Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Third Life

One reason this blog is named as it is, is because it was always going to be time to move out to the larger world. Second Life, for me, is basically over. I will help close up Yedo, but the 5th of December is the end for us. Linden Lab has chosen to behave in an unethical and criminal way, and other hands have made the decision for me.

That leaves what next. The what next is doing, and that means, for me, making art, and writing about the topics which flutter into my mind, through my fingers, to the keyboard, and out into the world.

This then is the after life of Lillie Yifu. She's not dead yet, but mostly, yes, she is gone. She's she now, for a long time, I thought of her as me. Dizzy calls entanglement with the avatar one key part of entering virtuality. If your avatar is "me," that is different if it is "a toon" or "it." It's different if your avatar is human "her" or "him" as well.

My first project is to collect all of my poems and put together a pdf of them, and put that out some place. People don't buy books of poetry by unknown people, and mine aren't good enough on the scale of the pageant of literature anyway. Or perhaps to be more honest, I will say more consistency from my hands is needed. Some are very good, while others don't work. But who is to say.

The second project is to finish the two novels I have started, one is a fable of America as it is, and perhaps will be, the other is my coming of age story. I think, or feel, rather that coming of age now is not looked at correctly, because people who are older than I am saw themselves as plugging into a system, and the question was selecting threads out of a tapestry. Don't get me wrong, I was there for a long time, but for me, coming of age has been the reverse process. Not finding my place in someone else's treadmill, but finding that the treadmills are that, that they shift and chimera (verb, intentionally, deal please) before your inner eye of hope.

One thing that reminds me of this was this New Yorker piece that a friend sent me too. It is on the age of "sexual debut" and the differences between two kinds of teenagers, which they divide by red and blue. I think that this kind of language is wrong, but the point of the piece, and of the researchers that they cite, is that there is a divide between educated late marrying metropolitan teenagers and young people, and more provincial and less educated teenagers and young people.

The argument is that teenagers, especially young women, who feel they have everything in front of them, and who weigh risks carefully, see youthful sexual intercourse as not worth the risk, even though they accept, in principle that sexuality and sexual intercourse are natural and normal. The other model is women who are in a socially normative environment that presses them to marry younger, and have children quickly. Leaving aside the broad brushiness of this, I have a few thoughts that differ.

I see there as being two bursts of coming of age, at least for myself and my friends. The earlier one is self-exploration. This will eventually involve sex, or it might involve what might be called mechanical sex. Doing it for the sake of having done it, with someone chosen to do it for the sake of having done it. Many of us have a floating category of sex that doesn't count specifically to encompass these kinds of encounters. Guilt as charged.

The second burst is the point where you are looking for someone to be a life partner. The first burst is about not knowing yourself, and being alone. There is a desperate craving for being approved of. That's why there is a good correlation between parental approval, and later first sexual intercourse. There is a glow to the attention that can't be denied. However, that peters out, with the lack of the high. That lack of high is rooted, I feel, in the moment where you are not searching for yourself and your own pleasure (which can be awfully hard to find) but for someone to be with. Someone to please and be happy through their happiness as much as your own.

That first flowering is an unconscious, or preconscious one, where as the second is one that is born out of a moment which is the conscious unfolding of needs as deep as the sea.


  1. God, I'm so sad to see you go, Lillie! You're a breath of fresh air in this place.

  2. Thank you!

    For everything there is a time, and this shows that I can't stay in Second Life. There are other worlds out there, and right now a very real one is dragging me back in.

    It's going to be strange, but probably good for me.

    One thing I always promised was that when I left SL, there would be no "sluicide." That means no one coming on this blog and announcing in melodramatic form that something awful has happened to my analog avatar. That's just lame.