You find me at a most peculiar crossroads in my life. I’m writing from my hotel room, somewhere in Bologna, Italy, possibly much the worse for a now empty bottle of Primitivo, and probably as far away from Second Life as I could be; yet real life seems pretty distant too.
It has been like that for some time.
But, focusing on the here and now, today has been… Well I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s been a mixture of the mysteries of science and spirituality, the carnal senses and banality. I’ve marveled at Cassini’s Meridian Line at the Basilica di San Petronio, and found myself oddly touched, standing in the presence of Usai’s mummified body, nearly 4000 years old; yet still somebody’s son, a person, strangely commanding, even in death. I’ve feasted on hand made tortellini, and wrestled with crowded buses and the banality of indecipherable ads on the hotel TV… And yet, somehow it feels a little like SL. I feel like an observer, experiencing this incredible life vicariously, undecided about where I fit in, and what it’s all supposed to mean.
It’s supposed to mean something, isn’t it?
I’m no Julia Roberts, but it does feel that the events of my life have, for some time been leading me to a moment of self-discovery. Although, typically for me, I’ve done it all backwards, and not quite as successfully. I completely failed to find love in Bali, unless you count a profound love for the people, the place and the lifestyle, and whilst I’ve certainly eaten my fill in Italy, it’s not realy been food for the soul… If anything, I’ve come to realise just how enormous the gulf between what I have, and what I’m looking for, really is. Just to tie things up neatly, I suppose I should head off to India, but that’s a long way off in so many ways, and to be completely honest, I wasted a huge portion of my life on the whole spirituality thing, and I’ve come out of it far more cynical than most.
This feels very much a void – the perfect, unbroken circle. No beginning, no end, and no meaning.
And yet, there is still joy to be had, passion even. Fear, anger, peace and contentment; love and hate. Nevertheless, it all feels terribly distant, disconnected from reality, whatever that is. I’m experiencing emotions, yet I feel them almost as if they’re second hand, I could be an avatar, subject to the whims and fancy of some otherworldly operator, obsessed with making me face whatever challenge they can come up with next. Of course, it’s all bollocks: I’m as much in control of my life and destiny as I am at the dictates of fate and fortune, however the former takes strength of character, whilst the latter simply requires blind acceptance, which – I’m afraid – is just not my thing. Then again, any strength of character has pretty much been beaten out of me by the trials of life recently.
My apologies – this post owes more to frustration, grief, anger and wine than it does to reason, but so what? I always vowed that I’d be honest in the pages of this blog, even if it makes little sense to anyone else – it’s my blog, after all, and sometimes, you just gotta vent.
It’s Friday and I know that my SL friends will be out dancing, joking and laughing… They are a curious mix – some know each other intimately, others think they do, whilst some know more than they realise, yet those ‘people’ dancing, joking and laughing are just a representation of the reality behind the avatar. Some will be very much ‘what you see is what you get’ , others are more, or less, what they appear to be, still others will be nothing like who you think they are… Whatever, it doesn’t matter one iota. Even in RL, we are what we appear to be – the persona we choose to reveal to those around us – and that may be further from the truth than we’re prepared to admit, but we’re all trying to find our own way, some more successfully than others, and we can only do our best, even if our best is suffocated in caveats and ‘if onlys’… Because, so often, that really is the reality of being.
As for me, for some time now, it’s been a case of The Void versus Crossing Over, but in reality, I’m still somewhere in the middle.
And maybe, that’s where I’m going to stay.
I want a thousand guitars
I want pounding drums
I want a million different voices speaking in tongues
This is radio nowhere, is there anybody alive out there?