Although a city dweller, it’s not my natural environment – i live in the asphalt jungle from both necessity and as a victim of circumstance; whilst i can enjoy the immediacy and excitement of the bright lights of an unfamiliar or new city – at least for a short time – ultimately, i am drawn to the wide open spaces and the call of the wild. In an ideal world, i’d live in a small stone cottage, miles from anywhere, with an ocean view and fields, forests and mountains surrounding me.
It doesn’t matter how you dress them up, cities are inherently ugly – we live in a world in which open spaces are seen as a commodity to be filled; we consider it wasteful to have space and room to move and even the smallest of spaces can be valued far in excess of what any sane person would consider reasonable. The maniacal urge to fill every available space, to fill the plains, tear down the forests and expand outwards… even into space, appalls me – as a human being, i need – as i’m sure most of us do – to experience the wilderness and feel the awe that vast open spaces can inspire… to fill those spaces with concrete, steel and all the hallmarks of civilisation simply leaves me cold.
You would think that i might feel the same way about sl… but i don’t. Certainly, i like my wide open virtual spaces and, if i could, i’d be more than happy to possess a region or two, all of my own, but having taken ownership, i’d have no qualms whatsoever about filling every available space to bursting point! The small chunkette of sl, for which i am custodian, is testament to that fact – it is positively overflowing with primmage, and what i’ve not been able to fit on the ground, has found its home in the sky… and several layers of the sky, at that!
Looked at objectively, within sl empty space is wasted space – it’s space that is not earning its keep. (This, i suppose, is no different to to the state of affairs that landowners in rl find themselves in – which would account, in part, for the pressure to fill empty space that i’ve already spoken of). Whether you are commercially minded, in which case every square metre has earning potential, or – like me – you adopt a more aesthetic approach to your land, bare ground is a missed opportunity and makes us feel uncomfortable – and so we do whatever it takes to realise its latent potential. Often, that is the prompt for us to provide opportunities to others – using our own land as a commodity from which others can also benefit through lettings and rentals, but here i must confess to to a rather selfish leaning – i hate sharing my land!
Perhaps i should clarify that last statement – in truth, i love sharing my land… apart from one or two special places, as far as i’m concerned it’s public space that anyone is welcome to explore and enjoy, but please don’t ask me to rent you a corner or let you set up home there, or for that matter give unasked for suggestions for how it can be utilised, because a punch in the kisser a polite refusal can often offend. i guard my land jealously and i can feel quite insecure if anyone should ever dare question my choices about how i use it – not that anyone ever has, but i’m very conscious of how i might take it!
That for me underlines one of the fundamental differences between the wide open spaces of rl, and those of sl – in the real world, even if i was fortunate enough to own any sort of land, the extent to which i could model, landscape and utilise that land would be pretty limited – and, in most cases, somewhat permanent. In sl, the situation is very different. Here i have carte blanche to build, model, sculpt and play around to my heart’s content – and nothing ever has to be permanent, if i fancy remodelling every single day, i can do so and that creates an incredible sense of freedom from restraint and convention. In essence, the land i preside over in sl is very much a reflection of myself and i express myself through the way in which it is modelled, and – just as i can be a very changeable character, so too can the environment that i choose to reflect that character, and it doesn’t always make sound aesthetic sense!
i’ve had an itch that i need to scratch for a little while – the Tube Station, otherwise known as ‘the great retail project that never was’, is great; but in all honesty, it’s a bit of a white elephant. It was one of those projects that i thoroughly enjoyed building but, ultimately has little to offer in the way of functionality – i like it a lot, but i’m also a little irritated that it just sits there, doing very little of worth. So, it has to go! Probably not permanently, and not immediately, either – i need to get SL10B out of the way first. In time, however, It’ll be carefully packed away into inventory, ready to see the light of day again some time in the future, when the time is right. As for what will replace it, well i have a few ideas, but i’m not saying just yet, although i will tell you one thing… it won’t just be an empty, open space!
What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across this sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?
Pink Floyd – Empty Spaces