Long vines of crystalline hue hand down, the green of the ground set of well by the myriad shades of blue and teal. I love the little hints of brighter green, like secrets set within the darkness. There are also large gatherings of hollyhocks in brilliant shades of teal and gold, which ended up matching the outfit I picked up at Evie's closet perfectly - a complete surprise to me, I'll admit! The store is right by the entrance, so I went there before bouncing my way about the sim.
As you can see, somehow stepping into the forest of light cleared me of my wings, though I gained some scales and glimmering clothing. While I missed being able to easily flutter, I have to admit the gorgeousness of the outfit more than made up for being temporarily grounded.
The outfit I'm wearing through all of these pictures is one of the RFL purchases at Evie's Closet, a delicate mer-inspired outfit with a sheer top and skirt and included "modesty scales". I honestly fell in love with the design as I wore it, and strongly hope she'll make more along this vein. The top was easy to fit (just made it a little bigger) and gave a wonderful quality to the skin underneath. There's a delicate curve which I simply found entrancing, and the back is as wonderful as the front. The scales even flowed gently into the koi skin I'm wearing, somehow looking like they were made to go together.
Many of the store builds here are absolutely amazing - both in keeping with the sim theme and a step beyond. Epic particularly caught my attention, decorated in a cartoonishly cute landscape theme. It's reminiscent of the fairy tales I used to read as a child - not the dark ones, where people lose their eyes as punishment or they're sent down a hill in a barrel covered in nails, but the cute ones where the hunter shows up to cut out Little Red Ridinghood and her grandmother. Though, really, those could get pretty dark, too, what with filling the wolf's belly with rocks so he would drown.
This is pure, shining, colorful childhood, though. All of the colors are so vivid and saturated without being over saturated. I felt like I could lose myself in the store, blissfully passing into history as one of the good fairies whose appearance heralds luck for the hero. Childhood is usually a time of sweetness and safety, of bright colors and vivid emotions. It's not so much a time of innocence, though, except in retrospect. In the present time, while one is a child, there is a world of frustrations and curiosity.
I think the innocence might more be called unselfconsciousness. While a child, there is a lack of those limiting awareness of the futures, of long term effects, of how other people see us. Much of becoming an adult is gaining those things, in limiting the self into regimentation, into creating the personas which will fulfill the roles demanded of us, and into learning to view ourselves with suspicion in case we stray into the realm of being embarrassing. I came to some of this late, deeply embarrassing friends into my early twenties.
Second Life is, for many people, a way to take those private, hidden, deeply embarrassing and childlike parts of ourselves and exploring them where our names aren't included. Like these giant animals I found in the Forest of Light, there is a charm and simplicity to usual animals imagined with wings. For others, it's ways of exploring sexual fantasies, some of which are translatable offline while others... really aren't.
Dragons... not so easy to translate offline, except like this - in a fountain! I love how it's perched over a ball, water flowing smoothly into the basin below. There was a gentle sound, too, if I remember correctly. The dragon himself has strong dinosaur qualities - appropriate since one of the roots of dragons, we think, might be dinosaur bones. It would explain why dragon-like things show up all over, even if the qualities differ between the Enemies to Humanity in the West and Creatures to Be Revered in the East (to grossly generalize).
These birds are similarly fantastical, if more on a realistic base. I paused for a photograph with them, where they were placed cutely around a donation kiosk. I especially like the one in front with the rainbow wings - speckled and lovely. I also am very fond of the delicate pinkish flowers, almost like sakura blossoms suspended in air.
The unselfconsciousness of Second Life is simultaneously one of it's draws, and one of it's weaknesses. It calls to those who are different, feel outcast, who hide from others but not from themselves. That, on the other hand, causes problems from both people who match the mores of the world, and those who don't but don;'t want anyone to suspect. People acting out their secret, perverted desires caught the attention of the media, who published it both for ratings and to reinforce the status quo of the "normal".
In order for Second Life to become more broadly popular, these things need to change - at least to an extent. People thrive on feeling like they are normal, like they belong, like they are part of the moral majority. I only hope the future for Second Life includes room for the abnormal, the outsiders, and the moral minority.
In Second life, I can be a faerie - even without wings. In Second Life I can go to a place where I recapture innocence, even if it's an innocence I never truly knew.
( All of the pictures can be seen here, with more added regularly. )
Location: Forest of Light
Light Settings: Nam's Optimal Skin 2
Water Settings: [TOR] Subtleties
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping only