Friday, November 30, 2007

but I am imagining a dark-lit place, or your place, or my place--

Random images from the last few days...

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Incidents of note. Second ever appearance of someone else in limbo. This darkly furred wonder being Miss Neome, who was quite surprised that I could see her, and myself...and nothing else, because my point of view? Said limbo...

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Another first for me--getting relocated to the southeast corner of Penzance, I'm used to being told I'm at dead center--or just slightly off, the latest variant. I'm not used to being told I'm in another sim.

It seemed convinced I was in Caledon Morgaine. So finally, I thought, what the hell, let's play. I opened the map, copied my current location, pasted it into an empty IM, and clicked it.

And transported.

To Morgaine.

I do believe this is the first time I've ever captured a photo of a sim under construction. There are still grid lines in the water! Just amazing.

Not only that, but it's the very first time the system's gotten that confused as to where I am!

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We went to the amusingly named sim of Night Breed at the behest of a friend. Once there, they had a cat's a neko thing, even if I can't wear the ears this week...I had to climb up into it.

Of course I got thrown into limbo.

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But at least it looks like I'm having fun....that's something, at least....

Finally, Miss Kiralette tantalized me with the news that she'd built something in the air above East Speirling. But she wouldn't tell me what.

When I got time tonight to fly out--and up--the first place I landed wasn't her work.

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Pretty, but not hers.

I flew up to a bit past 1200 meters before I decided, I'd somehow missed it, and I'd have to ask for more information.

Just then, in the descent, I found it, ten meters or so short of 700:

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There it was. Undeniably hers. Now I just needed to find out what it was...

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...and not laugh too hard coming in for a landing. Oh, this is a whimsy in truth, just bubbly and mischievous and deeply, deeply fun. And then I discovered the top of the aquarium was open!

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Which is where I found this little...whatsit. Lamprey? Pier worm. Bright purple wriggler, at any rate. So much fun.

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In fact, it seemed like she had an enormous amount of fun building this thing in the first place!

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Kira-Kira, even though this like as not will be gone, as you said, in a scant few days--mayhap even hours!--do build more! You have whimsy down to a near science, and I am absolutely delighted and charmed by it.

And it makes up for being trapped with the builder who has to go through his entire texture collection looking for that one perfect image that makes the piece sing.

Ah, I can't complain too badly, I've done the same thing....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

if I lay here, if I just lay here...

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Suppose I can't blame anyone but myself, this time. After all, I thought I'd figured out, what could be so bad, really, once I figured out the settings....and no one will see me one moment, whilst I disappear the next...

How bad could Windlight be, after all?

Oh, I found out. All over again.

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(Incongruent Truths? You'd better believe it.)

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(Red sky at night, sailor's delight...but that looks like midday.)

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(I've eaten sherbet this color. I've never seen a sky that shade.)

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(There was literally no way to get away from blinding banana-glitter yellow, it seemed...)

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(I think I've seen this sky, Yellow Submarine...)

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(It's getting worse! Where do I HIIIIDE...)

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(*begins to twitch in the corner, rocking back and forth*)

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(Now, this is just RIDICULOUS! This was the setting my friends ADVISED me to have! Burning flat gold atmosphere with roiling soot-colored clouds that move like tentacled gang members across the sky....DO NOT WANT!)

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FINALLY! Something RATIONAL! A sky I can LIVE with!

The only one with not a speck of yellow to be found. "Blizzard".

...and, as I'm finding out now? It only works on midnight....GAH!

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Well, at least I'm...not...fluorescing....


(If anyone needs me, I'll be hiding under this rock here. Where it's niiiiice and dark.)

(Lyrics at top from Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars".)

so precious, suspicious, and charming and vicious

Frau Lowey makes an excellent point in a comment to a previous entry, and having scanned Steampunkopedia's list of Steampunk media, I do not find mention of a notable Steampunk work--The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

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Dr. Anton Phibes. Mechanical genius (as evidence throughout the movies attests--no useless gears here!), prosperous sophisticate, chef, appreciator of life's finer details. Musician.

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And obsessively devoted husband. And being also a doctor of theology, he managed the appropriately precise--and darkly perverse--touch to deal with his wife's death.

See, Dr. Phibes had a beautiful wife and a prospering career, until his wife fell ill. It took seven doctors to decide how best to screw things up, and then they did it in grand style, and she died.

Unfortunately, Dr. Phibes wasn't at the hospital--he was busy being mangled horribly in an accident. By the time he managed to drag his broken body to the hospital? She'd died.

And he swore VENGEANCE!

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The mysteriously silent Vulnavia (played by Virginia North, seen above in a publicity shot for the film, and below in a still from it) is his only assistant, and for a completely silent role, she has incredible stage presence. Between the two of them, they arrange for the demise of all seven doctors--and the nurse, just for completion's sake, I suppose. Boils, bats, frogs, blood, hail, rats, beasts, locusts, even an attempt at the death of the first born, followed by darkness--all of the Egyptian plagues are presented in lush detail.

"But a fair portion of the appeal of The Abominable Dr. Phibes is its very stylishness", so says The Bad Movie Report, and I'd tend to agree with them. It is a very stylish film, and, even though most of the decor of his underground lair is closer to Art Deco than Victorian, the sentiment is surely Steampunk--the principles of invention, mad genius, the sheer preponderance of mysterious tubes and equipment, plus a certain 'air of the day', the overlay of polite culture over everything, including grisly demise. And the scientist's lair, replete with all scientifica of the time.

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Yes, it's essentially a fluff piece, no argument. But because it stars Vincent Price--who has marvelous fun with this film and its sequel--it elevates a bit, to darkly period camp.

"Adding to both Phibes' calculating dementia and to Price's performance is the fact that Phibes was horribly disfigured in the car wreck. So like Darth Vader with a better sense of interior decor, Phibes has augmented himself with period mechanical devices. Unable to speak due to destroyed vocal cords, he communicates by mechanically connecting his larynx to a Victrola gramophone-like device. (How he drinks wine is something you just have to see for yourself.) This meant that before the cameras rolled Price had to record Phibes' soliloquies, rants, and Mad Doctor monologues to his dead wife, then physically play to the recordings without actually speaking. Expressing everything facially through heavy makeup (of two radically different types), Price manages to imbue Phibes with a sympathetic nature and macabre charm, even as we're watching him perform grotesquely diabolical acts."

This, as Lon Chaney discovered before him, is anything but easy, and the fact that he carries it off with such completely assured aplomb is evidence of what a fantastic actor he really was. He brought his total focus to every role he ever took, no matter the duration or intent--he's as good in briefly glimpsed music videos as he is in The Masque of the Red Death. And he still has cookbooks roaming in the wild.

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All in all, unlike The Fearless Vampire Hunters, it's a horror film worthy of joining the ranks of Steampunk media.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I was alone, falling free, trying my best not to forget

Read a mention over on Dr. Fabre's blog about the Steampunkopedia being back online. And while I'm happy for this, truly--there's a wealth of Steampunk-related information there--one thing brought me up short within the first five minutes.

The Fearless Vampire Killers is considered a Steampunk work.

Let me say that again, because it sounds vaguely important. The 1967 Roman Polanski film--starring Roman Polanski, among other unfortunates--is considered a Steampunk film.

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Why? Well, yes, that was my question too.

The story's simple enough--Professor Abronsius (Jack McGowran, noted Irish actor better known for his work in The Quiet Man) takes his young protégé Alfred (Roman Polanski himself) off to some distant part of Eastern Europe to hunt vampires. Hijinks ensue.

But it wouldn't have lasted as long as it has if it stopped there. First, this was the first big budget film of Polanski's career, and he threw his heart and soul into it. Intentionally--and often unintentionally--humorous, it also bore a lavish score, truly lush costuming, and a baffling series of outdoor montage scenes--which make more sense once the viewer realizes halfway through, the entire production was relocated from Austria to the Italian Alps.

It also bears at least one first, that I'm not sure has been seconded--a Yiddish-speaking vampire.

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The film definitely has a little of everything, and not all of that at the director's insistence--MGM defiantly relabeled it a farce (and, well, they had their reasons), and added in a baffling pre-credit sequence of dancing with bread. (I'm not kidding.) The "love scenes" between the kidnapped Sarah (Sharon Tate) and Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne) are equally as hysterical as the "love scenes" between Alfred and Herbert von Krolock (Iain Quarrier), the Count's very gay son.

Not to mention that notable turn for Yoine Shagal (Alfie Bass), as the amusingly predatory Jewish vampire.

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What it is, above and beyond Steampunk concerns (which, admittedly, I'm still trying to figure out), is a dizzying madcap romp. Crazed sidekicks and even crazier village denizens sparring and singing; a grand ball that might possibly put the ball in Labyrinth to shame (or at least the ball in Van Helsing); an entire scene carried out with the female lead in a sudsy vintage bath...The coffin-sled scene alone is worth the price of admission.

But Steampunk? Not entirely sure I'm convinced of it. For that matter, Van Helsing is a rather ideal Steampunk adventure film...and covers much of the same territory, with only slightly better results (in Van Helsing, after all, the evil vampires are put to The Fearless Vampire Hunters they're released upon an unsuspecting world).

In other news...

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It's never easy being a mad scientist. I warned him, after all. Nearly five full days of pumping the Hyde retrovirus into Mr. Allen's system?

Now he has eye tentacles.

You can't say no one saw this coming...

in platform double-suede, yeah, there she was

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[3:22] Fawkes Allen: I will kiss the first person to make a decent Windlight setting for builders

You heard it here first. Get working on that.

In the meantime, we'll be making new product announcements for the store, along with story details for the larger/stranger items, over on AUTOGENICA! Yay, we have a store blog!

Anyone who retails through us, I'm thinking, will have the option of posting access, if desired. So far that's only two additionals, but as neither's strictly confirmed, can't announce it.

I'm back to building dresses; I think I have a few good new ideas, but alas, so little period. I think I'm skating them in Penzance under the heading of 'costumerie', which is not precisely accurate. Still.

And life goes on. Now, y'all pardon me, I have to go pay rent.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

no attorneys to plead my case

How to make a shapeshifter extremely unhappy: remove their ability to freely shift.

Mr. Glineux noticed: he says the last neko he spent time around, he could always tell when they were depressed, because their ears dropped down.

I dismissed it as a system glitch, but frankly...

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...I haven't been able to get my ears up all day.

Part of the reason is obvious in that picture. I'm my usual white-striped neko, I feel comfortable in it, I've spent a lot of time here. Feels most like me, which, considering the shapeshifter angle? Does say a thing.

But I couldn't get any of my white ears to load. Not a single blessed pair, and I have three different varieties, four if you count the ivory leopard!

I poked and prodded at the inventory, suffering several intentional and unintentional relogs in the process, and nothing.

Finally gave up. Decided, what can I track down that goes with striped white fur?

That's when we hit the second wall--only one ear was loading, of most of my colors! AAAAGH!

The one pair--the ONE pair!--I could find? Ebony. And not only that, but spotted!

I've been twitching all day. But it didn't stop there...

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We're at Triangulum currently, where Shapes by Zada is having a couple interesting freebie offers on skins, shapes and eyes. It's mainland, so you'll be playing fight-the-lag, but they're quirky and pretty and fun. Save that I finally had to leave the store and just breathe for a bit, because....yes, that is what it looks like.

[2:47] Calinacase Whiteberry: Emilly, I keep noticing your avatar; what are you supposed to be? a kelpie, a pukka or some other Irish myth beastie?
[2:47] Emilly Orr sighs
[2:48] You: this is what happens when a shapeshifter can't get her neko folder to load

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It's a horse tail. A HORSE TAIL! Granted, it's a very pretty tail, don't get me wrong, and the bow and ribbons details? Very cute. And trust me, I have no problem with horse tails...on horses.

But it's not a neko tail! It doesn't do what my tail does, plus it's terrifyingly twitchy, and AAAAGH again, for being this...this...half-hybrid, in-between, mutant thing!

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And don't ask me, just do not ask me what that is on Mr. Allen's arm. All I know is, he built it while I was struggling (all in vain) to get my inventory to load. It contains his Hyde retrovirus, and yes, it does auto-inject.


All I know is, I want to be able to shift normally tomorrow. If I can't, I'll just be dead all week. You wait and see.

Monday, November 26, 2007

confusion never stops, closing walls and ticking clocks

Think about it. Courtesy of Mr. Allen.

Back in the in-between spaces...honestly, if I could build a house there, I'd be set, I'm there often enough...

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But something new has been added. Near as I can figure, this is our resident shop Timelord's steam cane, shoes, hair, and I do believe hat. (Or collar. On edge.)

I'd never had anything but me in the orange spaces! What else has gone wrong??

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I had but to ask. Here, Mr. Glineux is seen sitting in limbo with me. This is an unparalleled day indeed--I've never had company!

Wonder what else can go awry...maybe I'll be getting my house after all!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

cover me, when I breathe

But of course. And this one pairs so nicely--though it's lacking in all the lovely vintage/Monty Pythonesque details--with the first.

At any rate...ragtag collection of oddities.

First up: Miss Neome is stranger than I am.

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No, it's true. Just look at all those teeth!

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This avatar lives somewhere at Grendel's in Avaria. I have no idea what it is even.

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And damn it all, I thought we were over this! Welcome to vision relocation, again...I hate this bug!

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That, and I'll be honest with you. It's deadly dull to hang out on the seabed below Mayfair. It truly is.

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As you might be able to see behind me (click the picture for the larger version), that's Penzance. Or part of it. As seen through a mountain range, part of the ocean, and whatever odd little corner I'm tucked into at the moment.

You should have seen me earlier, I was folded into a rather poky little ball.

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Then our resident shop Timelord Mr. Glineux stopped by, and after a patch of hair-sniffing (don't ask, we're not entirely sure we want to know), he changed into his gargoyle form.

Err, mostly. It was...odd.

Then it got worse:

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I think...I upgrade. To...something. The visual distorts are starting to affect my sanity!

but I know that I'll get through this, 'cause I know that I am strong

No matter how hard I try
You keep pushing me aside
And I can't break through
There's no talking to you

Did you think I wouldn't notice? Do you think I don't know? I'm reading from the shadows, I can't be closer, I don't want to be.

Did you think it wouldn't hurt? How can it not? So close to such light, and now relegated to outer darkness, how can that not hurt?

And every triumph you hand to one of my friends, of course it burns. Do you think I don't know it's somewhat intentional? Your way of showing you still have glory, and I, I just have what you left of me.

Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don't think you're strong enough,

Did you expect me to break? Did you expect me to give in? Did you expect me to crawl to your door begging for a second chance?

I beg. It's not beneath me. And I've been on the other side of such broken pleas, so to this day, even the memory of refusing such tears hooks through my psyche. But I will not beg you. Not for anything.

What am I supposed to do
Sit around and wait for you?
Well, I can't do that
There's no turning back

And I am not you. There is nothing that says I must remain, trapped in pain, surrounded by the flames of my own soul on fire. I am stronger than this. I am better than this. And I am moving on.

Of course it hurts. I wouldn't have a heart if it didn't. But that heart, that loyalty, that presence is no longer yours to command, if it ever was.

You cannot have me back. You made sure of that.

I need time to move on
I need love to feel strong
'Cause I've had time to think it through
And maybe I'm too good for you

I've thrown away so much, good and bad. I'm close to the point of being able to set out your last gift, and pack it away properly, this time. Remove the furniture, dust the curtains for long storage. And then that's the last of it, all things dealt with, all bonds cut.

There may even cease to be a reason to keep tabs on you.

Do you believe in life after love
I can feel something inside me say
I really don't think you're strong enough,

This is what you wanted, remember. You spun me out of your orbit. I was content to be there, your name on my lips to all I knew, your fiercest advocate bar the angel. You released me from service. You said goodbye.

And, as all should know by one gets me back who's said that. No one gets me back, ever. Whether it cleaves my heart, whether it shreds my soul for long and agonizing months one gets me back after the parting.

And you knew that. You knew that.

But I know that I'll get through this
'Cause I know that I am strong
I don't need you anymore
Oh, I don't need you anymore, I don't need you anymore
No, I don't need you anymore

I wish you all the best, I do. I wish you every great success you deserve. I wish you all the accolades you can take, here and abroad.

But get your head together. Burn another I care for the way you burned me, and I will find a way to reach you again. Don't put it past me to find a way in.

Because you forget, I know you too.

(Lyrics? Taken from the song by Cher, "Believe".)

Friday, November 23, 2007

there in the frame of your face, in the cast of your eyes

My friends have noticed.

They say I laugh more now. They say I smile more. They wonder at the why of it. To some extent, so do I.

As we come into winter, and the death of all things, inexplicably, I'm flowering. Discount the words seen here over the past few days--or hear them, understand them, understand my heart is trying to understand all that holds it back, holds it wary, and chip away at what remains to reach out again, unafraid, hand held out and open.

It's a frightening process. It would be ever so much easier to remain where I am. Hurt and wounded, knowing hurt, licking wounds, recognizing I will not be whole again.

Such great risk, admitting that I might not be as flawed as I expect. Such quiet terror, considering I may have wounds, but now they are being tended, bound by loving hands, so they can slowly heal. That they may leave scars, but that each scar will be kissed, accepted, understood by those who love me.

That I don't have to fear anymore.

That I don't have to hide anymore.

That I don't have to...turn everything, laugh the pain off lightly, be the blithe dancer on the broken glass, my brittle smile never touching the shadows in my eyes.

Elbert Hubbard once said, "Pain is deeper than all thought; laughter is higher than all pain." I'll grant the first, because I understand it. I'm slowly learning to appreciate the second.

It's easier to turn away than turn towards, always. I'm fighting my own instincts. I don't know whether I'm more afraid of being accepted, or being alone.

And I am, most assuredly, no longer alone.

Today of all days, this uniquely American holiday, I do give thanks for all my blessings. All those who love me, and whom I love. I bless you for it. All those who are friends to me, and I to them. I thank you humbly, each and every one.

Now the harvest is in, and we feast on the bounty. Now we prepare for the cold season.

And I will be warm throughout. It's getting less frightening. Be patient with me, this is new territory.

*inhales, and holds out her hand*

Thursday, November 22, 2007

find somewhere, and keep it there, take it when you go

(It may not be appreciated, but I thought enough of certain of my words--mine only, mind--to share them with a wider audience.)

Some small treatise on the nature of pain...Because pain I know, pain I understand. Pain takes long and longer to heal, it comes and goes. Sometimes aching sharply, sometimes angering, sometimes cracking our hearts anew as we struggle to keep breathing. I know this. I live this.

When we love, we take the risk. In every venture forward is found the seeds of its destruction. Life brings death. We are trapped in cyclical motion, this rich-ragged, woman-world who takes as much as she gives. Sometimes she gives us kisses, sometimes she gives us shattered glass. It matters not at the point of risk.

So yes. The step forward. Offering a wounded heart again, it's never easy. Sometimes we win it all, and we get love and healing. Sometimes we're savaged and stagger away blinking at the violence. Never a way to know when it begins, and we do the best we can. It's all we can do.

Should we suffer, if we've dealt such pain out? That's a question I don't have the best answer for. Whether one originated a pain, or not, it still hurts. Getting caught up in whether or not one deserves it, well...the question should be asked, then: does it serve the one lost to a flawed love, or the one who flawed the love itself? Regrets are so sharp. They're no good for anyone.

And each one makes it harder to reach out again...

Some small part of a personal tale I've aired before.

Someone I once loved, still love, told me, over and over--he was not good for me, for anyone. That he would hurt me. That it would all end in tragedy. Not just once. Over and over he said this, as we grew closer.

After the particularly painful ending, I posted under the first life section of my profile that I'd only deal hurt, that I was not worth loving, that I might be, in point of fact, dangerous to hearts.

That phrase...dangerous to still found in my profile here. And occasionally on my SL bio. It seems truer than the others, but...During that week I met a fellow shapeshifter, and spent one night dancing until the break of dawn with a very dashing pony. While one is a love, now, and the other is a friend, I doubt either of them put any weight behind such melodramatic proclamations on my part.

We all falter, all of us. We all have doubts, all of us. We all have great fears that we will never love again, or love too well and lose. It's natural. It's as common as breathing.

The problem is in recovery. How do we move past harm dealt? Do we keep risking? Do we still reach out? Or do we hold ourselves back from our lives, fearing to lose again? Or perhaps go that one step farther, and decide ourselves our touch is poisoned, and chill from the broken heart out to the skin. It's an awful, awful mindset, in all senses of the word.

If I folded all in around me, told all that I loved that I could not be with them longer, that I'd had a surfeit of pain and loss, and better to cut now and sever cleanly than to go forward in ruin and fall? There would be many who would absolutely understand such actions. I would have, do have, clear and compelling reasons.

But to do that would be to lose myself, to die shut off from others, to wither away, in stages, or even all at once.

I have stood at the door of the world and been petrified to open it and walk through. I know that feeling. It is a cold feeling, it chills and it burns at the same time.

But we watch love walk away from us, whether we held the dagger that struck the killing blow or not. And we tell ourselves--out of pain, out of pride--that it shouldn't bother us. That we should be bigger than this. That we shouldn't care.

We care, we can't avoid it. Our heads give us all rational reasons as to why we should shake our heads and move on, chalk it up to the luck of the draw and the experience of the ending and find the next one.

Our hearts hurt. Our hearts cry out against the leaving. Our hearts want nothing more than to reverse the ending, spin back time, had what they had again, because they know, as deeply as the head knows, that they will stop hurting, once back in love's safe arms.

Our hearts are powered on "What if?" "What if things had gone differently?" "What if she took me back? "What if I could make everything better?" "What if she forgave me?" "What if we never stopped loving..."

What if. It's as dangerous in its own way as guilt and regrets.

There is one on the grid, one I love, in spite of everything. I will never, not once, not ever, even so much as hold him in my arms again. In one moment, everything we had turned to dust.

Just like...*that* was gone, that quick, and I didn't even see it break. But I was dealing with a broken heart, who decided in that moment not to let me closer, not to let me in, not to let anyone else in again.

It was a protective measure, as much as anything, and I did, I do understand. But it hurt so greatly that nothing I could do, no apology, no amount of conversation.....would ever mend the breech.

It is the most appalling realization that I have it in me to do such great harm to another soul, that they would sever all contact rather than risk one more day, one more hour, of pain from a single source. Knowing that it was half my flaw, *and* half his....doesn't help in the slightest.

Would I risk such pain again, pain that still hasn't, fully, healed? I would. I do. But it hurts every time. Warm my hands by the flame which could burn the skin? Oh, yes. But it hurt so much the last time.

And maybe it will hurt this time, too. But we have to take the risk. Remember rule six: Great love means great risk, and the potential for great loss. Love anyway.

Always. Love anyway. Our hearts will break, we will falter, we will shatter like jagged crystal and oh, oh yes, it will hurt, perhaps beyond all bearing.

But love anyway. Because there is no life without risk, either. If we do not love, we do not live, and that is universal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

you tell me it calms your nerves, you just think it looks cool

You people. You people, you did not tell me.

Late last night, I was thrown off the grid again, cursing in limbo, trying to fight my way back. At this point, I'm resigned to having multiple download browsers to try, in the hopes that one of them, of an early morning, will work to get me back in.

Last night my beloved Nicholaz did not work. 1.18.3 did not work. The 1.18.5 release candidate did not work.

But Windlight...Windlight got me in.

Why didn't you tell me? You're all FIRED.

I got in, unable to access Penzance for some reason, so defaulted to Genesis. This...was a major error. Everything hurt to look at--bright and vivid and seemingly cut of beveled lead crystal. I was hoping it was just Miss sachi Vixen's build, but then my Fawkes summoned me back was worse.

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It was so much worse. The rug seemed to radiate color, very nearly virulently. The gleam off the height detector I keep out looked like reflections off carved aluminum. Even worse? I knew I'd built the skybox! So I was responsible for the horror!

After a few moments of whimpering and hiding, Fawkes told me I might have preferences wrong. I pulled open Preferences and stared in stupefaction at the plethora of new options. Dear gods. People deal with this?!?

I was told I might have Atmospheric Sliders on.

"It's not on," I cried.

"Well...turn it on?"

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*coughs, gasping*


Everything was yellow. And not just yellow--garish methine yellow, bleeding across my vision, making me wish I had sunglasses. I switched to midnight.

DO NOT DO THIS. It made the radioactive glow worse.

Shuddering, I switched back to region default, thinking, if I have to experience the terror, at least I can share it.

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Why didn't Fawkes tell me the fireplace was that bright?? And the FIRE....Shaking my head, I left the skybox, heading for home.

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Going down to the house I kept having to pause to breathe. The sky was even stronger now, sweeping yellow and white, whilst the bubble I rode down within seemed to throb with vivid, psychotropic coloration.

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It wasn't better on the ground. My hair made me shudder, the stained-glass windows installed in the attic shone like small stars, and Mr. Shaunathan Sprocket's normally sedate mantle clock? Looked carved of pale teal gelatin with internal gears, throbbing with a green uranium core.

This was SL on drugs. This was drugs without the drugs. How do you people LIVE with this?!?

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Downstairs? No better. My hair still horrified, glittering bands of pale shining turquoise kept running down my scarf, and bands of pink, white and Curie green raced across the now nearly transparent windows. The window to my left, in fact, looked like a postapocalyptic skyline, nuked until that fine, emerald glow was achieved. All the walls seemed set in panels that lightly vibrated from the true, not standing firm and nailed as normal home walls would.

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I staggered from the house and moaned in abject horror--my autumn trees, finally turned, did not bear any tones resembling their former royal golds, pale oranges, and russet reds. Instead, they raced with actinic white, bubble-pink, and cyan overtones, when they didn't flash burned black, the edges crisping and dark. I gritted my teeth, walking to the store.

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I walked towards the store, cyanotic scarf rippling in my wake, and paused to gape dully at what had been the trolley tracks. Now? A glistening cut of shimmering smoked glass, washed in emerald highlights, set between the brick faces.

The horror. The horror.

And who sprayed all the fake snow on the storefronts?!? I moved on.

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I was, slowly and laboriously, becoming used to the banana-yellow sky. But the closer I got to the store, the more the windows and walls faded from sparkling white to atramentous shadow, swimming with the now-perpetual lime gleaming.

A crazed thought occured--if Silent Hill had been a town in Oz, was this what it would have looked like?

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And there she was. CiCi the chromed. Why, oh why....and the wrought iron columns rippling, viridescent across the ebon casting.

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I stumbled towards the shore, closing my eyes. I remember Miss Rothschild sending me pictures of lovely water reflections, of her new home rising from water-dewed mist, sparkling and fresh. That, I thought, at least that will work...I will see that, and then I will flee.

Even that. Not even that. Yes, there were water reflections--of that ochroid sky, not--

I rubbed my eyes fiercely, pulling up the preferences menu, shutting down everything.

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Now, I have a blue sky--pallid, bleached and featureless, but at least blue--but the former waters of sapphire clarity grew murky, slate-dark. These were waters Dagon would be comfortable in! WHO CAME UP WITH THIS ABERRANT BROWSER?!?

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Whimpering audibly, I fled back to my house, turning my eyes from everything but my goal--the one thing that had not changed in any way, my Caledon postal box. I curled around it, nearly weeping at the steady sameness of it. And promptly fell asleep.

This morning, I would have dismissed all as a dream, save for these captured images. It was not a dream! THE HORROR EXISTS!