A Path to Popularity by Chriscloud Loon
When I finished high school, I left Romania. It was 1989. Because I really missed my friends, I used voice chats—first Fire-Talk, and then Paltalk. They only had voice and video, but listening to friends from my country, seeing them, even using webcam, gave me the feeling of home. It was there at any hour, day or night. I am a night owl… so my neighbors were happy! ;o)
I found out about Second Life® in a magazine called STERN. I could not imagine communication as a pixel avatar. I don’t like to play computer games. So I thought that SL must be a game— to win, and go to next level. Well. The magazine told about those who bought islands and created new worlds—living in the sky— like Madmax. I saw pictures of fantasy places that I wanted to see. Once in-world, I also wanted to create. That was in 2007.
In exploring, I found the beauty of the best creators. I started to make pics. And I wanted to make guitars. Spending nights in sand boxes, trying to change prims, was amazing!
Soon, I rented a place, made a studio, and shot pictures of crazy, amazing avatars. One day, I found my studio full of naked females. They asked me if I wanted to work as photographer for some sexy fashion ladies. We made a deal: I needed models for my gallery, and they had my work for free. It was fun to experiment with many models and learn more about photo technique. But. after a while, drama started. When it became too much, I closed it all. and make pictures exploring from sim to sim.
One day, I did a keyword search for “blues,” and I was shocked! There was a lot of blues in SL! In real life, my dad was a musician in the 60’s. I grew up with his guitars, and friends visiting to play. So I took some LMs, and FOUND MY WORLD!
At a club, Kevin Oh was playing LIVE. I knew his name from Paltalk, and I found him in SL two years later. He said that there are more friends in SL from the old chats. I was in heaven! And many of those friends are still here.
For fun, I made some stuff to sell. So I tried having a shop at Crossroads, but I left it after few weeks. That was not mine. But to start a Blues Museum at Crossroads? That was like a BIG BANG! I collected information to make it right. It was my own Blues lesson. I was mad about knowing more and more!
Friends from the southern USA came to help with knowledge about Blues. That was where I made my best friends in SL. And we are still the same, like years ago. Blues people are true. If you go to modern clubs, you can’t find people and make friends like in Blues places, and I say this from heart.
The Museum started officially on June 29th 2007—my Rezz Day was in January 2007.
At Crossroads, I also got experience DJ’ing, and learned how to talk on a mic, I was shy about my English language. Yet, I saw that nobody said ‘GO HOME,’ I was very happy! I wanted to DJ again and again.
Then, in a rock metal club, I asked a girl if I could take some pics of her for my gallery. That was fine. I took the photos and sent her copies. But, when talking, she said: “I talk only with people who speak fluent English.”
So, that killed me a little. But at Crossroads I could fly, just like I am. Nobody had a problem with my English, fluent or not.
There are many kinds of people who come into SL. Some look for the ‘one and only’ partner—that dream person. Others look for having fun, adventure, music, creations. But, there are many lonely people in real life. I think most of them do look for a real life partner in SL, to feel for real.
Everyone finds drama. People can make things complicated with only two words! For those who give much, others will want to take much. SL and real life are the same. But, in SL, people can jump to real life very fast. Difficulties are easier to escape than in real life.
I am open to helping others, but that leaves me open to hurt sometimes. Hurt comes with the desire to own, and I cannot be owned by anybody).
In real life, I work as massage therapist with very sick people. Every day, I help from twelve to fifteen for 30 minute sessions. This work seems quite a contrast from SL, but I love to help others.
I prefer the craziest of people. They are not afraid to tell about their real life character. The part I like best here is meeting people from everywhere. So many are the same. And so many are different, its like a painting of your life.
Those who need peace must take care about how they explain things. Everyone needs some wisdom! Use instinct and experience. There are some very sensible people here. Last weekend, on a real life restaurant wall, I saw a saying of Einstein’s:
“Fantasy is more important then wisdom, because fantasy has no limits.”
So, I often help people by telling them a fantasy. That works very well. It is just giving them something hopeful.
DJ’ing started to work very well. I was in more Blues clubs. After a while, I wanted to DJ other music styles. It is in me. The real Chris is a mix of Romanian, Hungarian, and German. I wanted to go deeper in Music, and here, there are many World Music places.
Crossing Culture started with the first Feed a Smile charity in SL. It helps to feed hungry children. The event lasted one week. I get vacation from my real life work for this. Weeks in advance , I connected with friends to come, DJ,or to play live. They all came and it was magic!
I continue to help Feed a Smile. When my Dad and I fled Romania, during the night, we ran over the border into Serbia without papers. After one month, we came to Germany. We wanted to breath freedom. We talked of the future and made plans. Dad asked me, “what will you do if you get rich?”
I said I will give money to help the poor kids in Romania. Dad was scared. He asked, “Why Romania? Because they are yours? Why don’t you help kids in Africa? They need it more than Romanian kids.” He was right: there are more poor kids in Kenya than in my own country. Someday I want to visit those I help to feed.
Seek Balance from Danger
Crossing Culture and the group ran well. I made hundreds of friends. But now, I need to go another way. I spent too much time of my real life, for the music and party fun. I got only two or three hours of sleep each night… I had only SL on my mind.
Then, about two years ago, my real life body got sick. I had a surgery for cancer. Now, I need to take more care of myself and relax. So, I come here to enjoy time, create, and make a place for art and music, but not for an all-week party. It was very a expensive lesson, but I learned it.
Actually, I have lost many friends in SL—virtual junkies who died—real life DIED. SL is crazy, amazing. But getting lost here can kill the immune system, just like smoking or taking drugs. People stay here all night. I did that, and still do sometimes on weekends.
Now, I rent a camping place in Alsace for real life weekends, just to feel the sun. And, I am not alone in real life. I have a great family. But lonely people are in danger. I tell them to go out and dance. Meet people, so not to be the prisoner of a lonely heart.
Just like in real life, everything that is too much can kill. Only one thing does not: too much love never kills. Set limits on everything else, but not on love, which opens a greater dimension of feelings and connection.
The cosmic vibration to feel friends through communication in SL can be real. Music ties people together through feelings. It is the best sharing. When I hear the same music as you, in the same moment, and we see the same picture in SL, we can be on the same wave.
One day, a friend was playing live in SL. When she talked, her voice was totally different—the vibration was too high. I asked after her what is wrong? She said, “my mother died yesterday.” So, I can feel friends— if they are happy or sad—only after few words, even in writing chat.
A long time ago, I met friends in real life from other online chat rooms, and it was a catastrophe. But with all the friends from SL which I’ve met in real life, the feelings are the same, like meeting old real friend after years.
Ghandi said: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the Way.” Just do that and understand it in everything. There is no path. Those at peace never need to search.
Nurture Creative Efforts
Many of my friends are great artists— but are afraid to show their art because they don’t know who they are. I wish to give these talented friends a little push into cold water, to help wake them up. Art should be shared, and encouraged.
The mother of one friend, a real life painter, was old and very sick. We did a exhibit of her real life paintings in SL. My friend put her mama on the PC, so she could see the avatars looking her exhibit in-world before she died.
Similarly, I have many real world patients in wheel chairs. I brought some of them into SL, and it is magic for them—a dream! This is a true second chance for them. It is great to share with those who are ready to get or give.
The saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” are words that changed my life. And my teacher came— from the other world. But I need to change my real life too. It is a progression. In the game of life, I need to find the next level. The material world makes me tired; it is too much all around. By spiritually experiencing SL, there is no more distance, or time. It is all here and now.
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