“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
― Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
Yesterday I packed up and left my SL home of eight years. It gives me pause to contemplate how in the heck we get attached to virtual places. I did, I was – attached. There has been a lot of research devoted to place attachment, both in world and out. In the physical world, this is helpful to tourism – understanding what kinds of visual stimuli and emotions will be generated by what triggers to draw people to visit a certain place.
Place attachment is a multi-dimensional concept that can be understood as a bond or link that exists between people and places, and is generally understood to form after an individual has experienced a place (Hidalgo & Hernandez, 2001).
One of the aspects that is important here is social bonding. That’s the idea that past, current, and future interactions with a setting lead to meaningful relationships – and supports them. So, yes, lots of attachments were formed in this place over time.
But keeping an open heart to what comes next – I think that is the best way to be. In a virtual world you can choose to be an armless wonder on a lark, or have a tail or two heads (especially around Halloween). But on this side of the screen we aren’t always given the choice. We take what comes and we hope that we make the best of it with grace. In either place though, I notice, the feelings are real (as many have said before me).
So someone said to me today, when I explained I was looking for new land, “Bebu was quite an institution.” Bebu is the name of a small club (and gallery) that I had on the land I just lost. “I will rebuild – just need a bit of time,” I reply. “Hard to find the right place,” he says. As if I don’t know this having flown around the grid for over a week, following leads, tips, invitations – all to no avail. “You need nice, cheap, and secure,” he counsels. “Yes – exactly,” I sigh.
I believe that everyday good fortune comes if you wait with an open heart.