Category: Culture


callistarlightBack again after another long absence from blogging here on my “SL” blog, Calliope’s Metaverse, and on today’s Equinox and the start of Spring seems a good time to pause for a moment and check-in. I write here when I have something to say or when big changes occur, which seems to be every 2 or 3 months. The creation energy of spring has been thick in the air lately, and I feel myself flowing with the shift and using it to manifest the future.

It has been a couple of real life years since I’ve reinvented myself much here in SL, and my time as an island mystic has been extra good. SL has been one of the best spiritual partners I could find, and the others I needed I found here too. I was in the best place I could be in both worlds for the entire 2012, and the result has been transformational.

There is a great shift going on in our worlds and cultures as we move from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age, and the theme of that shift is from duality to unity consciousness, from mental superiority to having an open heart. Love and kindness are the new currency.

Characteristic of the shift for me is that this is the first blog post here I’ve written from the perspective of the “real life” even as I sit on my cushion with my kitties in SL writing this. Where once Second Life was my writer’s retreat and most everything I wrote during that time was written in-world, I find I seldom write in SL anymore. What once felt like a refuge for my creative process now seems busy and distracting. Me, and the way I experience energies, have changed greatly since coming to SL in late 2009, and I’ve spent the first months of 2013 reinventing myself in both worlds.

Life cycles quickly and often when living at the pace of virtual, and this is just the place to reinvent yourself quickly and easily. I’ve had several lives in my just over 3 years here, and I don’t mean “alts”, which I have a few of somewhere. Even with all the options of who you can be here in SL, this magical place has always been most enjoyable just being me. My avatar turned out to be much like me early on and hasn’t changed much since…on the outside.

On the inside, change has been breathtaking. My path to Second Life was paved with a friend’s research paper that essentially said humans and their emotions work the same in virtual as they do in the physical. That is certainly true as I’ve experienced SL, and for me Second Life has been a wonderful school, therapist and teacher providing a place to experience and learn so much about human emotions.

So interestingly enough in my latest Second Life incarnation which I’m calling, “evolved slacker”, it is the first time my only goal in SL is to just have some fun and use my SL for what I think remains the coolest thing here, meeting people from all over the world. For while I’m a slacker here that other world has gotten pleasantly busier with new projects.
slportal

Second Life has always been billed as a place to try out ideas at a smaller scale before going live with them either in virtual or physical, and that has worked well for me to try some new things here. SL has had a big hand in me finding my own work in the world, which I talk about here sometimes, LoveSoulandSpirit.com.

So I’m going to get back to where I left off some time ago, wandering the sims of SL looking for beautiful spots and interesting people, and doing so with a bliss I’ve never known. The portals to still other realms are endless here so it will be fun.

Happy, Magical, Blessed Spring Equinox 2013!!

All Love,
Calliope ♥

Advertisements

Christmas in Second Life

christmasinsl1Sitting in a gold gown on a Mediterranean beach on Christmas morning, chilling with my kitties… I still love SL!

It was Christmas season a couple years ago that I had the occasion to spend much time logged in while most in both worlds were busy with seasonal activities. I was happy to be in a warm house in a comfortable chair with screaming internet access during my off-season, and I had just found Second Life. The adventurer in me found this whole new world to explore, and I took off for things unknown. A shaman’s paradise, Second Life has brought so many important people across my path here, starting from the first or second day. But I did not quite see it as that in the beginning. What it quickly became was the best therapy I had ever hoped to find. Instead of analyzing this and that, you can just live through it in a real enough sense for it to be quite effective with a bit of imagination. Bits of life you missed or would have liked to have tried are pretty doable with a little thought.

It was in fact a paper about the validity of social research in virtual worlds, and Second Life in particular, that led me inworld. Editing said paper for a friend, by the time I’d read it for the umpteenth time and seen a couple of screenshots, I was intrigued enough to create an account and see what’s up. Now looking back with new perspective I’ve gained since coming here, I see what an absolutely critical piece of my path my Second Life here has been. I have found so much goodness here in many forms, and it has been literally life changing.

christmasinsl2These days I don’t do much in SL except what I’m doing today, sitting on the beach and looking out at the vastness and taking in all that is going on around me. It seems to be a full time job these days to work at maintaining presence in each moment, but I get so many messages that it’s the most important thing we should be doing as we pass through these very interesting and beautiful, if not turbulent, times we are in the midst of.

When I came to Second Life I’d heard that it was the perfect place to learn new things, try new things, develop new things, all with very low cost and an accelerated timeline. Sounds perfect for developing a new career or new lifestyle, and I’ve had several lives here in SL just like I’ve had in the other world. The last life I’ve been living here in SL has really resonated for me to the degree that it has become my First Life, or Real Life as some say, and that has taken me more and more to that realm of Real Life where it is now manifesting.

As we’ve past the many cosmic events and activations since around Summer Solstice back in June, this year of 2012 has seemed like a year of completion and clearing. 2013 is feeling more and more a time for action with our new Hearts and new awareness, and I feel fully in the flow of that already.

In this amazing time of transition I wish you much Peace, endless Blessings of Love, and all Goodness for your Path. You are Beautiful, You are here for a reason, and You are Loved! All Goodness for Your 2013!

Love,
Calliope

Sowing the Seeds of Love

In the two months since I’ve last posted here there have been more awakenings and activations in me and many around me, than all the time in this life previous to that post way back in September. It’s 2012, baby, and as we head into the last month before Solstice, it is just one long wave now.

And have you heard? The word is Love!

It’s pretty clear to me at this point that the end of the world we’ve heard so much about is really the end of the 3D ego world for anyone who chooses to live and experience this life in a Heart-awakened, aware, engaged, Love-filled way. The Age of Aquarius is upon us, and learning to live from that space puts you directly in the flow of what is coming. If you haven’t noticed the awakenings in people right around you…keep looking. Often times those awakenings are experienced first as tragedy with our own personal worlds falling apart. If this is happening to you, you will come to find it had to happen for you to move on, grow, heal, evolve.

It seems we are going to get to this new age by our Hearts awakening. Much has been said about this year of 2012 we are living in and the prophecies it brings. I can tell you that “the end of the world” is indeed already happening. Activations, energies, downloads, whatever you call them, are coming in almost constantly now. I feel the most important thing we can do is to maintain an awareness to what is going on around us.

What seems to be ending is the world of duality, mental battles, and precision intellect at the expense of Love and Compassion for the other inhabitants of Gaia…all the inhabitants of Gaia; and Gaia herself.

If you’re worried about new cars or job titles on sinking ships you’re going to miss it. It’s the end of the world as we know it, but it’s going to be very subtle to most. You’ll have to open your Heart to participate as well…that’s the price of admission. But no worries, from all I read those not ready will get their chance too when they are ready. Me, I’m feeling ready for whatever, and I have never had more Love in my Heart, nor more enthusiasm about giving it away.

How do you activate your Heart Chakra? I’m not quite sure even having gone through it. Perhaps it’s the actual enlightenment we hear so much about, and so many of us seek, even if we are not quite sure what it is. When you open your Heart, are finally able to let go of enough of your hurts to really feel what’s real, you will feel other beautiful Hearts reaching out to yours; it’s like learning a new language. Now that my Heart has awakened I feel so many others sending me love as I wander about.
For me, awakening my Heart has been very much about learning to feel and communicate through my Heart. I had to let go of needing the right mental answer to keep my story going, and to start to feel what I was really feeling emotionally in that moment. My Heart also had to open more to do that, and I had to do a lot of work on learning to Love myself. I also needed my awakened Heart to learn a new level of those hurts from the past, or behaviors that no longer serve. It now seems like new discoveries about me and what is, are like keys that open new gates to pass through.

My Junra, Jon, seemed to have quite a lot to do with awakening my Heart, a process we seemed to share together. I found many keys I needed during that time, and not all at once; there is no treasure chest of keys waiting for you just around the bend. This is a trail, and you’ll need one key to even find the next, or know what it is. But the farther you get down the trail, the more goodness you’ll find.

My keys had names like forgiveness, non-judgement, trust, courage, authenticity, and I thought I’d gone through these doors before. I had, but there are usually more; and when you’re dealing with this intense, deep exchange that twin energies brings, you will always find more. It’s one of the reasons Spirit conspires to bring you together when you are ready. Maybe not for the reasons you think, but you will likely have no doubt about the connection when you meet someone you were supposed to find.

So much goodness was brought to me in the few months we were mostly together, in the form of lessons, Love, and some fun. The activations and awakenings during that time brought new awareness about everything, and also new challenges to set up the next lessons. After a while you feel like a prize-fighter just trying to get through the next round; trying to slay more ego, more pain body.

Jon and I were definitely working with Twin Soul energies, and the awareness it brought me about who I am was profound. New levels of hurts, and gifts, and insights are brought to the surface with this kind of intense Love, and it also brings a similar amount of ego stuff to deal with. Our stories have become so comfortable and protective to all of us, we are vigilant in their protection, and we’re so afraid to let go of them. They run so deep we can’t even see when they are sabotaging us and the goodness we seek.

Our stories are important because they describe our path and the thin threads that got us to exactly where and who we are today. But those stories can become a lot to carry with us as we lighten our loads to soar. We can loosen our focus on them, and let go of using them to frame the future.

If we stay strong, and feel what’s real, we can learn to discern the difference between romantic ego Love that wants happily ever after, and a spiritual partnership that has brought you all it could or was supposed to. It’s in the letting go we find what is supposed to happen next.

Were Jon and I, Twin Souls? Grins… not likely I came to realize at some point. How long had I known? Probably from the beginning. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Twin Souls is a label. Human utterings to describe a Divine and beautiful energy between two souls. As Genesis says, (no, the rock band)

“a magic that a name would stain.”  

Labels don’t seem to work for most things anyway, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, or any aspect of identifying differences among people rather than recognizing the many ways we are all alike.

If you feel some energies like the Twin energy, follow them while you’re following your Heart. Stay in the moment and don’t get attached to a label or an idea. It will be good as long as it’s good, whether that is few months or a lifetime and beyond. From what I’ve learned you should do the same regardless whether your beloved is your twin or not; love them, love yourself, stay present, and be kind. The new age we are entering will bring different kinds of relationships; relationships based in spiritual growth and evolution rather than romance or even having a family. The essence of such a relationship is about the time the two of you remain in the co-creative process, and labels and notions of ownership have no place in the relationships of the new age.

I am having this Anthony Robbins kind of excitement and enthusiasm all the time now, but it’s different. It’s coming from my Heart. It’s a giddiness, a lightness, a zone…it’s the flow. And the more Love I send out, the more seems to come right back at me.

What I learned in the end from my experience with Jon, is that I didn’t need someone else to feel this immense Love I have now, or to give it away lavishly. I feel in this flow of Love all the time now, and it has raised my vibration to the point I know what I call out for will find me. What am I after? Not a thing I don’t already have. More people to wander across my path so I can give them Love would be just fine. Some Heart space, authentic exchange, kindness, all good things too. But what makes my Heart sing now is to Just Be; Tiesto had it right. Quiet soul has led to quiet mind, and I now experience all of life through all my Chakras very profoundly.

Some of us are not ready to bare our souls and face our demons, but there is no better time than now. So many others will feel you and see you, and if you look, there are those around you right now, ready to catch you if you need. You will find afterward, it was no harder to let go of this stuff than it has been to carry it around all these years, and you can’t yet conceive of the gifts and goodness that await you on the other side. That ridiculous happiness you see in some others is yours too just for the asking, and the taking. You just have to let go.

This Heart opening and healing applies to people and communities alike, virtual world and concrete world too. We need to lead with our Hearts, and put our energy into building Heart connections one Heart at a time. Technology exists in many varieties to pass information among ourselves and enable gatherings where we might sit in Heart space. But technology and the big numbers it can work with should not take precedence over making the actual connections. Those connections are now connections of the Heart, and require us to be truly present in each moment we share with another in holding or creating authentic Heart space.

When you meditate next, try this one..”What prevents me from opening my Heart enough that I can forgive all and everything?” Should be interesting…smiles. Oh, and if you don’t meditate…you should. It’s easier than you think, and you will need it along the way.

Much Love to you All! Open your Heart and give some Love to the next soul that crosses your Path!

Conversations on Awakening

Heart-shaped Love Island at Sedona's PlaygroundI’ve been having some adventures in the embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted here. Islands, chakra meditation, kitties, griefers, snow, Occupy, more snow, and finally finding my way to another island, Love Island at Sedona’s Playground.

We’ll catch up on all of that soon, but first I wanted to tell you about my latest Second Life adventure, which has been inspired by hanging out with the kitties at Love Island.

I’ve launched a discussion group around the big campfire there to talk about the Awakening that is happening everywhere.

Have you felt it?

It seems many people in all the worlds are awakening to…what are they awakening to? That is a big part of the conversation, and answers are as varied as people. For me, it is people awakening to the bigger picture, to a connection to Spirit many never find in churches or religions, to truth from blogs, and pics from Smartphones, and alternative media that most busy people never see. Perhaps the most important thing we are awakening to is the fact that we are all connected to each other.

My experience with Occupy SL and Occupy SF has shown me that SL can be a very effective place for that conversation to take place. SL provides us a level of anonymity, if we choose, that can only enhance the conversation about topics many are fearful to talk about in the culture of First Life in 2011. Here in SL our ideas can be more freely expressed without fear of being ridiculed, harassed or punished for speaking what we believe.

But, what is it that we do believe?

That is what fascinates me!

Spiritual AwakeningThese conversations on awakening are, for me, people coming together to each blend their ideas with their own imprint and energy, with the ideas of others. Then like a wholesome, tasty soup we’ve layered with yummy ingredients and allowed plenty of time to simmer, we each take the conversation with us. We can use this soup as we go about our lives to feed and enlighten those in our paths.

One of the main things the Occupy movement has reinforced for me is the strength in each individual as they add their energy to the whole. This opposed to an organization that already has a vision and agenda, and they need you to basically see the same thing and add your energy to make the effort grow and move.

It was the collective energy and the spark I saw in so many eyes at that first Occupy march in San Francisco in late September that showed me the power in the coming together of those that have awakened. That feeling was reinforced over the next few weeks at the Occupy camp as I saw those individual souls stand together and refuse to give others their voice and momentum. The ranks of the Occupiers quickly grew beyond those at camp. Solidarity with other activist and labor groups showed how we can each champion or focus on a more specific area to bring about change, and also lend our energy to a larger movement such as Occupy making change at a group level.

Through my own awakening about how badly our government was governing, and their part in the economic plunder and complete disregard for human rights over profit, I began to see the most powerful way to fight back against the insanity that seems intent on destroying our quality of life as individuals, was to awaken more of those individuals. Or at least help it to happen.

Conversations on Awakening was born!

It is my intent to bring together some of those individuals in SL so we can all be in the same place to talk to each other. To talk about who we are, what we think, what we see, what we believe, and what we want. The General Assemblies at Occupy SF showed me something I’ve learned through my travels in the last few years; everyone just wants to be listened to, hopefully heard, and recognized as existing; that they are here, and that matters. In the process it can get a little messy as some of us have not had many chances at speaking our truth.

Conversations on Awakening is a place to give people that voice.

Lots of Love,

Calliope

Random music: Steely Dan – Aja

Picasso v. the Internet

I never thought it would come down to this.

But I had to choose.

Picasso or the Internet.

I’ve had some struggles getting decent, reliable Internet service where I live in San Francisco. It’s not that it hasn’t been available, just not to me. Other priorities have claimed enough of my meager artist stipend these last few months to prevent me from being able to order my own hookup until this month.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to maintain my online life with a neighborhood wireless connection that has the most interesting patterns to it. It would be fun to watch the times all during the nite and day when it gets busy or doesn’t, except that I find myself online at too many of those hours just trying to accomplish simple tasks. In the pursuit of said online life, I’ve been working a lot of those ‘round the clock hours trying to get things done.

Now I think I finally, really, honestly, reliably, have an Internet connection on order, and a date it’s supposed to happen.

It’s taken some detective work, and some naively patient waiting, only to find that gatekeepers on both sides of that coveted Internet connection have been giving inaccurate info for a couple months. I’ve been trying to get the really good service that’s available here, hi-speed cable modem, but it finally comes to light that my building did not know which carrier they’d approved. Turns out it was the other one.

The other service looks good, although based on phone lines, and I race to get an order placed. Again I get to the page that says, “no, not at your address. The good Internet service is not available to you.” It’s starting to feel like I’m living in a poor neighborhood on the Information highway, as well as in the physical world.

Responding to the offer of a “Live” chat to help me along, “they” find I really do qualify for the good stuff. At least according to them. I say “they” because while I sense there is a live person behind the chat window, they are typing in canned responses straight from the legal department.

Ironically the connection I’m on to place the order starts blinking out.

Finally, I do sense spontaneous words in the chat window as the chatter sends me a link to place the order. I start the process there, and woohoo; it likes my address this time!

Then it hits me!

You! Yes you, have just qualified to have a functional, reliable, online life. You have just made the cut between the haves and have-nots in the information fueled society we live in.

Had my name not been on that list, or rather my living cubicle in this fabulous city I live in, it would have had quite real consequences for me in terms of livelihood, education, and social life.

I’ve been in my building in San Francisco’s famous Tenderloin neighborhood for a few months now and getting settled into a more regular life after quite a journey in the past year that happily delivered me to this fabulous city along the way. I have come to love this crazy vortex I find myself living in the middle of, where a theatric production of real life unfolds from my third story window view in every minute.

I also feel quite blessed to live in and have housing at all in this very expensive, high demand city, but frankly, much more of my life takes place through my computer screen.

Another wonderful thing about San Francisco is the hella cool museums and the exhibitions we get here. Right now there is Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne and Renoir from the Stein Collection @ SFMOMA, Dutch and Flemish Masterworks @ Legion of Honor, Gertrude Stein and Charlotte Salomon @ Jewish American Contemporary Museum, and  the Musée National Picasso, Paris Collection at the DeYoung.

I’ve been trying to see Picasso at the DeYoung for a couple months now, I mean, how can you miss Picasso when it comes to your city, if you’re even in a city where it comes to?  On the free museum day once a month it’s $15.00, on regular days it’s $25.00. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s been more than I’ve had left at the end of my month the last couple months, and now this one too it seems.

In the order process for the Internet package it got to the hard questions…the security check. None of the answers I have these days are good ones. I settled on “Self-employed” as I usually do on these things knowing it is usually the kiss of death on credit related applications. Sure enough, there’s a problem; but alas, also a solution. Your rate for information access, you freelance writer and starving artist, is five months paid in advance plus the modem.

Quickly I start to do math in my head…I know I have enough for it all, but barely. I take a millisecond to consider…then I pounce! No looking back now! Food, cell phone, creature comforts, heh, who needs them? I’m going back to surfing like the upper crust baby!

So I pressed the button, and waited for the ramifications to set in. Hmmm, still seems to be good. I can get through yet another lean month if you will just stream music for me!

Then it hit me…Picasso! Again! Noooo!

Picasso will again have to wait until next month, and as luck has it, there are two months left. This month it will be Gertrude Stein and Charlotte Salomon which I’ve got a  free ticket to.

Will work for Art!

See you soon,

Calli

Love for Norway

I’ve not really known what to think about the tragic murders that took place in Norway this past week. I admit to not always keeping up on major news events like this, and in thinking about it, it feels like I have become overwhelmed by the news of such events.

As mainstream media aims to desensitize us with spin and marketing to make scenes such as has happened seem commonplace, for me it has come to feel like this kind of intense media coverage trivializes the magnitude of what’s happened.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen and heard about far too many events like this in recent years, or that my limited knowledge of other cultures only allows me a superficial level of comprehending, but I feel like I’ve lost the ability to really understand the impact one person can have on a culture, and the world. Words feel sorely lacking.

A friend who lives in Norway has also had difficulty finding words for what has happened there. But she has put together a blog post filled with pictures of the beautiful people of Norway and how they are grieving their loss. It is moving beyond words and has taught me much about the Norwegian people in just a few minutes. Thank you Agnes.

If you’re a Second Life resident there is also a memorial inworld at the Second Norway sim.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Norge/136/152/31

Then I find a blog post from someone who does have some words about what has happened in Norway, and it has given me some context that helps. Her name is Starhawk and her words and ideas have inspired me for years.

The most positive thing I can leave you with in this post is to tell you about her book that literally changed my life, The Fifth Sacred Thing. Now her utopian view of a society in 2048 that embraces diversity, community, and the earth is being made into a very unique film. Please read more about it and see if you can’t give it your support. It’s a story the world needs to hear.

Love and take care of each other,

Calli

A Tale of Two Cultures

Two cultural icons came to my attention this week, and the juxtaposition for me is vivid.  I think the two icons dramatically represent two cultures at odds with each other, and two different ways to deal with innovation and evolution.

The first is Google software engineer, Andrew Bunner , the other is musician/inventor/visionary, Onyx Ashanti.

This past week there has been much press about the launch of Google’s new social media site, Google+ and the removal of some accounts deemed to not be “real” people. Those accounts were removed on the basis that the name used on the account was a Pseudonym Identity. Avril Korman has an excellent discussion on the what and why of Pseudonym Identities.

If you’re wondering how a company as big as Google would have the time to track down the many pseudo name accounts even with all those servers, well apparently they can’t. But Andrew Bunner, seems up to the task. In a recent blog post he apparently said, “If you see a person with an obviously fake name, go to their profile and find the “Report Profile” link in the bottom of the left column. Report it as a “Fake Profile”. We want Google+ to be place for real people to connect with other real people.”

Some pseudo’s have already been lost in the battle, such as Opensource Secure, who brought this issue to the light; some such as Summer Seale  who remain Google+ account holders, offer themselves as sacrifice if necessary to speak out about the subject. If you scroll down on this Flickr photo by Opensource you will see a long list of links to articles and blog posts about this hot topic.

A Google search (no irony here) for a definition of “Pseudo Indentity” brought up topics in math and psychology, but not much from a cultural perspective or even a Wiki definition. But it did bring up this article from iKeepSafe on the subject of keeping kids safe using pseudo names.  This seems like reason enough to say pseudo identities are at least an okay thing, and good to have in some situations.

I think the two camps in this discussion will quickly become polarized and entrenched as has happened in Gender studies , and those two camps, the Privileged, in this case those with “real” identities who will fit themselves into the global info structure of a company like Google and conform a little bit more if necessary, and the rest of us who will find open source methods of creating more egalitarian social networks.

Now I want to introduce you to Onyx Ashanti and how he sees life. Watch this amazing video of Onyx performing for TED and read the text on the video towards the end to see why Onyx does what he does. As amazing as the music is, and how he does it, and that he conceived and created the tools to accomplish it, the reasons why he did it are even more important. This is why people like Onyx matter, and whatever name they feel best represent their essence matters too. Onyx’s name would also seem to qualify as a false persona not worthy of space at Google+. I doubt he loses much sleep over such things.

I want to live in a world where people like Onyx are seen, heard, embraced, loved, thanked, and supported. Our global culture seems to be moving away from this attitude toward artists and the arts, as witnessed by the recent news from Holland about the 25% budget cuts to funding for the arts that was supposed to have been set up to be sacred to their culture and immune from cuts.

I say that those on the pro-pseudo side of the discussion can, and should, start their own social networks that represent their own values. Others must feel the same way as anonplus.com has just launched, “Social Networking Anonymously”.  There are also a multitude of tools available on the web to help us interact with each other in ways that work for us. My friends on Facebook, the few I actually know, feel the same. Sharing info is good, having to do it someone else’s way is not. One of my friends on Facebook, one that I don’t know, found a romantic interest through Google Maps recently. Think outside the Facebook box.

We also need to tell each other about such things in more traditional ways as well. If a Facebook post works for you, super. I found it interesting this morning to discover that Onyx is on Facebook and has a mere 300+ fans. I think I was surprised to find he was there at all. None of my amazing friends knew of him or had posted about him there.

In the busy, info-loaded world we live in, I almost missed him too even though this is what I seek out. How long until I would have found Onyx if not for happening to see his video at my friend Zola’s salon on Sunday. Thank you Zola!

I am so taken with what Onyx is doing and the music he is making! But on top of it, I think he is showing us and telling us that we need to be evolving the spaces and methods we use for learning itself. Open everything. So I want to tell the world about Onyx, and I want you to help me. I’m talking viral here.

I almost feel like sending this beautiful man into viral space would be a cruel blow. But someone with his Light and Magic knows why they’re here, and he’s ready. Now that he’s hooked up with TED, that opens that door anyway. So let’s do it up for one of our own! Repost this in every random place you can think of, tell people on the street, lead the next person you find on a computer to him; Onyx Ashanti

See you soon,

Calliope

 

More Orange Weekend!

Riali @ Ozland

In my haste to push the publish button yesterday I forgot a couple of stops I made.

The first was another visit to my friend Riali Sandalwood’s exhibit at Ozland where she is Visiting Artist of the Month. Her “Whismsical Cats” piece is available for free at the exhibit.  Tees are available too with some of her artwork on them, and the original works themselves. My fave is the one with the Love Birds. And it’s orange too. Hmmm.

Ozland Visiting Art Gallery, Ozland SW, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife//194/250/500

Riali also has another exhibit at Monroe Snook’s Studio 33 with works of a completely different style. You’ll TP to a meditation circle featuring the current artists. Riali’s exhibit is at Art Yard 3 on the teleporter in the circle.

Studio 33, Rockcliffe Conservatory, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rockcliffe%20Conservatory/212/82/22

Calli @ Chelsea HotelAnother place I finally got around to checking out was the Chelsea Hotel in NYC. Second Life’s NYC. I hung out here for a few and did some writing and loved learning about the history of the Chelsea. There is modern history too as a notecard is given about the takeover and subsequent battle for control of the hotel. I’m fascinated by the account as I live in a very similar building on the other side of America. A lot to think about and perhaps write about.

But in the meantime, check out the Chelsea Hotel. It’s full of art and there is a big sale on right now, it’s a great place to chill, and it’s full of history. Good music stream too.

Hotel Chelsea, Manhattan, NYC, Lanestris, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lanestris/53/153/98

See ya soon,

Calli

Random music: Tiesto – Elements of Life

My Orange Weekend!

Out on my Orange Weekend I had the greatest time! Dancing, checking out art, and just some wandering around the grid.

Looking at art was a great way to check out the new computer capabilities. I’ve started seeing detail in graphics I’ve not seen in SL before, more 3D now, and it came just in time to see the detail in textures at Faith Xue’s new gallery, Gallery Xue. http://galleryxue.tw/ .

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Amicus%20curiae/130/68/24

The grand opening on Saturday featured participation in creating a Cairn (Collaborative Sculpture) by modifying one of the available rocks with texture and adding it to the sculpture. Check out the Flickr to see some of the yummy textures.

I was sorry I could not stay longer at Xue but had to be off to the Odyssey Performance Art Festival  where I was participating in the encore performance of “VB15 Gracie/Kris”, a collaboration of Kris, Gracie and Vaneeesa Blaylock. I received the invite to participate just as I was about to ask if I could. It was an enjoyable experience that I’m going to share in another post.

The Festival continues this week and you can see the schedule here. You will find what I think is the most cutting edge art here in SL gathered into one place. Some of which I can’t even see, but you should.

I was able to better see how my graphics work, or actually how they don’t work at times, at an exhibit by Oberon Onmura at Project Z.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lennox%20Hill/58/151/23

Announced just the day before, I happened to drop by when no one was there and just chilled in the center of the particle beams while waiting for the panels to fully rez and….well they didn’t,  look here.

I know what they are supposed to look like from the teleport poster.

Kind of a cool effect, but I wanted to see what Oberon was doing, or had done as this was not a current work. Maybe this is a new genre of photography where the photographer is visually challenged by way of the camera. Sparks some new wrinkles on a larger discussion as well about the accessibility of art in the new world, and why I’m happy the edge that is being pushed isn’t waiting for the technologically challenged like me.

When things had rezzed as much as they were going to in near optimal conditions, I panned up until the screen jumped to black when I assume particles were filling the entire screen. But just as I’m finding Windows 7 a rather polite host to my online experiences, I merely panned back and colors returned. I also tried the shft-alt-ctrl-9 trick I had just learned and it did bring the world back minus some intense objects including my hair and boots. But cool.

I could have used this yesterday at Save Me Oh’s ScreenMe performance which was on the platform above the VB15 stage. I just tp’d out when it went to black. Too bad, the comments I heard sounded like it was something to see. This just inspires me that there is art in SL that not even all the avi’s can see. A hint of bourgeois in a way, but it is so cool people are doing this stuff. I felt like Bob Uecker in the old beer commercial, “They’re having a good time in there!”

Btw, Oberon has inspired me since I came to SL. The biggest bummer in the Flickr pics I lost were the ones I took at Storm Cells.  I am so happy to edit that out, I found the other Flicker account! I knew it was there. I could feel it. I was catching up on a friend’s work when I noticed she is friends with the old Flickr account.

So now I am too. Two accounts now, one I have no clue how to get back into. But I’ve decided it’s appropriate as the old pics were taken with old graphics, and there is a noticeable difference. It reminds me of Lichtenstein and a fuzzy pixelation. Oh well, I’m so happy to see the Storm Cells again. I wish they were still somewhere where I could hang out on them though…

Maybe the most amazing thing I have ever seen in SL was on Friday at Push. Betty Tureau’s The Pyramids was a complete experience. Betty morphed the entire environment with fabulous colors, images and movement…and music! This is what I’m going for, art AND music, and some other things. The music added so much to the experience. It was perfect. Betty, you rock! (pass that Koolaid, I’d love some!)

There was a stop at another artist’s gallery I have to tell you about. Most of you wouldn’t think of this as a gallery, or art. But I do. I’m talking about Powers of Creation, P.O.C., and Kai Heideman.

I’ve been in love with latex since I was a too young to buy any and Kai’s creations are my fave latex in SL. His stunning, ultra shiny creations were used in Vaneeesa Blaylock’s VB17 Dark Side of the Moon, and that is where I first heard about Kai. For fit, price and shine, I think they’re the best, and I’ve been shopping at P.O.C. since.

I was feeling like something new for the summery weekend, and some bright seasonal color when I headed over. I didn’t think I was after orange, but cycling through the display the orange jumped out at me. It was a quick pick.

Not only are Kai’s creations of excellent quality, I love how he leads you through his process. The notecard that came with my lovely orange suit/dress told that this model, Halle, was inspired by an outfit Halle Berry wore to an awards ceremony. Nice. But then Kai goes on to explain (rant?) about some of the system limitations here in SL regarding avi shapes that make some challenges for him and us. It was as if a personal tailor was talking to you as you picked up your new custom-made order. He tells you in a conversational manner how to use his creations as he intended them to work for you.

I also find the store displays remind me of info and signs you would find in a gallery. Shock and hype are pleasantly missing, just informative signs and plenty of space to wander. To my eye the visual appeal of the typography and layout of information subtly informs.  I love the name and logo too. Score! Perhaps it’s all the time I spent in retail when I was younger that makes me notice and appreciate these things, but I love how it’s the product itself that is the star and worthy of being so. And Kai just has to sell you one; you’ll happily come back for more.

Here’s the notecard that came with my orange weekend outfit:

Hello and thank you for buying the *poc* Halle in Latex-Outfit.

This outifit is based on a picture I saw by chance of her at the premiere of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. I liked it so much because of this combination of simplicity and sexiness and thought: “Wow – that must look great in latex, too!” Now you have bought the results and are, as I hope, satisfied.

But…there is an issue with this outfit. It uses the “system skirt”, the skirt Linden Labs has defined for the avatar; and this is, to be honest, mediocre. It doesn’t fit well, as you might have noticed. But it is the only way so far for having a tight-fitting skirt that follows the movement of your legs. So – you have to die one death, and I choose the way for you to die…

The system skirt makes a fat ass: It bustles quite a lot in the back. To get over this, create a copy of your shape and make a skirt-verison of it. Wear the skirt and play the sliders for Butt Size, Hip Width and Saddle Bag until the skirt hugs your form perfectly. This shape will look ridiculous when worn without a skirt…

The system skirt clips: When you walk the legs always peek through the fabric. To come over that there are some glitchpants you can wear underneath that mask this clipping.

The system skirt is strange: The seamed version of the dress simulates the seams you can see on the picture. These are intent to run in a nice line from top to bottom of the dress. To do this they have to cross from the top-layer of the avatar-texture to the skirt. So they have to fit perfectly, the way *poc* always tries to make it. Depending on your shape this doesn’t work, as I had to find out. I tried it with several shapes and some matched nicely, others didn’t. If you are one of the victims, please don’t blame me, blame the Lindens…or, again, adjust your shape to get a match, it is possible

Anyway – I hope you like your dress despite my little rant.

Kai Heideman

Thanks Kai!

Powers of Creation, Eliza, Second Life

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eliza/95/34/25

And that was my orange weekend. Dancing and meeting some new friends topped the list as always.

See you soon,

Calli

More random photos from the weekend at Flickr

My weekend outfit:

Orange latex suit: “Halle” by Kai Heideman, Powers of Creation

Boots: Bootgasm

Various scarves: BoHo HoBo

Second Life 2.0

Well I’m back.

It’s been almost a year since I was in SL with any kind of regularity or being able to participate in much here; and it’s been quite a year as well in that life they call real.

One of the biggest impacts was not having much of a place ever to log in. It wasn’t that I could not get in at all, but just randomly and then from a coffee shop, more and more Starbucks for the quality of the Internet connection. But it was difficult to feel like I was in SL while sitting in one of the main arteries of American culture in 2011, Starbucks, who does consistently have an SL-capable internet connection.

Once you start frequenting places less often or not at all, your conversations with SL friends gets more difficult to maintain as you lose context and knowledge of life in SL. So you drift. I told many of my good friends I’d be gone a while, and have picked up with most of them now that I’m back. But some have gone, and others are doing new things like I am, and so the context of what brought you together changes. Just the same as happens in the concrete world.

There was definitely some magic afoot for me to be back and writing this today, and it’s given me new thoughts about accessibility and privilege I want to explore.  A few factors that helped me were:

A random wireless connection that appeared one day from my new digs  in the City

A computer crash and then Resurrection

The fact that in a year of living on my feet (the real ones), I managed to hang on to my aging laptop in working condition. Thank you Gods of Technology!!

My 3+ year-old laptop, one step up from the bottom, is not supposed to run SL anyway, It has decent graphics for a laptop of it’s era and pedigree, but now an aging dinosaur in the light speed world of technology. While I’m pretty happy with some of the changes and plans I’m hearing from the Lindens since I’ve been back, the renovations to the grid have been working my Win Vista laptop to the limit.

Then things stopped altogether.

And the Resurrection brought improvements

Windows 7 – fresh install

Memory – 2 to 4 GB

Cooling – the laptop is elevated about 4 inches above the table now with a $13 fan blowing across the exhaust fan. It barely gets warm, if that.

Now it works really well! When it still has a moment, it’s not a blue screen freak out like before,  just a polite black screen that you can back out of. Sa-weeet!

I can also multitask now with the new memory and the Win 7 environment. Yay! At the moment, I’m listening to music from my patio in SL, while typing in Word with Firefox on and a few tabs open like WordPress. This really is a whole new experience to me to be able to work outside SL while I’m in-world. It was not easy to do before.

As long as I’ve been in SL I’ve heard that I, among many, have never really seen SL. That since I don’t own at least a certain level of machine I can’t appreciate the SL experience as it was meant to be. I’m sure that experience is truly amazing, and I’m looking forward to seeing it. But I’m also here to say that I’ve built a fabulous life in SL with a door to entry that was supposed to be locked, and I snuck in anyway. I realize I ‘m on borrowed time and the upgrade has kept me surfing just ahead of the crest of the technology wave, so a new surfboard is in the works.  But I’m here!

Many things in our modern culture come with critical thresholds we are warned to abide by, or else….or else what? I find that in our hurried busy lives we often accept much too easily the words of modern soothsayers who probably have different goals for such limits than you do if you were ever to chat with them about such things. Those safe limits are created by people that like where they fall on those thresholds. In fact, their perspective determines what they can ever be. Yours is likely different. So trust your intuition and plunge ahead. In many situations any damage is not corporeal or substantially impacting anyway. How safe do you want to live life? I suspect there is a whole population of people like me living happily below those margins because SL is still very cool with what you’ve got, clunky moments and running into things not counted.

For me this upgrade has meant a much richer detail on textures. They have really come alive from previous photography or just viewing on my laptop. Interestingly all that old photography was blown away in what I’m calling The Great Computer Crash of 2011, but I am having fun with SL photography again and out filling up a new Flickr account. It seems the old account was lost in some tech merger or something while I’ve been away. Oh well. This is all obviously the work of Gods and Goddes… well probably just the Gods. But no worry…it’s my Second Life 2.0!

So I’m back in SL and loving every minute of it. I missed the art, and the technology, but mostly I missed the people. Old friends and new ones I’ve  just met- I’ve missed you all!  Because I don’t find that many of you in my RL. Perhaps because you are already in front of your screen as I race back home from necessary RL errands to get back to what’s really become my real life, here with you. SL is where I think the people I’m looking for hang out. It’s where I find myself when the larger world makes me pull in just a bit. Here in SL I find the part of me that doesn’t always find it’s way out in the concrete world. In my SL I can have experiences that escape me in the other world; cost, time, or maybe you can only get across town once in an evening even with a reasonably unlimited budget. Those are very real factors for many people even in a place like San Francisco. In SL, those barriers are much smaller.

And where else can you have a Vegas-style weekend like I just had over America’s Fourth of July weekend. One where you awaken to find you’ve taken some vows of some kind with a person you could easily spend much time with…never to see that person again. Haha. I love being able to laugh about those things when they happen here. Outside of SL an experience like that would likely bring much to untangle; here I can remember what fun it was and remember it’s the experiences that are the wealth I seek.

We’re a young republic here in SL, and we come here with some hurts from the other world, but taken altogether I’ve not met a finer batch of folks anywhere. It is truly my joy to meet more and more of you in SL. It will keep me coming back for the duration. I just met a few more lovely folks during what I’m calling My Orange Weekend, and I’ll post about that next. No, that’s not a nod to the overload amount of the color orange you see everywhere in San Francisco. Think orange latex, of which there is a shortage even in Fog City.

Be seeing ya,

Calli

Random music during post:

That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick

Dinka – Elements (Edxs 5un5hine Mix)

2012 The Awakening

A resource for all souls on the journey toward building a New Earth!!

Love, Soul and Spirit

Living from the Heart

rik silfies-potter

author. teacher. druid. witch.

Spirit Matters ... in virtual worlds

Join us as we explore spiritual issues, activities, and viewpoints.

TRANSITIONS

Evolutionary Ascension -- Denise Le Fay

I Rez Therefore I Am

A Virtual Salon about Art, Culture, Activism & Identity.

Exceptions PR With A Purpose

Business Consulting and Public Relations

Global Light Minds

Daily Living In A New World

The Practical Shaman

Sacred Travel and Workshops

Accessing Your Higher Self

Enchanting the World Through Sound and Vocal Resonance

The Indigo Adults: Advice for Indigo Adults, Empaths & Psychic Children

Advice for Indigo Adults, Empaths & Psychic Children

Chraeloos

My Personal Blog

talinorfali

Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown

Have A Dream

Our key to success is making our dreams come true.

Calliope's Metaverse

Life, Culture and Spirit in All Dimensions

Summer Seale

Summer Seale's blog from Second Life - some mature content inside. NSFW