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"Something Wicked This Way Comes"



Carnival Street, originally uploaded by ~sierra sugar~.

Old Europe Village is a quaint old-world place with little town shops lining the cobblestone streets. At its center is a town square hosting the annual Hallow's Eve Carnival. There are lots of hidden treasures to explore from dancing in the fog-covered graveyard, to riding the skull ferris wheel, a haunted tunnel of love ride, and even a haunted house guarded by zombies.  Old Europe Village changes with the seasons, so be sure to catch the carnival while it's still in town.

And you thought the post was going to end there?  C'mon, you know me better than that by now...

So its Halloween time and I've had a quote from my favorite movie in my head for some time.  It's what inspired this post.  Ray Bradbury wrote the book "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and Disney turned it into a movie in 1983.  While many know the quote, few are familiar with its interesting history.

Shakespeare is actually the original creator of part of the known phrase.  It derives from Macbeth, a line spoken by the second witch in reference to Macbeth himself.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to part of the rhyme borrowed from his "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day".  And Mr. Ray Bradbury put it all together in his wonderful little story of a twist of fate spoken by the character Mr. Dark.  And without further ado:

 "By the pricking of my thumbs, 
something wicked this way comes. 
Then toll the bells both loud and deep, 
God is not dead, nor doth he sleep. 
The wrong will fail, the right prevail,
With peace on Earth, good will toward men"

"Ill winds mark its fearsome flight,
and autumn branches creak with fright.
The landscape turns to ashen crumbs,
when something wicked this way comes.


Crystal water turns to dark,
where e'er its presence leaves its mark,
and boiling currents pound like drums,
when something wicked this way comes. 

A presence dark invades the fair,
and gives the horses ample scare,
for chaos reigns and panic numbs,
when something wicked this way comes."

Something Wicked This Way Comes


Shopping List:
Skin: Nomine Aether - Latte
Hair: /Wasabi Pills/ Ahiga Hair - Silver
Eyes: FDM-Alive-Succubus-L-Light
Lashes: Miamai_NoAlpha Lashes_N01

Horns:
Sinfull Aaryanna horns Black
Wings: ::{Favole}:: Entangled *Version 3*
Tail: Chained black tail stomach attach
Gloves: ELEMENTAL glowing electric hands +Fallen Gods Inc.+ PITCH BLACK

Still Standing




The mourning sun glares on a street
once enshadowed
By Twin Towers standing as guardians
over Manhattan.
As dust and tears settle on a now
unfamiliar skyline
Their thunderous demise still
echoes the Nation.

Instead of bringing this great county
to its knees
We rise shaken and bruised, refusing
to admit defeat.
We join together as one
to show
A united front towards
a common enemy.
 
Our flag continues to wave, The Star
Spangled Banner continues to play
And prayers are lifted unto heaven
on Angels' Wings.
Today, amidst the rubble and chaos
brought to this land
We, The United States of America
proudly STILL STAND!
                                                          (c) sierra sugar 9/12/2001

Growing up I remember my parents talking about the assasination of John F, Kennedy and how even decades later they could perfectly remember even the smallest detail of that singular moment in time.  I couldn't understand it.  That is, not until September 11, 2001.

Ten years ago today I was married to an enlisted Navy man serving shore duty at Patuxent River, Maryland, which is located just South of Washington DC.  We lived on base and he worked on the electronics and radar systems for the F-18 fighter jets.  That morning, like any other morning we both were at work and the kids were in school, him on base and the kids and I off base.  That's when I heard the news.  A patient called to say she wouldn't be in, she was watching the news and a plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers in New York.  I couldn't wrap my brain around that concept.

I went to put the news on for my boss and I.  I remember standing there with my phone in my hand as I had called my husband but it just rang and went to voice mail.  I vaguely remember hearing his voice mail message, as if through a hollow tin can, as the second plane flew into the other tower.  When the first tower collasped, that's when my legs gave and I crumpled to the floor.  By the time I was finally able to make my legs work and stand both towers had collapsed.  I don't remember crying but my eyes burned and my cheeks were wet.  Every number I tried to call got some message about circuits being overloaded and the call could not be completed.  Being that close to DC I didn't know whether my husbands squadron was going to get called out.  My family and friends didn't know if we were ok.

I nearly jumped out of my skin when my phone actually rang.  It was my husband.  He had literally two minutes to talk.  I remember him saying be quiet and listen.  Get the kids and get on base NOW, they are locking everything down.  No one in or out.  

My boss told me to go and I did.  I couldn't get through to the school but it didn't matter.  Cars were lined up, buses were loading kids already, and the office was in hyper drive checking IDs and signing kids out.  From that point it took me 3 hours to get on base as every car and person, kids included, went through a complete security check including metal detector and pat down.  They looked in cars, trunks, behind seats, used big mirrors to scan the under carriage of every vehicle.  Only those with valid military ID that showed they lived on base, or listed as critical crew were being allowed in, everyone else was turned away.  And at 6pm no one, living there or not, was getting on the base, period.  We were locked in for 3 days.

That night every navy wife and husband not on duty turned off their lights and sat in their front yards for a candle-light vigil.  Even the kids were solomn and still for that hour.  There was nothing we more we could do at that moment but pray and hope.  

For days we watched nothing but every video, news cast, interview, and heart-wrenching story from that fateful morning.  Until I finally couldn't take it anymore.  I turned the TV off and took the kids to the park on base.  Every moment of that day, every face seen on the TV, every tear, and every loss will always be etched in my memory.  And every day I am thankful that for all the heartache and loss that day, my family was spared.  I only wish so many others would have been as lucky.
Never Forget!

 

Sounds of Silence


This time of year is easily the hardest time for me. It sneaks up on me every year. My emotions run high. My tears fall freely. I find myself angry and confused for no apparent reason. And then I realize what's going on. And even though it all makes sense, it doesn't make it any easier.

Labor Day weekend. In the US it's a long holiday weekend filled with football, cookouts, friends, family, laughter, time at the beach or lake, and fun. For many it is the last hurrah before they go back to school. For others it is a quick reprieve after the first one or two weeks of being back to school. For me? It is the last time I saw Teddy (Thor Bishop in Second Life) alive. Four years ago over Labor Day weekend I was up in Long Island, New York spending the week with him, meeting his family, and planning our future. I flew home the day after Labor Day full of hope and happiness. One month later I found myself on a plane back to New York for his funeral. It doesn't seem like it has been four years. And then again at times it feels like its been more than a lifetime. Throughout the year I remember him with laughter and smiles. I have said my goodbyes to him. I have packed away all but the most treasured memories and I have gone forward with my life. Yet, I find once again this time of year tripping me up and bringing me down. Four years.

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year. Throughout most of the country the colors start to change to rich reds, warm yellows, glowing oranges, and deep purples. The air is just barely starting to turn cooler, but the days are still sunny and warm. My mother loved the warmer months. The hotter the better. She lived to be outdoors in the sun. Autumn is when we lost her. Two years ago September 24th my mother lost her battle with cancer. Two years ago this time of year we were watching her struggle and slip away. Two years ago we were all in denial and silently preparing for the eventuality of her death. As much as we wanted to ignore it, wish it would go away, pretend it didn't exist, the cancer most definitely did exist and it was stealing my mother away breath by breath every day. I can still see the changes in her from each visit. I can still feel the frailty of her as I cared for her, helped her move, bathed and fed her those last days. Two years.

It doesn't seem fair for cancer to win so often. But it does, and it doesn't care how old you are. This time last year, yet again we were left helpless as we all watched my sister-in-law lose her fight with cancer. She was only a couple years older than me and had been fighting cancer for 4-5 years. When my mother died the year before she left behind a husband and three adult children. When the insidious cancer took my sister, she left behind a husband, one child just barely in college, and another still in high school. I was here, where I am most days, taking care of my patient unable to get away. I got the news of her passing and grieved her loss alone in silence. One year.

This time of year is hard. And I don't know where else to vent except for here. The above incidents are not the only things that have happened during September/October the past couple years, but they are the most significant. The others are just salt in already painful wounds. I was alone when I got the news that Teddy died. I sat all alone on the floor in an airport crying into a cell phone telling my dad. My best friend in real life didn't even know and when I tried to tell her she didn't understand, she couldn't. When my mother died I felt like I had to be the one to be strong because I watched as my brothers and dad were coming to pieces. I couldn't even express my pain for over a year, and even then it was over the phone to a long-distance friend who had never lost anyone and had no clue what I was feeling.

The past month here has been crazy with all sorts of repair work and technical problems. I am most definitely stressed and worn out. The past two days I've barely been able to hold the tears in when I'm on the phone or on the air. Music helps, distractions help, but they are not enough. When I hurt I tend to isolate myself. Hoping for someone, anyone to notice and reach out. In theory those that know me know this. Yet not one of them has taken the time to ask what is wrong. I reached out in sheer desperation to two different friends, just needing a little compassion and comfort to help me through what felt like the worst of it. One completely ignored me. The other told me to "get over it".

Why do I continue to put my faith in people? I like to think that when it counts I am a compassionate person. Honest and caring. Willing to listen and try to understand. Life experience has given me a lot, whether I wanted it or not. But it helps me relate hopefully to people around me. No one is perfect, we all fall short sometimes. But I would hope that when it matters I'm able to see through to someone's pain and be there for them. For those of you that perhaps I failed in this, you have my most heart-felt sincerest apology. And for those that know me know I tend to say "Everybody leaves". And that's exactly how I'm feeling right now, everyone's gone and I'm left sitting here completely alone.

If you listen to the sounds of her silence you'll hear the crash of tears as they fall. And if you look through the brightness of her smile, you'll see the shadows of sorrow in her heart. (c) 2011 Sierra Sugar


Virtually Six


In the normal chronology of life six years can be a significant amount of time. If a person lives to be 60, six years is 1/10th of their life span. If an average adult marriage lasts 30 years, six years is 1/5th of that time. To a teenager six years is longer than one spends in high school or for many even college. But in terms of virtual chronology six years is more than a lifetime, to many it may seem like an eternity. In an age and environment where technology is outdated nearly as fast as it is developed and changes are measured in terms of gigabytes per second, a year marks an extreme passing of time.

It also marks the virtual age of Sierra Sugar. Six years ago today Sierra was “born” if you will into the virtual world of Second Life. Seeking an escape from the grind and drama of the average raid oriented guild in MMORPGs, a friend of mind recommended this “new” game. Knowing my affinity towards The Sims, he thought SL would be a nice change of pace from the XP grind of WoW. Little did I know what I was stepping into.

In a world where any person can be and create anything their heart desires, Sierra was created as and has remained a virtual extension of her real life user. The only deviation from that real representation was the addition of kitty ears and tail, call it a personality trait expressed visually. Many use Second Life as a way to be something they are not or could never be. I have used it as a means to express who I really am. The person who was always a bit too quiet, or too shy for her own good could finally have a voice and be seen. It allowed me to step out of myself and take a good look. It showed me many things I did not like, and quite a few I realized I did. It has afforded me opportunities for amazing friendships, incredible love, unending creativity, and yes even unbelievable heartache. Through the laughter, the tears, the good times and the bad, after six years Sierra still remains.

Six years is definitely an eternity in Second Life time. And in those six years I’ve seen this virtual world change exponentially. It was a much smaller world back then. The grid could easily be traversed by foot, vehicle or hot air balloon in the course of a couple hours at best. There were no private islands and mainland was being bought up in large quantities by a budding virtual real estate entrepreneur, Anshe Chung. The only known custom skin maker was Munchflower Zaius of Nomine fame. There was no flexi nor sculptie. And any average Second Life citizen could enter into chat with a Linden simply by asking for help in world.

In 2005 if you logged in and there were 8,000 people online you know the world was going to crash. I remember the first time I saw there were 12,000 people online. And again when there were 20,000 online I sat back and went “Wow!”. Now on any given day there will be on average 65,000-75,000 online. Again, just “Wow!”.

In my six years in Second Life I've seen people meet from half way around the world, fall in love, meet in real life, and make it work. I’ve witnessed the growth of virtual support groups and learning centers. I’ve both witnessed and personally experienced extreme acts of kindness and generosity given to “friends” in a virtual world shared so closely, where yet the real world separates them by hundreds and even thousands of miles.

Residents of Second Life span the globe and their charitable interests are expressed accordingly. Funds have been donated in large quantities not just for RFL, but also for the relief efforts of Katrina, Haiti, Japan, Abused Women, education, Mobility, and various other charitable organizations. Our first year in working with the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, citizens of Second Life barely raised $100,000 USD. Yet that amount was considered a significant achievement brought about by merely a bunch of virtual gamer geeks. The past two years Second Life RFL teams raised over $2.5 MILLION USD each year. Again, just “Wow!”.

In six years here in this Second Life I’ve also witness heartbreaking sadness and acts so inhumane rage and disgust can’t even begin to express accurately. Negativity and evil exists in the real world just as surely as it does in a virtual world. It doesn’t make it right or any less wrong. Human nature being what it is can we really expect others to behave differently simply because it is virtual? Not really. We are who we are no matter what platform or environment we choose to represent ourselves and interact with others. Evil, in what ever context you wish it to be, simply is. We acknowledge it, avoid it if we can, and move on.

Being the perpetual optimist I try to not dwell on the negative. To quote another strong woman from a different era, yet just as equally virtual in its own sense for the time she was created, Ms. Scarlett O’hara once said “Tomorrow is another day!”

And yes it is. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

~sierra

Two Three Six Five - Sierra Sugar

Earlier in the year I was recommended by Callie Cline to the Two Three Six Five blog and they asked me if I would like to write. The Second Life Two Three Six Five is the SL version of the RL blog of similar namesake. After reading over the project and comparing the SL and RL blogs I was ecstatic to be included in this project. And of course the date that naturally came to mind for me to write about was 10/09/2010, a significant day to those that knew me.

Little did I realize the changes life would take over the past year and how it would effect my writing (and personal life) in a way I never imagined. If you haven't already been following this blog do go and check it out Here. If you've liked what I said please leave a comment. All feedback on anything I write is always most welcomed.

~Sierra Sugar