Zen and the art of deconstruction

dreamMuch happier today, with regards to sl anyway.

It struck me that there were a number of options open to me with regard to my wall problem:

Option 1: Do nothing – Obviously the most hassle-free and simplest solution, and equally obviously, the least effective and most annoying one. Wasn’t going to happen.

Option 2: All guns blazing – Actually, this was never an option – i hate confrontation, especially in sl, and the thought of a battle with a hoard of bloodthirsty undead wasn’t something i relished. As a friend said to me – “this is sl, there’s probably nothing you can do about it”.

Option 3: Something else – Erm… yes, well i never said it was a particularly well thought-out list of options!

A gate through which you cannot pass... very Zen!

A gate through which you cannot pass… very Zen!

In the end, i settled for Option 3 – perhaps it was the zen-like setting of my stone garden, the gentle rustle of the wind in the banners, with their kanji characters adjuring me to ‘give way’, or as we in the West would say: ‘go with the flow’? “What does the river do when faced with the immobile stone?” i wondered… does it attempt to shift it from the stream bed? No, it flows around it, and the stone itself becomes part of the river’s story. And how does the lonely pine bough cope with the fresh fall of snow? Does it resist and fight back? No, it flexes and bends under the weight until the snow itself can no longer cling and falls to the ground below, releasing the bough from its burden, to spring once-more to its proper place. Surely there were lessons i could learn from nature’s ways?

OK… to be perfectly honest, i didn’t think any of that at the time – i was too annoyed and stressed to do profound, but had i been in a more composed state of mind, possibly with the addition of a large glass of red wine, (currently banned 😦 ), my thoughts might possibly, maybe, have wandered down that route. So, humour me here, and let’s imagine that’s exactly how things happened, because it sounds so much better than ‘i had a random idea… it was a long shot, but it might just work!’

WWND – What would nature do? Well, in the words of Professor Ian Malcom“Life, uh, finds a way” – which is, again very profound, but hardly helpful. So i tossed a few WWND ideas around in my head… earthquakes, asteroid collisions, sinkholes and volcanoes, but they all seemed a little destructive, possibly over the top, and not terribly zen-like. Hence the boulder on the bough/snow in the river scenario: faced with an obstacle like an offending wall, nature would adapt, branch out in different directions… it wouldn’t fight with the wall, it would incorporate the wall into its plans, and everything would be fine.

Bingo! All i had to do was make a few adjustments to the building to put the entrance on the opposite side and create my own privacy screen to a) hide the wall, and b) hide the vampires on the problem side.

This is the point where i discovered why nature prefers organic over engineered.

sakura1_001You see, as i’m sure any architect worth their enormously bloated and over-engorged pay salt will happily point out, you simply can’t just spin a rectangular building, with a corner cut out of it, 180 degrees around an horizontal axis and expect everything to magically fall into place – it won’t, your missing corner will be in the wrong corner and – if you  have a building like mine, with one side entirely open – your open end will be at the wrong end. You could, of course, flip it 180 degrees around the vertical axis, which leaves all your corners and walls in the right place, but makes all the furniture fall off the floor and buries the roof underground! Neither was a workable solution.

The other option required physically swapping my ‘missing’ corner with its opposite number – in effect, creating a mirror image of the existing setup. Sounds simple? Yeah right… all the way up to the point that you find you have a short wall on the long side, and long wall on the short side; swap them over and now your wallpaper and external rendering are all back-to-front. In short, it turned out to be a lot longer, messier and traumatic than expected, especially with the region restart that happened half-way through!

Restart? Hang on… isn’t it a no-change week, Thanksgiving and all that? Besides which, it’s not Tuesday yet! i sighed, at least i’d had one of those lovely new-fangled 5-minute restart warnings. Clever stuff really, plenty of time to get your act together before making yourself scarce but – as soon as the region’s empty – Bam! At least, in theory, that’s how it works… In practice, this is what happened:

* Region restart in 5 minutes: Run! Run for your lives, or be forever logged off! *
Me: Oh, goodness me, how annoying. Just when i’m in the middle of this fiendishly difficult bit of building too… at least i’ve got 5 minutes to sort it ou….
* You have been kicked out of Second Life – we restarted the region anyway, just to wind you up. Na na na na naaaa! You can still view your chat log though – not that it’ll help! *

Then this:

What the hell is that? Is it OK to click ‘OK’? What if it’s not? For all i know, if i click OK we’ll go to DEFCON 1, or my soul will be sold to satan, or i could be agreeing to purchase Guatemala! If there’s one thing that will never be OK it’s a message with no message and just a button saying, ‘OK’!

Anyway, once i’d made my peace with the Pentagon, put out the flames of Hades with liberal applications of holy water, and drafted a new constitution for the People’s Republic of New Guatemala, i managed to log back in again, shift the furniture, put the wallpaper back on the inside and finally, it was all sorted. Just a matter now of setting a new landing point and that pesky wall will just be a distant memory. 🙂

s. x

We don’t talk about love we only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end
Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life

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