I haven’t posted for months and I would guess that now this blog, and perhaps Pais, is completely off your radars, but I feel the need to put some thoughts together to share with you.
One reason for my lack of blogs is that some of the events in Pais’ life are such that I can’t find a way to put them in a public place. Either they are so tied up with other’s lives that a public forum is not appropriate, or they are so personal in my own life that I cringe at the thought exposing them.
OK, so a week ago Pais marked his first rez-day, meaning it was a time to reflect on his life so far and the world he lives in. I remember one of the first observations I made about SL was how my emotions were so much more involved in the interplay that in any other computer/network interaction, and I marveled at how involved I got with so many wonderful personalities I met. I would see other’s talking about SL and saying the now clichéd statement, “SL is not a game, so there are no winners – everyone playing it is a looser.” Well, if that is what they found in SL, they should move on. What I find about SL is you get out of it what you put into it. This not only is in terms of “your world, your imagination”, but also along the lines of the Beatles’ lyric, “And, in the end, the love you take/Is equal to the love you make.”
SL has added new dimensions to my life. It has been a place where wonderful experiences have been shared with people I have come to treasure deeply. When I think that much of the time I have been in SL I may have simply been watching television, and then I start to think about how virtual worlds can evolve in the future, I know that this is truly a huge phenomenon.
When I think at Pais writing this public blog I think how much of the time he is mostly in corners of SL with his like-minded pals. But “out here” are lots of people that still don’t seem to be comfortable with one of the key elements of Pais – that he is a kid. I have already written about this here trying to explain what it means to me from a couple angles. I fear the ignorance and intolerance by others, combined with the reactionary way the Lindens respond, may one day mean that kids are not allowed.
And now we get to the thoughts from today that made me want to write a new blog entry….
I was talking to the wise and kind Johnathan today, and as usual I was telling him about some of Pais (and my) inner struggles and he was helping me to understand them as he does so well. We got on the topic of who my adult role model was for my RL self… and I was stymied. I realized that one thing I had done, over the course of my life from childhood, after seeing the foibles of adults, was to reject most adult role models, choosing in my mind to cherish and nurture my inner child. Maybe a victim of self-imposed arrested development, maybe it is a chronic Peter-Pan syndrome that makes me guilty of not truly becoming a fully productive member of society, I have always had a Pais-like self image in my core as a mental role model of what is right and best in the world. He is sweetly innocent, yet just on the edge of being grown up to know enough of the potential evils of the world. In Pais’ view, adults have compromised themselves so they could own their part of the world, and the more they harden their identities to make their way the less they are open to wonder and beauty. To Pais, and adult is one who grasps power and things, and although this is important to survival, such grasping and holding means, like in the Zen koan, that one’s hands cannot be open to receive new gifts from the universe.