“A proper community, we should remember also,
is a commonwealth: a place, a resource, an economy.
It answers the needs, practical as well as social and spiritual,
of its members — among them the need to need one another” — Wendell Berry
Rustica was one of the first furniture stores I ever visited in Second Life. My friend Maht Wuyts from The Velvet and I would go there at least a couple times a month. We had a photo studio and it was furnished with Rustica’s Couch of Many Colors and there was that sleek recliner that offered Grey Goose martinis. There was the sleeper sofa that opened up with a mouse click into a bed. Long billowy curtains that pooled on the floor. Man, we loved that place. It felt like a real shop, a bit over-crowded and messy. You know, like an old-fashioned place that is the opposite of a mall. Unlike many stores, when you visited Rustica, the owner might be sitting behind the counter and would even chat. So Max Graf has been an SL acquaintance and friend for ten years now. During all that time, he has been a friendly and generous member of Second Life’s community.
Sadly, he and his family have lost their home due to legal manipulations they may be able to overturn, but not in time to keep a roof over their heads. They risk homelessness without some help. Second Life is a proper community and proves it again and again, a place where people can admit to needing each other. Max asked people to shop at his store, but people, remembering all Max has done over the years to build SL community wanted to do more. That’s where Going to the Max came from, the knowledge that Second Life is a proper community.