Very Inspiring Blog Award

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The Very Inspiring Blog Award comes to me from xaranahara, Xara Nahara O’Connor

The rules:

Display the award and thank your nominator.

Nominate 3-5 people.

Highlight your nominees and the person who nominated you.

After your post is complete, copy the link and add it to a post of theirs.

I’m going to do something different for this award as Xara has previously asked me to highlight five aspects of myself that
I consider positive. So this is for her:

I have a broad fund of knowledge which is another way of saying I know a bit about many things.

I am a loyal friend who does not take kindness for granted.

I learn quickly and give credit to those who teach me either directly or through their actions.

I have an abiding faith in the fundamental goodness of people. We collectively do terrible things when we are in fear or when we are deceived by corrupt leaders, but we always manage to return to the light.

I am a survivor. I have survived people and events that would normally destroy a man; but I am alive and full of life. This is not just because I am strong; it is because the divine force placed good people in my life when I needed them most.

My nominees:

survivor road: Marcus writes about life as a male trauma survivor. There aren’t many blogs that take up the problem of men who have survived assault and abuse.

authenticitee: I just love her, and I love the way her blog has evolved.

Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA: She writes bluntly about the struggles of life with bi-polar disorder and she does it with wit and humor. And yes, I know your blog is award free. 🙂

the dune mouse: Gorgeous art, gorgeous writing, and Second Life as a way to make and promote art. She’s an inspiration to me and she has softened the well-earned cynicism I developed about the people who use Second Life.

Commensensegal: Kaylaa Blackwell has a smart and diverse blog. Be sure to check out her Skylounge.

As usual, my nominees are under no obligation to accept the award. I nominate people as a sign of appreciation and respect.

Thank you again, Xara.

34 thoughts on “Very Inspiring Blog Award

  1. wow!! I am so honoured! and very happy you like my crafting of photography and tales on my blogs. I love history and telling stories. As for SL, though I cannot spend a huge amount of time there I do enjoy the art and imagination and using it creatively when I can. There’s too much to experience out here and not enough time! However, I am all for computer graphics and storytelling! and of course, to each his own!! Thank you Robert!

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    1. You have done so much for me and I know you don’t know this. You along with several other people who blog on WordPress and use SL have reminded me of what I love most about it.
      You are a splendid and accomplished artist and I love the way you use Second Life to enhance your creative output. It inspires me and that makes your blog a Very Inspiring Blog.

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      1. It’s wonderful how we learn from each other even on social media. As for SL, one would hope that it or any virtual world or game might enhance our lives or creative expression but not become our lives!

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      2. This is an interesting comment — I understand why some people might choose to ‘live’ in VR.

        As someone with DID I have alternates that don’t know the difference between SL and the space they occupy in my mind.

        What made SL so dangerous for me was that my alternates did not understand ‘role play’ therefore they did not understand that what was real for them was a game for the people they met.

        Even at my angriest I understood that the problem was mine to fix.

        In a game everyone is fair game and that is the nature of a gaming community.

        Expecting anything different is like going on a hunting expedition and expecting people with guns to feel guilty about killing things.

        When I first joined SL I was excited by the creative possibilities of the technology: the idea of being able to walk into a virtual classroom, or visiting a replica of Paris, or going to a virtual nightclub and interacting with real people in a real club in Germany. But the culture that I found was oddly feudal and oddly accepting of behavior that most people consider unethical.

        Again, this may be the result of the filters that I had in place as a result of my illness.

        But the end result was that I withdrew from the people because the people that I met seemed to view everything that I valued as a weakness.

        Generosity, compassion, the idea of sharing space and collaborating on creative projects, and there was this weird emphasis on replicating marriage and family.

        And to add to the confusion almost everyone I met spoke of their avatars as ‘I’ with comments such as ‘she’s so beautiful’ or ‘you’re so handsome’ which only added to my confusion because it seemed as if everyone had DID.

        I’m working on a piece about my experiences as a man with DID in Second Life.

        What I get from your blog and the two or three other blogs that I’ve found on Word Press that are like yours is that there are healthy people using SL who respect the rights and vulnerabilities of other people. That Second Life isn’t just a preserve for aggressively delusional men and women who will torture each other for a few extra game points…but they are there and they bring this aggression to other Social Media as well. Some of my contacts on Flickr who don’t use SL refer to the members as an ‘art cancer’ because of the way they aggressively flood fine art groups with ads for the products they sell or for hyper-sexual fetish photos. Some of my Flickr contacts find this disrespect for the rights of non-members odd and enraging…and more recently they’ve noticed that even the most mediocre Second Life image somehow gets up to five hundred ‘likes’ while the most exquisitely accomplished photography and fine art pictures cap at 100 or more.

        How do I explain a culture of people who think it’s acceptable to use dozens of alternate accounts to boost their stats. It’s cheating and most non-members eventually figure it out. It makes everyone who uses SL suspect.

        So blogs like yours are important. Virtual Reality will evolve and it can serve as a way for people in isolated areas to socialize with each other and to learn about other cultures. I think it’s a waste for SL and the technology behind it to remain nothing more than an ersatz consumer culture for people on the run from reality.

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      3. This is so interesting Robert!! I so agree with the consumer bit too. I hope you do write about your experience and though I do not suffer from DID I understand how confusing a place like SL can be with alternate avatars and as you say- unethical behaviour- or behaving badly anonymously!! It’s why I left SL and am limiting my engagement there now. and you are right about the photography thing in Flickr. Case in point -my own photos don’t get that much recognition lol But a naked woman hanging in chains with a fourteen year old face gets hundreds of likes – and posted by women avatars too. – but I never had a desire to open Pandora’ s box or a need to be “free” ( ha ha) in the sense that many think is available in SL. Everything has a price!! I am much more aware of that now. Anyway as I do have a few SL followers and follow some of them I changed my settings so I don’t have to be bombarded with unwanted images every time I log into Flickr. There are some lovely virtual images though. Take a look at Skippy Beresford’s whimsical work.

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      4. It’s refreshing to correspond with someone who can see the bad and focus on the good. I think if I’m going to be completely honest and hold myself accountable; my feelings were hurt and I couldn’t understand why–and I think to some extend I felt ashamed that I had placed myself in such a vulnerable position.

        I like Skippy’s work. I love the fact that he finds and uses interesting quotes on his pieces. I think above all he made the appropriate use of child avatar’s acceptable. When I first joined SL everyone who used one was treated like a pedophile.

        As for the numbers game…people have always played it. Entertainment is largely a popularity contest. If views, likes and faves are a true measure of art then Bewitched is greater work of art than Othello. Just as the Beatles were at one time more popular than Jesus.

        All things are not equal. There are skilled and inspired Second Life photographers.

        Some of them produce fine art. Bamboo Barnes is one. Another is Michiel Beecher. I think the Fashion Teller group is astonishing and much of their work is fine art.

        People who don’t make fine art images are not making bad pictures. They’re just not making fine art.

        And ramming photos down the throats of people who don’t want to see them doesn’t help. It alienates people who might be able to appreciate the work if they weren’t so pissed about having it rammed down their throats.

        I’m especially fond of the work of wildalchemi and https://wildalchemi.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/this-way-that-way/

        and Caoimhe Lionheart who combines persoal reflection with virtual fashion photography:http://anchailinalainn.com/lil-cao-life-and-times-of-a-second-life-fashon-model/

        I think she has more of it posted to her Flickr stream.

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      5. I will be checking those sites out Robert, thank you! Yes to focusing on the positive! I agree popularity does not equal art!! and that many SL photographers are quite visionary. Yet I also don’t compare screen shots with real life photography which is so much more work . However, I do acknowledge the vision and digital art processing which can create that very thought provoking, beautiful and inspiring image. But I know I probably won’t win the popularity contest in SL – or on Flickr lol. I am not consistent enough in anything. I work in fits and starts it seems. As for SL in general- after the initial infatuation – I do love the artistry and imagination etc but though still enjoying many aspects I continue to view the virtual experience and virtual social life in a somewhat circumspect way.

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      6. I was thinking about you the other day because we of what we have in common and where we differ. I absolutely agree with you that real photography takes more work. I long ago gave up the thought popularity on Flickr and Second Life. I just can’t agree with a point of view that I can’t agree with. I would never classify my Second Life photography as fine art. I’ve made some good piece that probably fall at about a 6 on a scale with the absolute best being 10. I know my limits, but most of all, I think it is a simple matter of respect to understand that one doesn’t simply become a fine artist by taking high resolution screen shots of avatars. Picasso and a shot of two avatars dancing; Which one is fine art and which one is a pretty picture?

        Pretty pictures have a place in the world; in fact, they are most of the pictures ever made.

        But the prettiest most high resolution most perfectly processed picture of two avatars dancing is not a Matisse and no curator in the world would place my pretty picture next to a Renoir.

        There is fine art and there is graphic design.

        The people I know in real life who work as a graphic designers understand that what they’re making isn’t fine art.

        And this is where we get to the disadvantages of shutting one’s self off from reality… (and I know a thing or two about that)

        One enters a feedback loop that affirms ones errors.

        There s the ‘game’ of art as it is played in Second Life.

        In the ‘game’ of art popularity and technical proficiency will make you a winner and you get to call yourself an artist.

        In real life popularity and technical proficiency make you a successful illustrator and graphic designer and you get to call yourself rich.

        Norman Rockwell comes to mind.

        I don’t socialize in Second Life only a fragment of me enters and I’m in in a trance state when that fragment logs in.

        People don’t meet me. They meet a piece of me and some of those pieces can be charming and seductive and that’s where the danger is.

        The people my alternates meet in SL forget that they are meeting a fragment and it’s not their fault.

        DID is difficult for many trained Psychiatrists to understand so expecting people who just want to have their fantasies to understand it really is too much.

        One thing that I feel grateful for is the loss of the anger I felt when I first got very sick.

        I blamed Second Life for it the problem was mine.

        I did not know that I had a problem and I think that I also hurt people because of that.

        So I don’t use it to socialize because it’s not fair to me or to the people I meet.

        Thank you for being so responsive, there are things I need to think about.

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      7. Sorry it’s taken a while. it’s hard to maintain balance sometimes when you are passionate about certain things. I love the world of imagination and of course SL is very visual. However, it does lack many things too which we have discussed as well. Thanks so much for taking time out to share your wonderful thoughts!

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      8. I think that most of the hard feelings I’ve had about SL are on the wane.

        I got sick before I joined and part of the reason I joined was the result of the illness.

        My mind created an association between the pain I was in and the use of Second Life.

        I made it more powerful than it is.

        I expected the people I meet to ‘just accept’ me as if they were endowed with some kind of special insight.

        All of my reactions to SL were colored by my pain and anger.

        Now that I’m better I can see myself and the game with more clarity.

        I do believe that people must take responsibility for themselves.

        That includes me. Thank you for your comments. They are always thought provoking.

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      9. I am enjoying much of SL these days, the art and artistry I find- but I am still and will remain cautious in other areas because for me also it’s easy to to get sucked into the fantasy and then always follows the drama lol. Real life is hard enough that way but even more tragic can be the long hours and wasting of time while there is still so much beauty and mystery out here!!-and giving back etc 🙂 I have to watch that one! As Gandalf said “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

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      10. It’s almost as if we came to the same conclusions regarding the tricky business of using Second Life as a creative tool. Ultimately it’s the drama that eats up time and creative energy. Now that my anger has waned and I’ve gained some distance and clarity I can see that the choices are mine to make and they always have been mine. Thank you again for another clarifying comment.

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  2. My congratulations, Robert! I agree with your point about always turning towards the light again. You are amazing in that and that might be related a lot to being a survivor!

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