Saturday, August 9, 2008

Coming Home at Last

In the past month, my laptop has given me far more headaches and heartaches than pleasure. With the original Vista system, it never was problem-free, but in the past month, some programme continually blocked wireless access. Days with technical assistance failed to solve the problem. The only solution was a 'Recovery', a rather sad euphemism for total Destruction.

Of course, they tell you breezily that all you have to do is back-up your files, but this simple direction conveys nothing of the hours wasted in backing up files and then, after the 'Recovery' or rather Rebirth of the system, being forced to reinstall all programmes again.

I hate the entire business of computer Recovery, so I dragged my feet, trying to find a less radical solution. I finally went through it yesterday. To my delight, the wireless connection reappeared, and trusting as I am, I proceeded to reinstall all my programmes and transfer all my files back onto the laptop.

I awakened this morning to find that the wireless connection once again had ceased to exist. Some arcane working of Windows was blocking it in such a fashion that I could not even find anything connected with it in my system.

Anyway, I now have installed the Service Pack 1, in the hope that my laptop will function properly again, but I am not going to reinstall all my programmes or transfer my files until a day or two has passed.

One programme I had missed greatly in the past month or so was Second Life. I did install it yesterday after the first Recovery but was so exhausted that I only logged in and out without spending any time there.

This afternoon, after the second Recovery in two days, I visited my skybox. It is incredible how something that exists only in a virtual reality can bring one a tremendous sense of quietude and peace. The sound of the water lapping gently in my indoor pool and the reflection of the sunrise in the windows as well as the flaring of the torches combined to bring me a little ease from pain, fatigue and frustration.

Beyond that, there is a true sense of coming home. This is Freyashawk's home, the home of a part of my soul that is given little space to breathe in reality. I do not wish to DO anything but meditate quietly here, watching the pattern of the sun's light as it changes, and listen to the sounds of the water and the distant howling of my wolf on the land below.

In Second Life, I have a little Empire of my own that includes a small ship and a number of castles as well as a garden complete with gazebo, peacocks, waterfalls and wolf. I can float on a raft in the water next to my ship or feed my paired black swans. I can build a sandcastle or build a large castle if I feel creative or energetic or I can stand on my bridge and watch the tiny glowing fairy flit through the air nearby as the trees stir in the breeze and night falls over the land.

Best of all perhaps is my cat in Second Life who responds to my call and will follow me wherever I go, purring lovingly. I can enjoy the beauty of solitude with the affection of my pets.

Yes, it is fantasy but it actually does calm the spirit and engage the heart a little. One creates real memories and moments in Second Life can be treasured forever in real life.

If my laptop bedevils me again, at least I have experienced something positive again that could not exist without computer technology. Perhaps that will inspire me to continue the struggle with these endless updates and the tangle of programmes constantly assaulting the fragile little citadel that holds my data.

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