Monday, June 18, 2007

Lightness and Darkness

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

This weekend was a joyous in many ways. I saw four of my friends married, which alone should be happiness itself. Sir Edward Pearse and Lady Christine Pearse (nee McAllister) were handfasted and had a wonderous reception in at the Steelhead hotel where fair much everyone I knew was. Yes, once again, a "crash the sim" affair, and I had three "swoons" afore the night was over.

Not present, but with ample excuse for same were Doctor Jules Whittlesea, my beloved business partner-in-crime, and his lovely wife Mrs. Carricre Wind, the Undaunted Ladies Society's fearless leader. Before there is much sniggering about their RL baby boy "Buggins", the truth is that they had never had time for a RL wedding reception. This weekend was the While not "on the grid", their tales of the event made us all feel as if we were truly there (thought, I for one would have liked to have truly eaten all that RL German chocolate)

And the much awaited opening of Eyre was also this weekend, and I was able to, for a brief few days, own my very own English Manor House. Perhaps a small pleasure next to the heart bursting joy of my friends, but for someone who loves to curl up with a good book and imagine herself striding the halls of Pemberly, it was magical. I've since turned it into a carriage house, though. Carriage houses of the day were gathering places for locals and travellers alike, where a lady could eat a meal and socialize respectably, but not without it's boisterous fun. And as much as I loved the manor house--I would rather have hay littered floors and throw it open to both my friends and the other people in the world who mayhap might be friends of mine, should I just meet them someday.

For the vast majority of the people in our small virtual world and the great Real Life world are wonderful souls. But not all. And this brings me to a section of this weekend I will try to pass lightly over, for it does not deserve to take up more space than the happiness. A month or so ago, I was asked to make school uniforms for a highschool RP (highschool starts at about 13 or 14, for the non-Americans). I turned down the commission when the man running it asked me to go shopping for poseballs for the school, include sex balls. As you might imagine, the individual disputes this point, claiming that he was not specifically encouraging age play (but he added he refused to discourage it), the balls were not actually for the school (though this is a more recent denial), and anyway age of consent in some countries is lower than in the US (I forget where it is 13, but that still doesn't make it right). I then hung up the virtual phone on him, and hadn't heard from him since.

This was fine by me--as nauseating as people who fantasize about that are, on a purely intellectual level, I realize that no children are really involved. I did not report this to Linden Labs, quite honestly because I really wanted never to see him again. Then a few days ago, he started hanging about my shop in Eyre, coming over to groups I was in, and so on. On Saturday, when I was alone with a friend, he walked over and described obscene things he wanted to do to the animated Eyre rabbits (in the flurry of belligerent IMs I received later, he claimed that it was a language issue. His English is flawless)

I am not confrontational. I feel bad should someone yell at me in traffic, wondering "what did I do"? But I could not let this person bully me out of a virtual land I love and share with my friends. I told him to leave me alone--I was clumsy and my fingers could barely type, but I said it. He was awful--I don't want to describe it, really, I deleted most of the IMs without thinking. Let us just say the level of self-justification of people like that is astounding. He lurked around for a while (yes, I finally had the sense to mute and ban), then I walked out and stared at him till he left.

You'll notice I am not naming names. Perhaps that is cowardly of me--but I understand it is easy enough to get an alt. I hope that he simply feels unwelcome and will avoid me. I hope that he simply feels that he has "won" in some twisted way, and is now satisfied.

Well, hardly as bad as some SL experiences, much less RL experiences. But I am not used to sorts like that. I think of Caledon as my special place, where the sun is always shining and the people full of fun and good humour. To me, I felt as if someone like that had walked into my living room and started screaming. Perhaps I could be stronger, but I'm not. I don't wish to speak much about my RL, but most of you know I spend a fair amount of time caring for a sick relative--it doesn't always leave me with energy for myself. And I had little that night. I cried for a long time afterwards, and frankly got little sleep.


Read the beginning of this post. There is much greater happiness in the world, far kinder people. For every would be child molester out there, there are a hundred Wind/Whittleseas with their beautiful baby boy. The world is a GOOD place, and we can never let the evil take hold of our heart.

We let it pass us, and if we are strong, we can even laugh.

On Sunday, I woke half-rested. I contemplated all the wrong things--publicizing this and naming names, starting an AR, talking to Governor Shang, all those things that would drag me into the fetid muck that person lives in.

Instead, I went to the Support for Healing Labyrinth.

Have you ever walked a Labyrinth? Really walked, not jogged along it, or done but a few turns? It is tremendously powerful. After a while, one wonders where the end is. After another while, one forgets that there is an end, just the turns and the twists.

And then, there you are, in the perfect centre of it all, and things have been worn down to the nub of their essence. My soul hummed quietly, and I reversed out, into the daylight. I know this was all virtual, but my memory is of me stepping into the bright blue sunlight on the hill side, calling for Peggy, my winged horse. I can smell her sweat and see her straining muscles in my minds eye, as we rushed over the hills.

And I was, not happy, but cleansed. So if I was a bit pensive at that night's Steampunk ball, I spologize. But in that magic way, the setting there could not have been more appropriate. A field of lights in the snow, guiding one to dancing.

May we all dance the dance of love and of life, holding in our hearts the good that we see, even when it seems so far away at times.


Miss Hermione Fussbudget said...

"May we all dance the dance of love and of life, holding in our hearts the good that we see, even when it seems so far away at times."

Amen, Miss Tombola

Current Population: 2 said...

Well said Virrginia and Miss Fussbudget


Lapin Paris said...

Miss T.
I was very sickened to hear that someone, anyone would cause you distress. You are the kindest, dearest person I have met in SL!
If this creature appears again, you IM me immediately and I will drop what I am doing and fly to your defense. Anytime....Anyplace.
Your servant, Miss Paris

Vi Paravane said...

Virrginia, dear friend, I am so sorry I had to be away for all the festivities, and also for the chance to support you with encouragement and solidarity. This horrid creature deserves our pity, but only insofar as he does no actual harm to others. The desire to pretend it lessens my sympathy for the sick man, though.

Be strong, keep a stiff upper lip and by all means blast the sorry bugger to pieces if he appears again.

Virrginia Tombola said...

Thank you, all. As I tried to say in my post, it is the friendship of people like you which makes the world--virtual and real--a good place.

I do not wish to this a larger business than it needs to be. As much as I would love the vision of an Avenging Mlle Paris appearing with guns blazing, such attention is exactly what people like that enjoy. It makes them feel important, I suppose.

As Miss Paravane correctly points out, as horrid as his thoughts are, he has done no actual harm, save being abusive and belligerant. I am not as kind as she is, and cannot feel pity. But he has to live with what he is. We needn't allow ourselves to be brought into his world. I will think as little about this as possible.

So, in that vien, I will now write my newest entry--"OMG!!! PONIES!!!!"

Dr. Rafeal Fabre said...

Dear Miss Tombola,
Disparagement and disdain cannnot describe the callous actions that the non-named individual deserves. As Miss Paris stated, you are certainly the kindest and most good natured individual I have had the honor of associating with in SL. Do not hesitate to call if I can ever be of any assistance, madam.

Hotspur O'Toole said...

Sometimes I wish I really COULD give a blighter a drubbing in Second Life, Vee. You did not deserve that. You handled it very well, indeed, and in a forthright, mature manner. IF, in the future, that does not suffice, please do not hesitate to call upon me, and perhaps I can add to the intimidation factor to send this cad packing.

I know of whom you speak, and we have talked (quietly) about that issue before. I fear that this individual has lived up to my initial (extremely negative) reaction. Sorry to hear that.