Written 5 May, 2008
Taking a Moment for Real Life
My first life changed when I came to Second Life. I stopped watching television, stopping talking to people who annoyed me (before SL I talked to them out of a sense of duty, I guess), and I got more than a bit behind on my home repair projects and even simple tasks like dusting. Second Life does that.
Over the past week I’ve taken some extra time for my first life, walking around the beautiful lake that is only feet from my home.
The mornings have been pleasantly chill, about 64 degrees F., the sun has been out, and irises, rhododendron, honeysuckle, and other plants of late spring have been blooming in profusion. The air is filled with birdsong and the drumming of a woodpecker and scented with pine needles and sweet flowery fragrances. The lake shimmers.
I pass people enjoying the park, neighbors wave as they pass me in their cars and trucks, and all is right with the world.
On my first walk I chanced across a friend with a pair of enthusiastic setters that did their utmost to race after every errant squirrel, passing dog, and dragonfly. My friend and I caught up with each other, talking about mutual friend and projects.
Then, on the back side of the lake, in the shadows, we saw the biggest carp in the world. It was nearly three feet long and must have weighed 60 pounds. It looked exactly like a 10-cent goldfish stretched enthusiastically along its X, Y, and Z axes. It swam slowly among submerged branches, paying us no attention. We watched it for minutes.
“I wonder if that’s the little guy I put in the lake three years ago,” I mused, and when I spoke, two turtles we hadn’t seen launched themselves from the log on which they had been sunning and splashed into the water..
Yesterday I saw a pair of Canada geese with two fluffy newly-hatched goslings. The parents eyed me warily as I passed, giving them plenty of room.
Atlanta is a town filled with neighborhoods that people who will sue you if you paint your house the “wrong” color or put a pink flamingo in your yard. But my little town—well, in the past few days I’ve seen an eight-foot cast iron pterodactyl perched on a roof, a concrete birdbath gaily painted so it looked like the big spotted mushrooms one sees here and there on the grid. I’ve seen muskrats and a heron and a tree house and more yard structures and wind chimes than I could mention.
But just to show you where my heart is, when I’ve seen most of those things, I’ve thought about how I could recreate them in Second Life.