Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Remembrance Ceremony for brinda

On Saturday night, August 20, at 7pm SLT, there was a memorial service for brinda. It was a truly solemn occassion, presided over by myself, Ling, and Breye. The turnout was great. Some bloggers came like Abernathy Button and Crap Mariner, Angela was there and many others.

We were all there to remember a great one who touched all of our lives. No pictures were taken, but I did take note of what was said that night. I stayed for the entire service.

It was a gathering of family and love. I just want to include some things that were said about her that night. Brinda made us smile. She always gave of herself to others. She was never "exclusive." She was "honorable. balanced.
non-judgemental. wise and true." We remembered how she was understanding and a good listener, but also how she could give us quite a scolding if we said something wrong or got into scrapes. But when she chastised us, we deserved it and we tended to take it well. We knew she did it out of love and honesty. Her love was unselfish and true.

Some of us have fond memories of exploring sims with her, even if she had been to the sim a thousand times before. She always had this appreciation for builders and sim creators and owners. To her, it never got old. She was always amazed and admiring of their skill. Brinda was a big supporter of building and art in SL. A lot of her friends are artists, builders, and musicians.

Learning. Life is a lifelong learning journey. She was always learning new things and she would teach her knowledge to others. It was always exciting and fresh. Being able to spend time with her was an honor...an honor I will never forget.

Where the Great One lies resting, just behind the guest house

Benares from east side

Benares from west side

Looking down on the mesa

Finding a rainbow

View from Porter's in West

Benares Tori Gate between the guesthouse and brinda's shrine

My neighbors at Benares are:

Below is a poem a friend sent to me:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need
You have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
Guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
Fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has
Come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy..

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional

Your job is to accept the lesson,

Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other
Relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,

Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home, where the heart will be

Brinda Allen passed away on August 9, 2011. At Benares Saturday 7pmSLT, there will be a memorial service for her. It will be behind the guesthouse by Gin's stone, I believe. I guess people will arrive at the telehub and I could teleport them to the guesthouse.

She will be coming home, in spirit.

In the meantime, I have asked an artist to create a statue for her. It was Ling's idea. It could take 3 weeks, if we agree to let him. He's a great artist and he gets a lot of commissions.

I'll post the temporary grave stone I made later.

Below are pictures of Benares. More will come.

Below, I have posted a song by Roy Orbison. It just makes me want to cry and croon my heart out.

Waiting for a Message

by Rochelle Mass

Trees help you see slices of sky between branches,
point to things you could never reach.
Trees help you watch the growing happen,
watch blossoms burst then dry,
see shade twist to the pace of a sun,
birds tear at unwilling seeds.

Trees take the eye to where it is,
where it was,
then over to distant hills,
faraway to other places and times,
long ago.

A tree is a lens,
a viewfinder, a window.
I wait below
for a message
of what is yet to come.


Brinda loved trees and I do too.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just passing by this life...

None of us know where our lives will lead us. Life is so hard to withstand oftentimes, but I believe it is a wonderful world.

My friend Alli sent me an IM this AM telling me brinda died in her sleep last night. Her mother located brinda. I only wish I had gotten in touch with Alli sooner. Her mother was a close friend of brinda's.

I hope that brinda was resting peacefully and felt little pain. I wonder what she was thinking about that night. Was her mind in Vanaransi, India? Was she inworld again in her dreams?

Life can be a lonely journey. Brinda understood that and accepted it bravely. She was wise, valiant, and strong-willed. She really lived and experienced life. She found her path at the age of 47. She found her place and family in SL when she was about 64. Her life was beautiful. She leaves behind a legacy of community, love, concern, togetherness, grace, and integrity.

She has loved and been kind to so many in SL. Few people can ever forget her. She is extraordinary, she is magnificent...she is Herself. She befriend newbies and taught them how to get started in SL. I was one such newbie. We all have brinda to thank for giving us a home, an identity, a reason to smile here.

Three of her oldest friends came inworld this morning, Ling, Twinkle, and Lala. Grief really does bring people together. Brinda chose her friends well. She loves them and I love them all too. They are sweet, intelligent, and loyal.

I haven't seen one of her closest friends, Kattie, for about a week. She loved Kattie dearly. Kattie has promised to stay at Benares for as long as she has a few good friends in SL. My heart goes out to Kattie too.

I will miss her so much. There is no one like her in my life. She taught me about life, love, and about myself. She will live on in our minds. Her soul still lives. I can feel her aroud me, can you feel her? She's never gone.

She has given me textures, pictures, scripts, LM's, her words and most importantly...herself. I am honored and proud to consider myself a close friend of hers.

Because of her, I want to learn The Way and be a better person than I am. She knew I would want to pursue it, even if now I am not ready and still afraid. She is like the guru who just "knows", you don't have to speak. It's not like being psychic. It's just being able to "see" into a person's soul. She thought I was perceptive enough to "see" some things and maybe she was right. Only time will tell now.

Her favorite songs:

"Human" always moved her to tears. She looked at those animals and her heart wept for them. She always had so much compassion and love in her. Brinda is love.

And this is one of her later favorites by KT Tunstall. She loved hearing Porter sing it. Thanks, Porter! Keep on singing, girl!

I have decided to make some creations and items in memory of brinda. The profits will go to Benares. I haven't made any definite plans yet, but I will work on it slowly. I want to make brinda proud.

My friends, people who have never met brinda, those who have known her but aren't my friends...know that you are loved. Go out and do good deeds and make at least one person proud of you.

Here's to loving...



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why it means so much to me....

I guess I've always been an introvert. The world has always seemed like a fascinating place and it still is. Like I feel that childlike wonder when I see a gorgeous Disney movie like 2010's Tangled. Even if they all seem the same, I just love the color and animation in each one. Light and Darkness...just the dichotomy has fascinated me as well. I feel drawn to both of them. We all have a dark side, but most of us choose to stay in the Light. That is how it should be.

Lately, I've come to understand some things. I feel drawn to Buddhism. I've always been curious about Eastern philosophy, mysticism, and Eastern religions. Since brinda, I've come to know more about Buddhism. She once asked me how far I wanted to go into it, I didn't give her a straight answer. And she didn't push. She knew that I wasn't ready and I still am not there yet. But, I have accepted that I am in prison...not a physical prison but a prison build around me by society and by what I've been taught. I feel closed in by what I expect of myself and the reality of what is. There's a disconnect and I can't get free of that. I also am a prisoner of my desires. They prevent me from feeling content and free. You know, always wanting more that we miss the good things in front of us. When I let go, then I can continue the journey.

"Suddenly I see why the hell it means so much to me..."

Another soulful song by KT Tunstall, it calls to me.

Just because I like the video and the lyrics...



Sunday, August 07, 2011

"You Are Enough"

A wise friend told me that at least once. It is friends like that that make me feel so lucky. They appreciate me for how I am. They put up with me and I can feel their caringness. I have made plenty of mistakes and will make more, but it means a lot when you have friends and family behind you, supporting you and encouraging you. Even if they scold me, I know they mean well and they truly care. If I never got negative feedback, then I would know that no one really paid attention or cared a bit. And I know that I am not perfect. I have my rough edges, my fatal flaws, my quirks...or whatever you prefer to call them.

If I have offended you, I am truly sorry. I meant well but sometimes my well-meant attempts come out wrong...foot in mouth I guess. We don't always know what the right thing to do is, but if we do nothing...we'll never really know if it's wrong or right. I find that a lot of times, if you learn and don't ever make a mistake...then you really haven't learned. Experience is one of the best teachers. My actions are motivated by a desire to show my concern. I cannot apologize for how I am, but I can apologize for my actions. I strive to do good. If you can, please be patient with me. And please don't use my age as a card to be used against me. Age has little to do with it. And typecasting, categorizing, stereotyping, profiling...those are just plain wrong.

To all my friends who have been there for me and those who will be there for me for a long time, I dedicate this song to you...the best version of Just The Way You Are.

Thank you a million times over for being there for me, if not in presence then in heart and spirit.

Here's to trying to be good...


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Forgiveness in life

In the past, I've written some angry words on here about people who have hurt me. Some was true, some was a bit distorted. I am ashamed of that. Thankfully, I have let go of it all. I have to let go. Holding on to that is hurting myself and life is hard enough to take already.

There's a prayer I remember that goes something like "Give me the strength to accept that there are things that I cannot change." We have limitations. We blame others for being unhappy. We make conditions like, "If I was smarter, I'd make more money" or anything like that that is something that we never had. We want some feature we weren't programmed with, so to speak.

We all forgive someday. It's comfortable to hold anything. But it's always best to just let go. One tenet of Buddhism I like is that you don't hold on to yesterday. You must live Here and Now.

Here's to trying...



Friday, August 05, 2011

For the love of Brinda...

Since mid-July I've known about how sick brinda is. It really saddens me and for so long, I kept going and put on a smile and said "we can get through this!" But for a few days now, I've realized that I was kidding myself. I'm not that strong. My heart aches. I long to talk to her about Buddhism or some of her old friends. And there are so many. Here's a post by Soror Nishi. So lately, I've been getting in touch with those she names in her blog. I have talked to many so far. All are quite nice and helpful. But I'm nowhere near done yet. They have been touched that I have reached out to them. I think they need to know. Brinda has been so goood to thousands of people/avatars. She has a way about her.

I give you, She's got a Way...

She will be missed and remembered for always. Her legacy is about helping out those who need help, caring for others, and spreading love to others.

Before her, SL was confusing and bland. When she came along, SL seemed so much richer and exciting. Whether we went to see some of the historic sims or went to a concert, it was always fun. I will always remember those excursions fondly.

Here's another song, this one by Sarah McLachlan.

Namaste. Enjoy life.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Buddhism and acceptance

"For a Buddhist to die in Benares is a path to enlightenment. Today...that's my goal...to die in Benares...and to not leave too heavy a load for you to carry with my name on it. And so it goes I do really try, brinda Namaste"

This was an old blog entry that brinda wrote about how she wants to be in India. Vanaransi is her real haven and in SL, Benares is her haven and a haven for so many others.

I have only known brinda for little over a year, but within months we became close. In me, she found an apprentice or a little student. I have begun to learn and understand the ways of Buddhism and Brindaism (no disrespect meant). She is such a deeply caring and warm person. I have never known anyone like her before. You feel like she "knows" and she is at peace. Not to say that she is always so calm, but she knows how to find her inner peace. She knows how to set her boundaries...that was a big teaching point for me. It is not whining if you tell someone what bothers you about them. However, you must not say it when you are all hysterical. It's like you can't fight well if you're in a rage...you think irrationally and your actions will be jerky and uncoordinated. She would say to me, "Say what you mean/Mean what you say/ And don't say it mean." While this is an old saying, when she said it to me it suddenly was more meaningful. When she spoke, you sat up and listened. She had that sobering, entrancing, listen to this effect on me. Sometimes I'd get distracted if I had to go back and forth between SL and RL, but most of the time I was listening very carefully...maybe more so than even in my favorite classes in school.

The first time she brought me to Benares, she showed me around. She told you to sit in the blue chair, so I sat in it. She explained who lived where. I remember meeting a few people whose names I can't remember. I remember feeling fascinated that she walked so briskly and determined and the chair would follow. But one thing that really fascinated me was that she told me that she was Irish and Buddhist. I think I might've literally dropped my jaw. First, she wears a Qi pao, and then she's a Buddhist and she's American? Whoa.

That shock wore away soon, fortunately. And I began to look forward to our talks about SL, life, and Buddhism. I don't remember how we started talking about Buddhism. Maybe I was curious so I started asking questions...I really don't recall how it started. Anyhow, our friendship has been founded on conversation, straight talk, and a need to learn. Looking back, I also think she valued me because she felt that I was really listening and that she could talk and I wouldnt make any judgments. I hope I was very supportive. I try to be.

By straight talk I mean that she'd sit me down and tell me, "Sweety, life isn't fair." Or "you should know that others may not see things as you do." She once told me that I can "see" as she can. It's the type of seeing that one does with the intuition and mind...I'm not sure how else to describe it. All I know is that she's convinced that I have that sight. I remember feeling flattered and pleased at the compliment. In retrospect, I think that she meant it more as a fact.

One of the most important things she discussed with me is acceptance. We accept that things don't go our way. We accept that life isn't fair. We accept that we have limits, but through it all...we just keep going. Though we may be limited, we never run on an empty tank. Somewhere, we just get this energy to keep on going...this sort of cosmic energy. You could call it hope and ambition...that's what I think it might be.

Though there are things that we don't want to accept or things that we don't think we can accept, there is hope for another day. There is a chance that we will reach nirvana. There is a chance that we will learn to accept what we cannot change.

Be well. Namaste.


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The Many Changes That Go On

So much happens in a year, in months, in weeks, in days...even within a day. It is astounding and flabbergasting and so....very fast. I wish it could stop or I could press the slower button.

Time stops for no one though and in the end, memories are all we have. There have been so many good memories for me in SL.

I learned to control my avatar with the arrow keys. I learned to fly with pgup and pgdn. I learned how to teleport, how to make landmarks, how to add/remove friends from my friend list, how to shop wisely, how to earn lindens, how to build, how to create things, how to take snapshots, and more. It has been wonderful for me and I've had some good friends to share my joy with me. They've seen me mad, sad, even silly. Haha.

I started reading archived entries from brinda. And even now, they are still so relevant. Some entries are funny, some sad, and some are an interesting mix. I am always touched by her words, her wit, her attitude...her aura.

My old SL bro Brandon once said to me, "Vic, you're all about friends." So true and I miss him very much. He will always be a dear friend.

In just a year, I have loved, lost, raged, cried, and aged a bit. No gray hair here heh heh, but I hope that I am wiser. And I hope that I do my friends proud.