Tuesday, January 29, 2008

och, lad, I don't know where you been, but I see you won first prize!

It all started the day my vampire landlord acquired 85% of Rivula. He is very near to owning the entirety of the sim, and was considering a new security system.

He'd heard good things about...

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(Aren't they cute? Three Turrets square off in the new empty section of Rivula.)

These things. :) (By the by, if you're curious and/or want to purchase one? You can find them here. They're very effective, surprisingly efficient, and yes--they speak.)

How'ver, he wasn't sure that they'd work. They were equipped not to target members of the land group, so--we were the only two in the sim--I dutifully took off anything that might get damaged in the crossfire, and changed my group. I took the first volley with some effort--they're surprisingly efficient--then ran behind them.

First weakness: if you run behind a Turret? They will not shoot you.

We needed to know more.

So, I called out to friends and companions in Caledon, and asked if there was a fairly stable land we could, erm, borrow for a bit.

Duchess of Middlesea, her Grace Gloire Thibaud, obligingly offered. So off we went.

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(Setting up the field of combat in Middlesea. Mr. Bubba Daniels, Duchess Gloire Thibaud, Mr. Hassanov and Colonel O'Toole face off against three Turrets and Mr. Hank Rucker.)

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(The fighting begins. Mr. Daniels advances as the Duchess and Miss Vi Paravane (just off the frame to the left) look on; Mr. Hassanov charges for another volley.)

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(Sadly, your faithful correspondent does not remember the great bear of a man in that amazing cloak[[*]]; otherwise, Colonel O'Toole, Mr. Hassanov and Mr. Daniels firing; Miss Paravane has learned the wisdom of Not Being Seen.)

[[*Has been suggested that said bear? Is Mr. Exrex Somme. I plead distraction from turret fire if t'is, because I should have recognized him.]]

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(An important discovery: the Turrets WILL NOT BURN. Also, Miss Neome and Miss Midnight Bohemia, designer of robot and Jaegermaiden skins, arrive.)

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(MASS DEATHING. It was chaos. Dogs and cats, living together, CHAOS.)

After I stopped laughing so hard, and reformed in Penzance, I arrived back to the battle, and discovered things had taken a tern for the wurst:

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(I'm terribly sorry. Considering the images about to be shown, those were two terrible puns. But onward. Mass deathing on the field of battle--of a different kind: pidgeons. Miss Merlot Zymurgy arrives and is appropriately perplexed.)

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(The combatants take to the skies, the better to target the pidgeon soldiers.)

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(The Duchess is under attack!!)

After I was set ablaze by Mr. Hassanov--light the bird, not the cat, light the bird, NOT THE CAT!--I ran in a cloud of kamikaze pidgeons. Straight into Mr. Hassanov. Terribly sorry about that.

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(Oops.)

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(The great Pidgeon War of '08 is OVER! Huzzah! We are saved! Also, Colonel O'Toole shows us his big metal doughnut.)

Which reminded us, whatever happened to his first food-based craft?

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(Colonel O'Toole obligingly whips out his weiner for us. Then crashes.)

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(We are so grateful for the assistance, we decide to award him...erm...first prize.)

[19:27] Merlot Zymurgy cursteys, well, thank you for letting me get covered in pigeon carcass... it was lovely
[19:28] Hank Rucker: Hmm. I dunno. Am I comfortable in boarding another man's meat... Hum.
[19:28] Iason Hassanov: I dont know where you been boy, but I see you won first prize!
[19:28] You: *facepalm*
[19:28] Hank Rucker: lol
[19:28] Hank Rucker: Hmmm
[19:28] Iason Hassanov: its just all in a days event at caledon
[19:28] You: Indeed.
[19:28] You: So, successful, dire, surreal. Yes, a typical day. :)
[19:29] Merlot Zymurgy: Iason, why are you always in the middle of these things?
[19:29] Merlot Zymurgy snerks
[19:29] You: He asked this time!
[19:29] Iason Hassanov: lol...yea..they said we could shoot things!
[19:29] Iason Hassanov: that always perks me up


I have been your faithful war correspondent, Emilly Orr, reporting live from the front lines.

*collapses in laughter*

you speak to me in riddles, you speak to me in rhymes

((RP mode...to a point))

I'm gonna fight 'em all
A seven-nation army couldn't hold me back
They're gonna rip it off
Takin' their time right behind my back


It's like watching gathering storm clouds. It's like watching the armies gather on the field in the early morning, men yawning to stay awake, the restlessness before the swords start to ring. Get on with it, she hears a thread of voice say, and can't determine where it's from.

But the first blow was struck far from the fields she knows, the blow that nearly took her down, the blow that weakened her beyond all bearing. The conflict she so anticipated, so planned for...doesn't seem to matter much in the face of it.

And I'm talking to myself at night
Because I can't forget
Back and forth through my mind
Behind a cigarette


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And the message coming from my eyes
Says leave it alone...


She went traveling of an afternoon, far from fae lands, far from her lands. Even the thought makes her smile, but there's little humor in the look. Fae lands? Her lands? Where are those? The sithen is no more, the sithen is taken, the sithen holds human fates now. Her lands do not feel like home anymore.

She lies by the fire, concentrating on breathing. The horse lord speaks to her in her musings, speaks of confusion, speaks of endings. She can tell him only what she's told others--she is hurt; she is wounded; she will recover. He speaks of letting go.

She lets him.

Don't want to hear about it
Every single one's got a story to tell
Everyone knows about it
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell


One thing after another drops away. Ground gained, ground lost, men and women choosing sides. She watches. She hasn't yet begun her battle, she's been distracted elsewhere, and yet it's begun for her. Her private little war gone public, when all she wanted was an accord of terms.

She never meant for things to get this out of hand. But then, she never does, and it does. She never wanted anyone to feel they had to choose. They chose anyway.

She never asked anyone to help her fight. They decided that on their own.

She's too tired to care.

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And it would be so easy to give up, so easy to give in. The pain at times, it's overwhelming. All the work she's done to keep her heart open, and the first serious strike goes right through those open gates, and sets her heart ablaze. Irony nearly too rich to swallow, there. She swallows it anyway. Irony's supposed to be good for the blood, or something.

Everything I've done I've done for you...I move the stars for no one.

She never asked.

She wanders the grounds of land not hers, alone, her loves far away in places she can't reach. That's fine for now; she's not good at being alone, but she's learning. She's learning she'll have to heal this one in stages, and some of the stages have to be solitary.

And if I catch it coming back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do


She's always been too stubborn for her own good. She's never learned in all her years to submit with grace. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, now. Maybe with this blow, she has to struggle a bit. It wouldn't feel like a lesson, otherwise. Lessoning's supposed to come with effort, like medicine's supposed to taste bad.

If it doesn't taste bad, how else would people know it's meant to heal? And this one tastes of bitter on the tongue, futility and loss. She needs these feelings, she needs to accept them, or it will happen again. That she's accepting with ill grace, well, that's just her nature.

She's never made things easy on anyone, least of all herself.

It's awful quiet here, since love fell asleep.

At least it sleeps, and wakes, and sleeps again. It's not missing. That's an unanticipated blessing, and it's what makes her able to heal at all.

But oh, she's so slow. She's not used to feeling this slow. Changing takes effort, now, energies she hasn't had to use in decades used to alter her flesh, change her patterns. Because of the blow, everything lags behind. Char around her heart like burnt linen, the edges crisping and flaking away to even casual touch.

She deals with that too. It's like learning to walk again, moving across the floor, resting her weight differently, grimacing at the pain. The hours spent in the healing pool, water hot as blood, hot as skin, around her. Walking back and forth against the giving pressure. Arch and release. Pull and push. Move, keep moving. Tread water and start it all over again.

She's so tired.

And the feeling coming from my bones
Says find a home...


She wanders the place where the eyes used to be, finding only trees. It's a curious reversal from most of her wanderings--finding nature where she expected commerce. Normally it's the other way around. For all that it's pretty, for all that it has its own form of healing for her, like the pretty temple before, like the fae isle before that...she'd rather have the eye shop.

If pain could be seen... But she knows the answer to that one. Few would want to see her then, or themselves. She's been blessed of late with people who understand, people who bear their own wounds, and working to heal those, helps her heal her own. Wired in circuit, she is, forming bonds, forming alliances, but not for the battlefield, not for the fight.

These bonds, these bindings, she's chosen. Love, not apathy. Friendship, true friendship, amicus, amare...over hate and mistrust. Maybe that's why she had to shred her wings, maybe that's why she had to be brought to ground.

Relearning. Repatterning. Reforging her soul.

She's so tired of life in the crucible, as well, but she does keep breaking. Maybe this time, the casting will hold true.

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I'm gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore


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She returns to her first home, her feet able to find it even sleeping, even wounded. Snow still lays heavy on the ground and the cold is bitter. She sits for a while at the base of her tree anyway, breathing it in. It's home after all, cold and pale, as she is currently. It seems to suit.

It will be warmer upstairs, she knows, surrounded by visions of another forest, far from where she sits. But she prefers a more human reality, for just a bit--winter, and chill, droplets of dark blood like ink dripping from her wounded wings.

Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in.

Indeed.

And I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding
Right before the Lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will sing no more


There is an old story, and she finds more relevance in it, the more the years scroll by. There was a woman, it begins, who had a love and had a life she adored. She had home and hearth, support and shelter. Food in plenty and love in plenty, and she thought it was enough.

But illness came in the window like a thief, like a warrior. It stole her love and she was left alone, to heal. She healed as well as she could but the effort hardened her heart. She grew afraid, she became bitter, she pushed everyone away, she did not want to hurt again.

She stayed alone for many years, until she met one who brought her love unasked, one who wished to love her. And slowly, slowly, she thawed. She allowed this one into her heart, into her home, and it was nearly as it was.

And then a storm came, wind and water, lashing at her home, her garden, her love who left to try to save the land. Her love, the land, washed away, and her heart broke a second time.

She could not bear it, she thought, not again, and when she was well enough to travel, she went to the nearest temple. She lit incense before the Goddess of that place and spoke words in anger.


Why did You do this to me again, she asked, over and over. Why? Why did I have to lose love twice? What possible lesson is in this?

And the voice of her Goddess, gentle as rain, implacable as loss, came to her ears.

Your heart broke the first time, too. And it healed. But it didn't heal right. So it had to be broken again, so it will heal strong and true.

And the stains comin' from my blood
Tell me go back home...


She didn't understand the story, when she first heard it. She thinks she may now. Her heart, her wounded heart, it hadn't healed right, either. But she thought it had.

So she was wrong. It had to be broken again, so it can heal right this time. So it will heal strong and true.

She curls up inside her tree, warm and safe and in love's arms. She talks more now, she blindly reacts less, and she may walk out of all of this vastly changed.

But she will walk out of this. She has no doubt of it. She will stand, and she will stand supported, and she will love again. She does already.

And the still small voice inside of her smiles, and says she's finally learning. For all that she's the most stubborn student in the class.

So she'll be slow. So she'll be stubborn. But she will learn from this.

Hold on to yourself. This is gonna hurt like hell.

It already does. But it's supposed to. How else would she know she's wounded, and be forced to take care of herself?

(Main lyrics are "Seven Nation Army" from the White Stripes.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

so dig a little deeper, 'cause you still don't get it yet

New skin designer out there, or at least new to me. Miss Calire Harford of Symphony Skins in Aurora Quays (at least currently).

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Don't ask me why I started with the darkest skin in her freebie pack, near the door. I don't usually. And even while falling in love with the eyes, my eyes were drawn to what appeared to be a demarcation line across the neck.

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So I flipped on a face light, and changed my pose, and presto, that line disappears. I think, honestly? It's not the light hiding a line. I think it's the way she runs the shading along the collarbone.

Beyond that, though, the rest of the body has really nice details. I could live with more definition on the nipples, but her belly button, even if photosourced, is absolutely charming. And her lower body is very pretty indeed.

But I keep looking at her eyes. Or the makeup around them. That is breathtaking.

Pulls a little oddly on the blink, but really, no one focuses that close.

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I was wrong! There is a darker tone. This is "Baritone", and same lovely eyes, slightly darker, richer tan, bit more orange in the lips. About the only changes.

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Okay, next tone up in her demo line, at least, is Falsetto. (And yes, for those twitching in the studio audience, the hair was mangled, thanks ever so, fixed now. I plead distraction due to the pretty pretty eye work. Shhh.)

Again, slight color variation, lips equivalent tone, same--still beautiful, but--same eyes.

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I figure, Alto's close to 'average of all SL skin tones', more or less. Good definition, very little streaking on any of these, some small bit along the upper arms, I'd like more definition along the rear, but hey, I'm also an acknowledged freak. Beyond that, again, same lip tone, same lovely scrollwork around the eyes.

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And Contralto's one of three tones I normally live in. And again, this is a lovely tone, peach-pink, sort of tea-rose bloom if anything along the shading.

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And finally, Soprano--the second of my personal three favorite tones, and a very nice version, gorgeous pale-velvet-matte feel to this one.

(In case there's anyone who hasn't figured it out? My third favorite skin tone: white. Like, vampire-white, ice-white. What can I say, eternal gothling, I know, it's sad.)

So, overall, I don't think I'm going to be doing enough of these to develop a rating system, but I'd give her 4 out of 5 of whatever it would be. Check her out.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

you'll never know the way your words have haunted me

((RP Mode--again, ish.))

Pulled from sleep by half-formed ideas, I stumbled towards quill and pen, but still felt uneasy. Something wasn't right, and all the dreams of dandelions and kisses wouldn't change that.

I flew about the world, finding myself slowly drawn to another coast, another sea, and finally realized, I knew the town I circled on slow tattered wings.

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Innsmouth is on the grid.

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It was eerily quiet. I had to fight the pull of the o'er-solid air to leave the ground at all. The few homes I saw in any condition whatsoever had no sign of habitation. The rest had their doors nailed shut. Cottage after cottage, all closed. To keep vandals out, or...to keep...whatever...in?

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A patch of glowing green light, spilling out on the cold stones, drew my attention. I landed next to the open door, shivering in a sudden burst of chill, the light moving over my skin like an unwelcome touch. It was a pub, I discovered, when I went inside...and the main art portrayed the town.

Under attack.

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I fought the pull of the earth again, falling in the bay once and spluttering as murky water closed over my head. I rose, skin icy, o'erlooking the damaged landscape. What hurt worst, here, I wondered, and unerringly, my gaze flew to the church.

Surely not, I thought vaguely, even thought now coming with difficulty. No one would be so mad...

But they were, they are. If residents remain at all...they once again worship Dagon.

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Tentatively, I stepped into the church and shuddered. I have stood next to the Queen of Air and Darkness when she was in the height of her power. I have had her sword, Mortal Dread, at my throat. I have been lost in madness in a place of hard ground and verminous disrepair.

I have stood in the sithen's Hall of Mortality with a torture blade and a monk at my mercy.

Nothing I'd known, nothing I'd done, prepared me for this, for the nearly solid shadows in the eaves, for the lurking menace, the bare and barren walls that yet seemed to pulse with strange unholy life.

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Surreally enough...this Innsmouth even has a gift shop. I blinked at the offerings, spellcasted transformations for flesh and skin, and withdrew, shaking my head. I flew fast as wings could carry me, for home, for the safety of my tree and green.

(For any who may not have felt the instinctive shiver down the spine, let me enlighten you a bit as to the dark history Innsmouth bears. Where is it located? October Country, where else?)

Friday, January 25, 2008

every moment marked with apparitions of your soul

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You gotta love product placement. This was taken at Trap, part of the Deviant Kitties store-set, during their skin sale. (If you don't get why it's funny, click for the larger picture and look for the thing that says Bare Rose.)

Last night, Miss Subversive Vavoom invited us on a self-guided tour of the new sim for Brythony, Brythony Caer Llyr. All lands, she said, were ours to wander, but the ones to the east, as she did not know that neighbor well. And we did our best to hold to that guide, and mark no place permanently, and leave as quietly as we had come.

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Brythony slept when we arrived, but such magic came through the sleeping soil as to refresh my fae self entire. Feral wild magics guide this isle, for all they've been contained and, to an extent, controlled. Thatched-roof cottages, low hedge walls, Celtic knotwork wrought in wood and green...t'is a lovely place, indeed.

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Near the base of a large spreading willow, we found a grouping of singing mushrooms, their green radiance lovely to my eyes. I had not, I admit, seen such a wonder since leaving Lumindor, and the first sithen. I could not but help imagining how my Queen would fare in these lands. Such rich food after so long privation...and how would our sithen change and grow?

I pondered such things as we wandered.

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For a moment, I stopped breathing, power in these stones sweeping over me in a wave. Little enough, they slept dormant as well, but it had been so long disconnected from any place of power...

Of course a storyteller lived near to this place. When he does not relate tales and legends at the Falling Anvil in New Babbage, Mr. Gilbert Sapwood recites myth and myth-made-real at these stones. We dropped coin in his cup and moved on.

We passed a low fence of stone and iron, staying well back, pausing to be amused by a squirrel eating acorns. I looked for oaks, saw none, and looked down in time to see the wee one snatch another acorn out of air. Oh, wild and feral magics indeed, wild and feral land, and such beauty in the green...Fern-bedecked and glorious. This was what my heart had been needing to heal.

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We passed an odd place. It looked like the fencing for a sheep paddock, or something similar, but all it held was a hill, and mist, and fish and ducks swimming through the mist. The mist was solid enough to stand on.

We stood there, speaking quietly in the gloaming, until the Queen's Consort jumped the fence. That quick, she was back, sitting astride the fence as if naught were wrong, but she was breathing oddly. Fawkes decided to risk it out of curiosity, and jumped the fence as well. The mist held, but the koi swimming through it surged, and I watched as normal grace and skill left the hands I knew as they scrabbled to pull their owner to safety.

Miss Neome and I looked at each other.

"Vicious, man-eating koi," I said solemnly. She nodded.

"Could be worse," she replied. "Could have been vicious man-eating monks." I nodded at that.

We turned and walked away.

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Our circuitous path took us across a wide and empty field that swallowed me entire for a long moment. I came up, gasping and spitting earth, to find my companions leagues away. I called out to them, and they came forward as I walked back, and together we meandered back to where the magics were somewhat more controlled. Dandelions sprang up in our wake, the seeds blowing in cascading waves through the nightspawned wind.

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We spent the rest of our hours by the pond with much calmer koi, watching the dandelions spawn and puff, fade and spawn again. Fertile magics indeed.

My verdict, after our night of wandering? I think Brythony will pair wonderfully with Winterfell, and with those parts of Caledon that embrace the night as well as the day. I'm not sure all residents will find such enchanted lands to their liking. Magic and science are uneasy partners, after all.

but you I'd find even if I'm blind

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Hmm. I may not be tall enough to be in der Hut on days like this. Must make note: Be in form taller than bar.

Also noticed something else--I was remaking my tip jar, yet another temporary one until-I-get-better--and accidentally retextured the bar!

I had not the idea I could do that.

I fixed it quick, but it was somewhat daunting.

If pictures could talk there'd be too many voices
If sorrow could scream I'd be deaf in a day
I beg my memories to slowly fade away
Too many voices


Cloud Insoo runs a Second Wildlife preserve in, where else, the Second Wildlife sim. There's even a Gothic Wildlife area. (I must find a way to get the Ghost Rat. Nibble...nibble...boo...Must has!)

If pain could've been seen there'd be too many faces
wherever I'd go--I'd rather be blind
And in my darkest night I'd lose my guiding light
but you I'd find even if I'm blind


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The ghost rat! Look at those glowing green eyes. Isn't it cuuuute?

Follow me--though I don't know where I'm going
Follow me on the road to something new
Follow me--there's no other way of knowing
what your heart is telling you


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Man, the house is a lot bigger when I'm this small. I could nearly ride the rat.

I'm planting my hopes and I harvest illusions
year after year--understood by a few
Sometimes it seems like I'm getting through to you
but it's just an illusion


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I found the main gothic animals vendor. They have a bat!

Pity I'm too small to actually climb up the stairs...grr...

Follow me--though I don't know where I'm going, baby
Follow me on the road to something new
Follow me--there's no other way of knowing
what your heart is telling you


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Took me a bit to get up there. Half-fluttering, half-crawling--wings of blood may look cool, but trust me, they don't exactly carry my weight--but I made it. To a round room of webs and soothing red light and one very focused bat.

That really is. Very focused bat. I squeaked at him a bit, he squeaked back, so he's okay, he's just...really intent on...something...edible...with...

Wings.

Ah, well, I'll be leaving soon--

I'm so afraid of losing you
but there's nothing I can do
Nothing I can do but my heart is calling you--follow me
Follow me--


The vendor--go away, bat, I like you, but not that way--has some very cool things, for some very cool prices, both individually and bulk. All scripted, all mobile, bats, Halloween crabs, rats, fog, and the one I had to have:
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Red tarantula. She nests in the rafters, and drops from the ceiling. She's so very pretty.

She also comes in blue.

Follow me--though I don't know where I'm going, baby
Follow me on the road to something new
Follow me--there's no other way of knowing
what your heart is telling you


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This is a good place. This is a very calming place.

I like it here.

(Lyrics are Royal Hunt's "Follow Me". Lovely orchestral arrangements.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I need something for protection, maybe flotsam junk will do just fine

((RP MODE...ish.))

Hollow girl. Hollow girl with a book and a sharpened stick snapped from a rowan tree, blackened along the bark. Asked and answered, and the lightning fell, and she took the tree's offering, one slender, twisted branch. Walked along the cliffside, rubbing the jagged ends against the weathered stones.

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Hollow girl. Searching.


Nadya Lev. Photographer. Don't ask me how I got from Erté to Nadya Lev, but somehow I did. Not all of them are applicable images; but enough are interesting and neo-Victorian, I'm wondering if I could get that link to designers in-world. I'd love seeing some of the attire, used in her photographs, made for avatars.

At least one of the images features Tori Amos. For a twenty-four-year old photographer that names herself "amateur", she looks like anything but. I'm fascinated with how she costumes people.

Hollow girl. The susurrance of shore against sand matching the slide of her bare feet against wet dark stones. One hand searching the basalt for entry points, something small enough to drag herself in. Lowering clouds overhead, chill hanging damp in the air. She's forgotten if it's midnight or midmorning.

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Hollow girl. Searching.


Erté has always fascinated me. I've sketched out and discarded as impossible--at my current skill level--several of his designs. There's at least one of his jewelry designs that may well be impossible to achieve on the grid; much as I'd love to see if it could be done.

He's nearly always fascinated me, how he thinks of cloth, how he thinks to drape the figure. Even at the height of his popularity, some of his sketches could not be made real; they were clearly works of fashion fantasy.

Somehow, this led me to this very succinct definition of the difference between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. They're right, they're absolutely right, but I'd also say there's more Art Nouveau in America than people think.

Of course, there is more Art Deco, chrome and sharp edges and high-rising edifices, because it is a quintessential American design form. But there's Art Nouveau too.

A crack, a chink, a sliver of an opening, sharp by sharp and dragged through by gasps and whimpers. Small droplets of blood to follow progress of small fae, over to someone's long-abandoned seraglio by the sea. She slides the book she brought through limbo under the pillow and curls up, watching the saltwater fall through the ceiling opposite her.

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Hollow girl. Resting.


Project Dollway is an interesting take on the 'reality show' and the fashion world anyway--it's run similarly to Project Runway, but with...well, dolls. Fashion dolls in specific, which does mean Barbie, but there's a lot of other brands there, and nearly all have had their faces enhanced, repainted. Which is not a bad thing, considering.

I think I'm going to have to follow this out, see where it goes, see what fashions it spawns. See if there's anything worth recreating, doll to avatar.

Hollow girl struggling against sleep, bleeding wings scattering drops along the mist-dampened silks around her. Hollow girl brought down just to breathing, to the one thing she has left to control. In. Out. In again. Her eyes slowly closes and she sleeps again.

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Hollow girl, breathing. Still breathing. Hollow girl healing.

It's a start.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm so sick of speaking words no one understands

You're too important for anyone
You play the role of all you long to be
But I, I know who you really are
You're the one who cries when you're alone


I spin deeper into the dark, limbo welcomed this time, as it hasn't been others. It had to be a great pain to tear me from the world, and so it was, a deep pain, the beginning, perhaps, of a great grieving.

But where will you go
With no one left to save you from yourself
You can't escape
You can't escape


I was offered the world, I was offered entry, I had stood, earlier, stood with one hand upon the portal and the other curled around the book I'd found, old-new tales of the Unseelie, to instruct me again in their ways, our ways, our habits and abilities. I had said no. I had refused the world.

You think that I can't see right through your eyes
Scared to death to face reality
No one seems to hear your hidden cries
You're left to face yourself alone


It had to be a great pain, and so it was, to tear me from the world I love. Decisions have to be made, and they will be made, this night. I will know my path before I enter the world again. And if that takes longer than this one night, then I will be in limbo, longer.

But where will you go (where will you go)
With no one left to save you from yourself
You can't escape
The truth
I realize you're afraid (I realize)
But you can't abandon everyone
You can't escape
You don't want to escape


When I know, I come back in. I turn from the point of light, the portal to the world, and spin deeper into the dark. I curl around the book, odd source of security, but it is here and I am alone, and perhaps that is meant to be, too.

I'm so sick of speaking words that no one understands
Is it clear enough that you can't live your whole life all alone?
I can hear you when you whisper
But you can't even hear me screaming


Mine to choose the weapons, yes. Mine as challenged. I have only myself to blame if my challenger is honorless and refuses to play by the rules. But my responsibility because, as usual, I have dared to be open with my plans, with my heart, with my words.

I do not, I cannot, close my heart. It hurts, it bleeds, but I have fought too hard to open it, so that those I love can see me. I have fought too hard, lost too much, to go back on that.

Where will you go (where will you go)
With no one left to save you from yourself
You can't escape
The truth
I realize you're afraid (I realize)


But I will take this back. No more words of war and battle, no more implications and insinuations. My plans will be my own. My words will be my own, at least until this war is ended. One way or another.

But you can't reject the whole world
You can't escape
You won't escape
You can't escape
You don't want to escape


But I will say this, before I turn from all speaking. I will have this known: if any I love are hurt by this, if any I love cease to breathe in the world beyond, because I am distracted with this petty little war...I will wind up that death and affix it in the ways I know and lay it, broken and injurious, at my challenger's door. For it will be our fault, together, if it happens, and we both should eat the fruit of it.

I curl around the book and know pain from the sharp corners. Let me feel pain. Let me feel pain if I cannot feel joy, tumbling through the dark. Let me remember what it feels like, to hurt. For I'll need to know before I face my challenger again.

(Lyrics are from Evanescence, "Where Will You Go?")

hold on to yourself, this is gonna hurt like hell

we came to dance
making moves from a passion play
the ties that bind us just slip away


Act of a moment. One thing falls, another rises. Tricky bit of work was in putting all the pieces back together. But it could be done, it had to be, and it was.

we came to dance
the piper calls out a different rhyme
he cracks the whip and we step in time


Twitchy feeling was the sense of eyes upon us. One thing falls, another rises. Another had risen while we'd been away and busy and overly occupied. One thing already risen, before we ever started.

standing as the parade goes passing by
I hear a voice around me cry
like the sound of distant drums


Change and colloquy. Circumstances shifting. The absurd feeling of needing to send people from this spot with branches of olive and white flags. And why, for what?

rejected and alone
a heart without a home
then someone said
we came to dance
making moves from a passion play
the ties that bind us just slip away


One thing rises, again. As expected, it needs to be put together, jigsaw pieces having fallen out of place. Eyes upon us as we work, we do not know why.

we came to dance
the piper calls out a different rhyme
he cracks the whip and we step in time
we came to dance


But slowly, the thing is done. One thing falls, one thing rises. We assure ourselves of the foundation, and are gone from earth. And yet it feels that eyes rest upon us as we rise.

waiting as the panic grips my hand
hearing prose from high command
like a million times before


And what ill have we done, we who have been away? We who have stayed away? We who have lived our lives in lands far, far from these...What have we possibly done?

no dignity or grace
it's the prize and not the race
and someone said
we came to dance
making moves from a passion play
the ties that bind us just slip away


One thing falls. We rise. But we rise unsure and wounded, and we curl around each other for succor and healing, lids closed fast on the things we yet see, eyes turned from all possible futures.

we came to dance
the piper calls out a different rhyme
he cracks the whip and we step in time
we came to dance


It's not in me to play Cassandra. It's not in us to know such things. But there is unease now in all my movements. And why, what have I done? What have any of us done?

we came to dance
making moves from a passion play
the ties that bind us just slip away


This is my place...I think. This is my home...I think. Yet I've strayed far from its bright presence, and why? To ease another. Who is not eased. This much, now, we know.

take what you can
they said take it while you may
but keep in mind penalty fits the crime
and it deals no softened blow
we came to dance


I have this great temptation in me for leaving.
But I am stubborn, by all things, I am stubborn. And that would be giving in.

Yet, I have to ask, I have to think, I think I need to know--why? Ultimately, though...I don't think I want the question answered...


(Lyrics taken from Ultravox, "We Came To Dance"; pulling from studio version as well as radio release.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

it's easier to live alone than fear the time it's over

Remember when we used to look how sun sets far away?
And how you said: "This is never over"
I believed your every word and I guess you did too
But now you're saying: "Hey, let's think this over"


Irony, mayhap. Universe playing tricks on itself. I value love, I value it above most other things, and I'm perpetually thrown in the spin cycle by it, the whole of my life a search for it, seeing it slip through my hands.

Completely convinced love is the thing I cannot live without...forever in that space of living without it, for one reason or another.

Irony, mayhap. Is there another word for it?

You take my hand and pull me next to you, so close to you
I have a feeling you don't have the words
I found one for you, kiss your cheek, say bye, and walk away
Don't look back, 'cause I am crying...


My favorite songs are those dealing with love lost, love endangered, broken hearts. Jealousy, for all I deplore it, in others or in myself. Songs railing at the injustice of the lover, or the loved. My favorite music is set in minor keys. My favorite weather? Overcast or raining.

Does it surprise anyone when asked for my favorite color, and I name black first, grey second, purple only third?

I remember little things you hardly ever do
Tell me why, I don't know why it's over
I remember shooting stars, the walk we took that night
I hope your wish came true, mine betrayed me


New love...I can't say the intoxication isn't part of what I love about it. That rush of emotion, that rush of endorphins, that somewhat total focus on the new person in the life...it can be dizzying, richer than spring wine, sweeter than drowsy summer air. It can be addicting.

You let my hand go, and you fake a smile for me
I have a feeling you don't know what to do
I look deep in your eyes and hesitate a while...
Why are you crying?


I think some are addicted to it, so much so that when new love becomes established love, they seek the exit points, willing or unwilling, because they think they need that rush of surprised joy to still be in love.

Tallulah
it's easier to live alone than fear the time it's over
Tallulah, find the words and talk to me, oh, Tallulah,
This could be...heaven


But established love, long-term love, for me? That's even better. Love that's grown familiar, the bliss in watching the sun fall together, the knowing of another person...what touches will bring them to gasping, what to say to bring that warmth and joy to their eyes. What will anger them beyond all things. Their psychic pressure points, and how to protect them from being triggered by others, by...myself...All the little details of joining one life, to that other's.

I see you walking hand in hand with long-haired drummer of the band
In love with her or so it seems, he's dancing with my beauty queen
Don't even dare to say you hi, still swallowing the goodbye
But I know the feeling's still alive, still alive


Being seen, by that other. This is who I am. I trust you with it. That point of no more hiding. We cannot have this if we don't invest the time, if that rush of new love's heady drunken rise doesn't fade.

I lost my patience once, so do you punish me now?
I'll always love you, no matter what you do
I'll win you back for me if you give me a chance
But there is one thing you must understand


I look to established pairings on the grid. Guideposts, mayhap, on my wandering path. Lighthouses shining their light on the wide sea to bring me home, keep me from the reefs. I watch what I can of Edward, and his beloved Lady Primbroke, Christine; I watch Lord and Lady Bardhaven; I watch my Queen and her Consort, at play, sometimes at love.

Tallulah
it's easier to live alone than fear the time it's over
Tallulah, find the words and talk to me, oh, Tallulah,
This could be...


Do I think they never argue, these couples I count as guides? Of course not. Do I think they'll always be together? It would be foolish indeed to assume such. The seeds of ending are in every beginning. We're born, that is also the moment we begin our walk to death. All things pass. All things change.

Tallulah
it's easier to live alone than fear the time it's over
Tallulah, find the words and talk to me, oh, Tallulah,
This could be...


But more than that, I know the value of established love. I've said it many times: You cannot truly love someone, if you don't love the way they argue. But also as true, you cannot truly love someone, if you don't love them when love stops being new.

Give me the long-term, every time. Give me the familiar. Give me the body and the heart I know, I can trust, I can be open with. Give me those months of exploration and learning, those steps grown steady, walking with instead of charging ahead, lagging behind, laughing at the inconsistency.

What I need to do is stop expecting the loss of love, new or old. Stop seeing ahead to where all endings live. If it's to be, it will be, and needs no help from me to urge it on.

I need to accept that love is lasting. It's not a lie if I let myself believe that I am loved, that I can love, longer than a season of time. I live in my heart under grey skies, in minor keys. That's my choice. I don't also have to live under the shadow of love's loss.

Drink to me only with thine eyes
And I will pledge with mine.
Or leave a kiss within the cup
And I'll not ask for wine.


My favorite songs are songs of endings. My favorite music is depressing. As Shirley Manson sang, "I'm only happy when it rains..."

But I'm good on the long-term. I'm good when love extends. Regardless of who I am, what I expect, how often my love life explodes...I value, I prefer love for always, over love for just now. It's more work, yes, but it leads to things of such worth, all poetry fails to describe them.

I just need to settle my unsettled soul, that I'm worth such love. And stop apologizing for those times when I, by nature, will doubt, as long as I always come back to true.

Love measured in terms of months, of years? Of decades? That is true richness of love. Not the bright burning of infatuation. The steady warming glow of knowing, knowing, we'll see the same face when we return home, of believing that face, that heart, is where we live, that name engraved upon our spirits.

Give that to me any day, and my soul will need very little else.

(Lyrics are from the gorgeously depressing Sonata Arctica, and their song 'Tallulah'. Ending couplet is the first stanza of Ben Jonson's poem, To Celia.)

I'd like to be the first white hair upon your head

Post of randomness. I don't have many of those.

But the grid was weird this week, or maybe it was me, so...random. Strangeness.

Plus? Completely without realizing, the wee little Train Wreck crossed over the 10,000 hits mark.

Y'all are scary, you know that, right? And living breathing proof I'm not the only drama addict on the grid. :)

So. Some things one finds, are just so odd, one must post them.

Also...I'm still baffled by this: Activ8 is having a Victorian ball--the second Victorian ball, if that release is to be believed.

Activ8. Is having. A Victorian ball.

It stuns the mind, it does.

And something the Dark Victorians should know--the Hair that Should Not Be! Ooooh. (Though now having seen it? The hair, not that impressive. On the other hand, the designer has other art hair that's even prettier. So hey, could be grand find for those High Priestess moments, when you're minutes from needing to be in the underground temple below London and you just can't do a thing with your hair...)

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This is...appalling. Leaving aside the fact that I'm not one with a severe distaste for pink, I am one with a severe distaste for cute. (Regardless of a third of Caledon apparently thinking I'm cute, gah.) Clicking for the larger image will tell you exactly where this was taken, but more to the point, you need to know two things:

1. The twee little unicorn is surrounded by brillant, glittering, animated pink shrubberies. (Yes. I said animated. I know, the horror...)

2. That thing has sit poses. *shudders*

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It's been an uneven week, I'll be the first to admit that. And I very nearly let Duchess Gabi down, by forgetting entirely the time I was supposed to be at Timeless Underground. Yeep.

On the plus side, she seemed to forgive me, and so did the club, and I did my best (after I changed out of, err, an outfit I couldn't dance in) to send out notices, welcome people, and make sure everyone had a good time.

Hard not to at Timeless, really, working in that club is pretty effortless. They're a lovely bunch, and it's a great little space.

Until the fellow with the popcorn started flipping things out. Popcorn...burgers...the Sex Anvil...I sent a small slightly terse note to the manager, because with the particles from their dance floor and all the extra prim action, it was going to start crashing people...and was told, oh, he's done, no big deal...

...and then he dropped the house on the dance floor. So I'll remember that, from now on. 99% cool people...one guy with the Sex Anvil. Okay, not a bad jerk-to-coolness ratio, overall.

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This was back during the holidays. This is what happens when you edit your face, crash right after--which, in my case for some reason, usually rolls me back a few minutes--and then log in and get ported to Bare Rose.

If the side profile doesn't give it to you, how weird this was, let me show you a full-on photo:

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My NOSE is gone! Whereb by dose go?

And not just that, but the muzzle is damned weird, shapes are pulled to the side, and the longer flexi whiskers I'd made? Are, at that point, straight with zero flex.

ARGH!

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The Buddha on Ohana Isle. Ohana is an island that is largely comprised of mini-islands, with lots of waterways and occasional arching bridges between them. Mostly, it gives each vendor their own little mini-isle to play with, which can be cool, or can be odd.

Chalk this one up under odd. Buddha, check. Meditation flame, check. Bamboo, check. Other tropical plants, check.

Snow. Whatha??

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Another one from Ohana.

Look, I know there are a lot of weird fetishes on SL. I've participated in some of them.

But I don't think SL is ready for Disney mouse-eared weddings. Just no.

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Finally, one from Grendel's. Iddint she just the most precious li'l thing...

You'll get an idea of the scale if you click for the larger pic.

Pygmy elephant avs. Who knew?