There have been a number of lovely memories inspired within me this last week, and perhaps my favorite was recalling the time I spent in Ireland while I was at University, a ten day tour with my small chamber choir as we toured several cities, stopping to sing at churches, pubs, and even a castle or two. I felt so bestirred by emotion during that trip, yet unwilling to take for granted a single moment. In my head like a gentle mantra, I kept remembering a concept attributed to Confucius in my philosophy courses: “No matter where you go, there you are.” To be true, no matter where we visited in Ireland, I was so present in that place and time, I could almost feel the passageways of my mind taking careful, ardent notes of my surroundings and experiences, in order to paint the most meaningful memories.
And one particularly lush recollection I have of Ireland is its bodies of water, how unique they felt to me. The North Atlantic Ocean lapping the shores of Galway was the same one I’d swam in whilst visiting New Jersey as a girl, but it felt so profoundly different: stoic and serene, worldly and wise, as though it was regarding this young woman with its thoughtful blue-gray eyes, asking her to stay awhile, maybe have a pint, and please: feel right at home.
The other day, I wrote that: “the most simple and poetic way I know how to describe it is that when you find your place here, Second Life feels like coming home.” I would expand upon that to say that it’s so much more than the platform that inspires this feeling, but truly the people and experiences we share within. I feel as though I’m emerging at last with grateful clarity from the occasional storms that have paused for a while on my prairie these past few weeks, and I have a number of wonderful SL residents to thank for that. Because without you, kind souls, this virtual world is like a harbor without a lighthouse. Or to borrow a beautiful sentiment from my favorite poet, Pablo Neruda: “You occupied the house that darkly awaited you, and then you lit the lamps …”
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“Relieved … I’m so relieved
The tables are turning
Don’t sacrifice this feeling Home, is this my home?
Been starting over
Bathe in the water …”