Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nocturnal Visions

The last few days, I have neglected creating any new SL fashions. I have ignored GingerDead, who in my mind is tugging impatiently on my leg. Instead, I took some time to explore photography and image manipulation in Photoshop. I enjoy photography, but haven't really ever made serious time for it. Lately, I have been watching my friend create interesting, artful compositions from his photos. Many times, the pics he uses are just random things he sees in his daily life and after applying various tools to them with Gimp, I believe, art is born. So, I owe my little detour from my usual creative outlets to him. (thanx muse :D)

After the initial experimentation at home with the first two images, I decided to go out in the really real world (eep!) and find some interesting backdrops and textures. I found myself at a small local cemetery on a gorgeous afternoon which was blissfully quiet and empty, snapping away without a care. Upon returning home and uploading the images I was pleased to find several that I could work with. I'm really loving the results. Perhaps, I'll do a little exhibition in SL.

To see the full gallery go to http://www.nocturnalthreads.com/visions.htm

I threw them into a flash template, so you'll need flash to view. If you don't have flash, you are nuts because it rocks, so downlooad the free player at www.macromedia.com

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What Would Your Avie Do?

In Second Life I'm kaia. kaia and I have always been one as far as I could tell. I don't approach the metaverse with a role playing or gamer mentality. Anyone who knows me knows my approach to others whether in flesh or avatar is that they are spirits, like me, like all of us are. That said, something strange happened yesterday that got me thinking.

On particularly intense caffeine induced frenzy I decided it was time to create a full website for Nocturnal Threads. Several hours later, it was completed and I went on to work on other stuff. The following day, I remembered that I created the site, but had only a vague recollection of the layout or text. The thought that it was kaia who actually worked on the site flickered in my mind for a moment. This was an odd sensation to say the least. My first reaction was, "OMG. I must be mad." After reviewing the site, I realized that there was an undeniable kaia energy present somewhere between the lines of text and graphics. Of course, I am kaia and kaia is me, so what the hell am I talking about?

After a year of interacting and working within this metaverse, I believe that I have projected certain energies into kaia and this seemingly insane "kaia did it" concept was really accurate in that I had and have channeled kaia into my work. By this I mean, that certain energies are present when I am engaged in kaia-oriented projects and or interactions. Of course, these energies are within my spirit and life, but they are embraced and drawn upon frequently when I'm in-world. Since I refer to positive energies, I had to admit that at times, I could use a little more kaia in my real life dealings.

When I reflect on some of the many discussions I have had in-world, I can't help to think I am on to something. Are there aspects of ones personality that for some reason are able to emerge with unbridled freedom in a virtual platform that are less intense in real life? Conversations with F--- had revealed that in his daily life he was uncomfortable in social situations and often approached situations and people with a hostility that you would never believe even existed in this sweet avatar. SL had become a place for F--- to interact in a totally new way. The thing is, he insisted on seeing his avatar as so separate from himself. I say, if you are able to bring forth positive approaches in avatar form, there is nothing stopping you from channeling this same energy into your daily life.

Another friend, recently mentioned that she had been engaged in a tournament that she had done exceedingly well in. She commented that she felt a bit of her avatar was at the tournament with her. She asked me if this made sense and yes, it did. Her avatar is playful, cocky and confident. Why wouldn't channeling these attributes be a contributing factor in her success at this competition? What is important for her and all of us to realize that if there are certain attributes present within us in-world, they are equally present out. It is merely a matter of tapping into them.

Yet another dear SL friend is unbelievably shy in real life. While the shyness is present to a degree in-world, he admits he is way more out-going in avatar form. He once said he couldn't even look people in the eye in real life and this made me weep at my keyboard, because he is so beautiful and loves without pretenses or restrictions with this pure open heart. This is easily visible if you get to know him even a tiny bit in SL and I know for a fact that this is part of his Spirit. To think of this amazing spirit being repressed in real life just saddened me deeply.

In my path, we are focused on raising the spirit above the head. The head is formed by parents, society, relationships, etc. There are negative attributes which we are quick to write off as just simply how we are, when in fact they are not of our spirit but purely head bullshit. For example, the person who admits to reacting to many situations in real life with anger and defensiveness which causes him a lot of trouble believes this is just how he is. Yet, he is able to approach things in a far more productive way in SL. He does not fear socializing in SL as he does in RL. The truth is he is allowing his Spirit a bit of room to step forward in-world. In his daily life he uses the same tired defense mechanisms that he has developed as a result of life experiences. This is how he has trained himself to be. This is his head and not his Spirit.

What has astounded me in the course of a year's immersion in this platform is how often people are able to tap into aspects of their spirits that they never allowed themselves to tap into in RL. Of all places for the Spirit to awaken! One imagines a hilltop retreat and deep meditation or some such scenario, not traipsing around a pixelated world. Yet, it happens. I see it all the time.

In closing I propose a challenge. Meditate on your strengths and weaknesses. Think about which strengths are more present in-world or which mental weaknesses are not apparent when you're in avatar form. The next time you are in a situation in your life where your weakness is rearing its ugly head or your strength would be beneficial, channel your avatar. Ask yourself how your avie would react and apply it to the situation. But, know and understand that you are simply embracing an energy that lies within you and always has. You are merely removing your head and applying your Spirit.