has released fabulous button front shirts that tuck in and by tuck in, I mean there really is a tail that tucks in, they don’t just seem to tuck. The top also has a gorgeous yoked back with a single center pleat adding volume to the body of the shirt. There are coordinating skies in several plaids. The color palette is subdued and autumnal, appropriate now that the northern hemisphere heads back to school and the freshness of fall is in the air. If you look, you can see the skirt has a couple design details to elevate it from the ordinary, including a thoroughly modern peplum that is very different from the usual in that is drapes close to the body and is longer than usual. Unlike most peplums, it is not adding a lot of volume at the hips.

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

I stopped off at Cape Juniper which is an interesting sim. It has a wedding venue along the shore and a small town with a retro vibe. There is also this derelict and crumbling old church (I am assuming a church) that caught my eye and drew me in.
People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.

It didn’t really seem like part of the town, but it was still a lovely spot to visit and take pictures.
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Awaiting Myself on Both Sides

I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.

I am the shore and the ocean,
awaiting myself on both sides.

I travel
always arriving in the same place.”  
  ― Dejan Stojanovic, The Shape

Yesterday was a hard day for me. My mind was occupied with thoughts of friends in extremis, whose difficulties and hardships I cannot lighten. It was also the second anniversary of Squinternet’s death and I still miss her open-hearted friendship and humor. I guess in Second Life, as in my my first, when feeling sad and ineffective, I head for the water for new energy. Whether I find myself lakeside or on the shore of the sea or an ocean, there is something about the inexorable sound of the waves that comforts me. No matter what, the waves will continue, an infinite sound loop that I find comforting. 

I am the shore and the ocean, awaiting myself on both sides.

I may have felt sad on the inside, but I looked anything but on the outside. I was wearing this indecently sexy new swimsuit from Liziaah. It comes in five colors. I chose the Aqua, as you can see. The folder comes with all the standard sizes plus one made to fit Slink Physique, which I am wearing. I love the marine inspired embellishments that make me think this is the sort of swimsuit that Diane de Poitiers might have worn if Henry II had been the king of Atlantis instead of France.
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