Tag Archives: MiaMai

Noli Me Tangere

Noli me tangere

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.

Sir Thomas Wyatt

Lea8 is home to the stunning Love, Henry, an installation that celebrates one of the most consequential love affairs of history, that between Henry VII and Anne Boleyn. But Henry was not the first man to fall in love with Anne. Before him was Harry Percy and Sir Thomas Wyatt who wrote that poem about her after he had been warned off. He went off to Italy for a while, though he came back in time to be caught up in the contrived ruse to eliminate Anne to make way for the third wife who finally gave Henry the son he so desperately needed. Noli me tangere

Henry and Anne are a popular subject because love matches are rare in royal history and their story is so very rich with passion and drama. However, their story is also important because the world would be very different if Henry had not fallen so desperately in love with Anne. This led to his rupture with the Catholic Church and with Spain. It’s possible without passion urging him forward, he would have waited for Catherine, who was not well, to die before seeking a new, young and fertile wife. Spain did not have Salic law and he may have looked to their example and pushed for a change in English law so Mary could inherit. He definitely would have married her off before menopause so she would have been able to have children. Henry would never have raided the wealth of the church and England would never have had the funds to build its great navy.

While it is possible Mary could have married her cousin James V and united Scotland and England, I doubt Henry would want a son-in-law in waiting on his northern border. It is too bad, we could have been spared Mary Queen of Scots and the countless books making a heroine of a relentlessly stupid woman. It is more likely Mary would have married her Spanish cousin Charles V (father of her eventual husband) and, if Henry had no son, he would have ruled when Mary took the throne. Without the war with Spain, the British would not have defeated the Spanish at sea and both North and South America would have been Spanish colonies. England would have remained a Catholic country and there would never have been a Glorious Revolution to rid her of a Catholic king which means John Locke may have never written his treatises on government that were the foundation for the American, French,  Vietnamese and many other revolutions

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The Arborea gown from The Annex is a stunning ecru silk taffeta gown worthy of a queen. It has lovely leaf print panniers.

Protestantism might have still spread throughout Europe, though, and brought with it The Enlightenment and democracy, but it would have been slower and later and it is possible it would have been suppressed far, far longer. Religious wars and persecutions probably would have continued even beyond the 40 Years War because Spain, and with it, the Holy Roman Empire, would have not lost so much power and money to England and would have had more resources to wage war against Protestantism. The British might never have become a worldwide Empire without its great navy, the direct result of its war with Spain when the Spanish King tried to overthrown Anne and Henry’s daughter Elizabeth. Since Spain’s method of colonization was very different from England’s model, the entire world would be vastly different.  Continue reading

Among Punishments and Ruins

Among Punishments and Ruins

We are living even now among punishments and ruins…Wendell Berry

Portland is not burning, but much of the Pacific Northwest is. Today, the smoke is thick and heavy and makes my throat sore. I get frequent updates from friends in Washington, Idaho and eastern Oregon. Wildfire smoke covers the region like a shroud and a new mother frets because even indoors the air irritates her eyes and wonders what it might be doing to her infant. Trying to be upbeat, a young woman snaps a selfie wearing a bandana to protect herself from the smoke with the comment, “The Sundance Kid Goes Grocery-Shopping.”  I tell a friend to go through her old photos and gather pictures for her friend whose home on the Nez Perce reservation was destroyed, knowing from my own experience that among the most enduring losses of a fire are the pictures and memories of childhood.

The wettest rainforest in the United States is burning. Widely and silently understood, the reason there are wildfires in a rainforest is perfectly clear to the people, but seldom expressed by the powerful. It reminded me of something Wendell Berry wrote. “The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war, but have not the courage to tell us we must be less greedy and less wasteful.”

Berry also wrote, “Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”

Among Punishments and Ruins

Insilco North makes me think of a fire-scorched planet, scraped bare

WrongAlthough the science is settled,  you do not have to understand science to know whether we should act or not. All you have to do is consider what the consequences are for being wrong. If those who say we must act to save the environment are wrong, the worst thing that will happen is we waste some money, perhaps some people will lose jobs and maybe there may be a recession while the economy adjusts. It won’t be permanent. If the people who say do nothing are wrong, well, the consequences are devastating, permanent and fatal. With the consequences of a wrong decision so completely out of balance, why is there even a debate?  To go once again, to Wendell Berry, “We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us.”
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Hold Fast to Dreams

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Langston Hughes, one of America’s greatest poets, wrote that we must “hold fast to dreams” for if they die, life is like a bird who has broken wings and cannot fly. When dreams go, he wrote, “Life is a barren field frozen with snow.” I think this is an important truth that we must all hold onto. Dreams animate us. They keep us from drifting into a stagnant contentment. Chuck Palahniuk wrote “Let me never be content.”

Sometimes people stop seeking happiness, settling for contentment. I think contentment is a trap. It is a yield sign on life’s highway. That’s where dreams come in. Unlike goals, they need not be realistic, they can be far-fetched, but they can set a framework for realistic goals that guide us toward self-fulfillment and happiness.

It is more important to have dreams than to achieve them. Hope is more powerful than success and hope is what dreams are made of.
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My Slink Obsession Brings Us Full Circle

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I’m not obsessed
So don’t forget it
It’s just a silly phase I’m going through

I must confess that clothing appliers amuse me. After all, when I began back in 2007, most clothing was made of textures applied on the avatar’s system layer. Details like buttons and collars and cuffs were usually drawn on and even photo sourced clothing had an air of unreality to it. Flexis and sculpts added depth and form, but they did not add verisimilitude. And then came mesh and there was a revolution in fashion where most of the design effort was focused on the forms, the shape, the buttons, collars and other details and the fabrics were added later. Because the barriers to entry for mesh creation are higher in terms of skills and software, several designers retreated and retired. Now that mesh bodies have replaced the system body for thousands of us, we are back to applying textures, this time on the mesh body. It does seem like we have come full circle – though with a distinct revolution in quality.

For example, this swimsuit from MiaMai is put on with an applier. It’s from the quarterly My Slink Obsession event that opens tomorrow. Certainly there are lots of mesh swimsuits and even several that don’t flash unsuspecting bystanders, though I think they are in the minority. However an applied swimsuit has its advantages, especially for those bystanders when one is sitting down and shifting positions in a chair. Another reason to love appliers is how much easier it makes layering. All of us have struggled with trying on a dozen blouses trying to fine one that will fit under a jacket and longed for the days of system clothing when layering was as easier as one, two, three. This brings back that ease coupled with the higher quality of the mesh body.
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The Hydrangea God Surveys His Minions

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From the bottom of the garden, enthroned in his earthenware pot,
the hydrangea god surveys his minions— Rosanna Warren (listen here)

Who does not love hydrangeas? They blossom with such abundance and generosity, their palette of colors at once delicate and wild. Oregon is awash in hydrangeas and their leaves are budding now. I thought I had seen every color of hydrangea until I saw this gown from Gizza with the black umbels of hydrangea. Now I know all about adding or subtracting aluminum phosphate to make soil more or less acidic or alkali to change hydrangea color, but how did they get black. I turned to Professor Google and learned they simply paint the umbels. However, the effort pays off with a gorgeous drape of hydrangeas for the neck and headpiece that accompany this gorgeous gown.
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Serendipity shows her face again. These bracers from MiaMai for We <3 Role Play were in the same grouping of notices waiting for me when I logged in. They were sent with a few hours of each other. Now some might thing they are rough-hewn in contrast to the delicacy of the dress, but contrasts between hard and soft can be exciting and the silver petals on the braces are reminiscent of the hydrangea petals.

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Rockabilly Red

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The theme for this month at Genre is Rockabilly and Fission’s Paula dress is pure Rockabilly. It comes in black, pink, blue and red and of course, I had to go with Rockabilly Red.
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A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee

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Relaxing at Agent Cooper’s desk with a damn fine cup of coffee from Schadenfreude.

When my father died, my sisters called to tell me. It was not unexpected and was, in many ways, a relief for him and everyone who loved him, but that does not lessen the loss or the finality of death. They gave me the news and I sat there, quietly stunned at how much more painful it was than Thought it would be. I think I whimpered, trying not to cry. So my oldest sister said, “Go make yourself a coffee. It’s a good thing. I’ll call you back after you’ve had a coffee.” I had to laugh to myself, because coffee as comfort is so very much the legacy of my dad, a first generation Swedish American.

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Such a messy desk! some of the mess comes in a great collection of clutter from Tres Blah at The Arcade that are must have pieces to turn houses into homes.

Coffee is a ritual for Scandinavians who consume more coffee per capita than any other people in the world. Most people in the US are familiar with coffee breaks at the work place, but in a Swedish American home, there are coffee breaks every day, when we would all sit down together and enjoy a good cup of coffee with some bread and cheese or some fruit or a dessert. And by all, I mean all. Children get coffee with milk as soon as they are old enough to hold a cup without spilling it. Continue reading

In Living Color

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How many of us have predominantly black, grey, and white clothing? How many homes have all white walls and neutrals with a “pop” of accent color? We don’t have achromatopsia, so why do we live like we do? Why are neutrals considered more tasteful than active, vibrant colors? 

Did you know that those classic white statues from ancient Rome and Greece were not originally white? They were painted and full of bright gaudy color. I wonder sometimes if the centuries of elevating their pristine monochromatic grandeur are why we are so shy with color in our lives today.
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Imagine If Jane Austen Got Angry

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This Spring session of The Arcade has one of the most exciting Arcade sets of all time. For once, it’s a good thing to get lots of commons while seeking your rare. You will need several pieces of the common wall to surround your manor house with a beautiful courtyard. Anyway, it’s just an extraordinarily complete collection with 2 houses, an outbuilding, landscaping and interior furnishing, even a well and a wooden cart. 

 

Yesterday was World Book Day. That, combined with the wonderful Primavera in Toscana set from 8f8 at The Arcade got me thinking about my favorite books of the past year.  What rose to the top was Elena Ferrante’s magnificent Neapolitan novels. Now, the novels mainly take place in a poor neighborhood in Naples, not in a rich manor home in Tuscany, but know, we Americans are supposed to think there is no difference, right?

Actually, the wall reminds me so much of the wall surrounding the Spanish military base where I was living with a Spanish family while attending my senior year in Algeciras, Spain. The one difference is that the wall in Spain had flowers on the top, trailing down the white walls. There were always two guards outside with a sign “Todo por la patria” on the wall next to the guard station. Can you imagine an American military base with a wall covered with flowers?

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I love the contradictions in this dress and coat from NYU. NYU specializes in minimalist design, the aesthetic beauty of a dress and coat coming from the lines and forms of the clothing, not from embellishment or patterns. The dress has this severe post-war austerity except that slit on the skirt is thoroughly modern and not the least bit austere.

John Freeman of The Australian wrote of Elena Ferrante, “Imagine if Jane Austen Got Angry.” The Neapolitan novels tell the story of two women, from their childhood to adulthood. There is a lot of anger in her novels, but also humor and love. They seem so raw and honest, as though the author cannibalized her life to tell the story, though we cannot know as Elena Ferrante is very private. Still, the narrator in this Neapolitan tetralogy is named Elena and plans to be a writer. In terms of the usual publicity authors relentlessly pursue, she said she did all she needed to do for her book, she wrote it. I love that!
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The Healing Power of Sprites

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We can imbue talismans with tremendous power through the powers of faith and suggestion. If you believe something will work for you; it often will. Monica Outlander of MiaMai has created in real life and now in Second Life®, a collection of talismanic sprites that  can bring health and happiness to those who invest the power of belief in them. If your worldview is more prosaic and devoid of supernatural beliefs, they can also be enjoyed for their quirky adorability and the come with a magnificent free shelf that can be used to display these sprites, but I think I will also rez a few more of these shelves for otters things as well.

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There’s also a home protection sprite hanging on a branch that is equally adorable. The gorgeous house is the Hudson Townhouse from Scarlet Creative and can be found at Collabor88 this month.
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