April 6th, 2010 by Marianne McCann
Lately, I admit, I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts. There is so much change going on, much of which I actually think is good, and some that I’m not too sure about. Also, a majority of my close SL friends have moved on, or are not around as much any more for a variety of reasons. More than this, I tend to pick up a lot on the moods of others around me: there has just been so much negativity and unfocused anger lately — and that does get to me, even when it shouldn’t.
Because of this, I’ve felt the need to visit a few of the places i call sacred: the places I go to capture that sometimes elusive “spark” that made SL what it is for me. It’s also a look back into an Second Life that is largely gone now – the Second Life that caught my fancy.
I started on Orientation Island, like so many others. This temple at the end of Orientation Island is a spot I never quite attained in my original orientation — I got frustrated somewhere around the beachball, and lag walked into one too many rivers ’til a friend rescued me. Still sometimes I do come back here, just to remember my roots.
Montara Bridge was an early place I stopped at in my SL journey. It struck me with its simple beauty. I still think it’s a pretty place, even after all these years. I suspect it has a lot to do with my love of the highways, byways, and “public works” of this world. The places that we, as Second Life Residents, all get to share.
I’m not sure how I found Boardman initially, but I was struck by its suburban nature. It was like walking into a town, albeit a very idealized one. I was also struck by the promise of a community, a neighborhood. The corner park, and its Gazebo, was one of my earliest “stomping grounds.”
On my first visit to the lost forest of Kahruvel, I was still very new, and had no idea what the place was, or even if I was allowed to be there. Since then, I have found it to be a wonderfull place, full of old lore and mystery, yet also perfect for quiet contemplation. A recent gridquake seems to have damaged it severely, but I hope it will be returned to glory soon.
The Zen Gardens was an early find. I came across it accidently, going to another of my old faves, the long-gone DharmaEcho Garden. I watched here, as a total noob, a Resident like me first rezzing prims and setting up this space. I was entranced with the possibilities from that moment on.
The Sami Infohub is long gone, a vacant plot of Linden Land where once an infoub stood. I placed out a hub, though, if only for the time I was there. In my earliest days, it was home, a place I could log into away from the maddening throng that was the Ahern Welcome Area (my initial home location). I still come back here, on my Rez Day, and remember.
Livingtree, event hough it dates back to 2007, is about the “youngest” of these places I’ll talk about in this post. Still, it’s the first place I really got to really explore my ability to build and decorate, and still means a great deal to me. While i do spend countless hours in its workshops, the duck pond remains a place a relax and recoup.
Many other places I considered sacred and special are no more. DharmaEcho Garden, the daycare in Falcaria and Pathfinder’s place in Ambleside, for example. Others have changed dramatically over time, and are not really what they once were to me: the standing stones in Serenite being a big example of that. It’s Second Life, and things change.
Home is one of the biggies for me. It was an important part of my old SL life, back in Hundertwasser – then it became a sad place for me. Now I’ve a new home, and while it may never be the same as what the old Islandia home was to me, it’s still an important space.
In First Life, we’re a product of our biology, our families and the company we keep, and the places we’ve grown up and inhabited. I contend that the same is true in our second lives. These are the places that helped shape me, early on, and made me the avatar I am.