I’ve built a snowy woods in Second Life where you can walk around inside Robert Frost’s much-loved poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Come visit! You can also get a sled to ride around on – and snowballs, skates, and hot chocolate too. It’s my Christmas present to all my blog readers and friends in Second Life. I think of it as a sort of 3D Christmas card.
In case you’re not familiar with Second Life, it’s a virtual world where you can make yourself an avatar and visit worlds of your and others’ imagination, for free. I have lived there now for four years in the sim of Farhaven, which is where I built this little woods. To visit my snowy woods, just register at Second Life, pick an avatar for yourself, then click here and choose “teleport.”
I first got the idea of building this woods when I was laid up with a foot injury four years ago and couldn’t walk. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to walk again, and it left me dismal and frightened. I had heard about Second Life, and I decided if I couldn’t walk in real life, I would build a snowy woods where I could walk virtually. I had always been fascinated with the idea of being able to walk around inside a masterpiece, be it a painting, a poem, or even an idea. So I built my woods four years ago, with painstaking attention to detail, which took my mind off myself.
My body healed, as bodies often do, and I am now fully recovered. I looked back on the memory of that little woods and decided to build it again this year. I have built other “Poem Parks” over the years, but it has always been my favorite. So I give you: Snowy Woods 2.0. It’s similar to the first one, but there are a few changes. Just as there are in me, and probably you as well.
Also, please don’t miss Farley Crabgrass’s wonderful video of the the woods four years ago, called A Second Life Winter’s Night. He filmed it in my little woods, and I was so incredibly moved by it. I loved my little snowy woods, but to have someone else say it was beautiful too, and then to put it in a movie, I was over the moon. I watched that video every day for quite awhile. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot chocolate and a moment of relaxation.
It is a rough time in the real world. Some people ask: How can you play around in a virtual world when there are so many problems to solve in the real world? I do it for relaxation and inspiration. Also, it awakens a soft poetic dreamy side of me I find so hard to touch in real life. It’s not a substitute for reality, it’s an accompaniment.
May all your holidays be merry and bright, and may the peace of the season accompany you.