Chapter 16: Interview and Announcement

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    For this interview, I met SophiaSharon at her Second Life hideaway. We were both oddly nervous,
    though not strangers to one another at all. Maybe we were just picking up on the excitement of
    a new year, and a new role for Sharon, which you will read about further on. :)  -Eliza

    Eliza Madrigal: Oh Wow! How grand!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I still want to make furniture for it but havent done it yet.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, but the feeling of spaciousness is delightful
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, and you have an altar...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: it changes a lot
    Eliza Madrigal: :) wonderful... Snapshot_104.jpg
    Eliza Madrigal: For me that aspect of SL is very powerful too... a way to concentrate in a very vivid way
    Eliza Madrigal: How much have you adapted the house?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, i just removed one set of doors, and changed the floor texture, and a few on the walls
    SophiaSharon Larnia: There is a big problem with flicker, because of so many transparent textures.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: but the windows are indepensible and I havent figured out what to do with that yet
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I made the tatami mat here and the table stuff :) Its not right yet, but i can redo it.
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm sure you will soon enough, and that surprises me too...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: (the straw border may be too big?)
    Eliza Madrigal: You could open a store and I would shop there!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hmm, I've thought about it, but have not, because much of what I make is, shall I say, common?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I'm looking to make something completely original.
    :) SophiaSharon's modesty. We compare impressions...
    Eliza Madrigal: One of the first things I remember about you, was the way you were so hesitant to share what you were working on. I remember thinking, when you finally let me spy on your house...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes thats part of what ive been thinking about today
    Eliza Madrigal: that it would probably be simple.. basic... after hearing you. Then...
    Eliza Madrigal: You teleport me to my dream cottage! Right out of my childhood book....
    ("The Secret Garden") 
    Eliza Madrigal: and through magical gates...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh! when i think of that little place, i cringe hahaha
    Eliza Madrigal: such a beautiful setting. I was stunned and impressed.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: really?
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, Really!
    Eliza Madrigal: Now when I see you online I hesitate to IM because I think "Oh, she's amidst her creative process"
    SophiaSharon Larnia: It was the first time I did that
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh no! I drop everything all the time.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and I decided last night I'm kind of done with it.
    Eliza Madrigal: Wow. That seems sudden?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: In fact, had statues out to show you, but then went and looked at some really astonishingly good!!!!!! ones, and decided I have!! to learn blender to do what I want to do
    Eliza Madrigal smiles cluelessly
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Blender is a very difficult (but free) graphic program for RL graphic users that you can use to import sculpties into SL
    Eliza Madrigal: Ooh, thanks :)

    Eliza Madrigal: I think your building gives real insight into your personality... not to be cliche'

    SophiaSharon Larnia: It's also been an escape, admittedlySnapshot_101.jpg

    Captivated by PlayasBeing... 

    Eliza Madrigal: Well, let's officially start our interview with PlayasBeing :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ok PlayasBeing
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I found PaB by seeing a tag when I went to a Kira group meeting one day.
    I don’t remember if it was Pema, Maxine or Fefonz (it could have been any of them), but I had just
    discovered the usefulness of the SL search window and looked up Play as Being.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, You found Kira first...
    Eliza Madrigal: Was a workshop going on?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, but I don't remember which one :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I think it was the Time Workshop
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: The first time I went to the pavilion site, no one was there. I found the wiki web page through a notecard. And then I think I read almost the entire wiki (almost a year of four-times-a-day sessions by then) before my first session!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I was so excited to find such a group! My first session I don’t remember much about (I’m afraid to go back and read it!) but I do remember that Threedee and Adelene were there. I remember the feeling of relief, of being able to say in text a lot of thoughts that were going through my mind! I’m sure I babbled and didn’t make much sense, thankfully the PaB group members are an inclusive bunch.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: laughs
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh wow!!! I love that.... thinking that you poured through all those chat logs....
    Eliza Madrigal: So you knew full well what you were getting into! Haha
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, I was rather obsessed.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Captivated
    Eliza Madrigal: That's wonderful, I'm so glad. When was this, btw?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: The beginning or near April 2009
    Eliza Madrigal: So right at or near the PaB birthday....
    Eliza Madrigal: That's April 1st :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes! My first PaB sessions were during the Birthday Parties!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Lucky me :)
    Eliza Madrigal: That's a great bit of history, thanks for sharing that :)
    Eliza Madrigal: "SophiaSharon as present to PaB" :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: blushes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Night sessions with Adelene and Threedee are where I got my feet wet also... fun sessions.
    Giving Voice...

    Eliza Madrigal: Going back to what you said about babbling...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, very interesting sessions!
    Eliza Madrigal: It is easy for everything to spill out, one finds a kind of relief...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I don’t have a formal backgound in religion, theoretical philosophy, or even in many hard sciences (other than some medical biology/physiology). However, I have always been ‘spiritually minded’; even as a child, I had many thoughts and experiences that had a spiritual link for me. Unfortunately, I learned very early on to keep these thoughts to myself, as I had received very negative feedback from my parents and others when I expressed it verbally.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: In PaB, I found a voice to be able to open up to that.
    Eliza Madrigal nods, yes that I understand a bit too... Beautiful :)

    Eliza Madrigal: Is there more that you can say about this?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Preparations and Interests... 

    SophiaSharon Larnia: My interest in theoretical concepts started in Psychology, as in, “what’s wrong with me?” I remember being 12 or so, looking through the high school library for these sort of books. I can’t say then that I felt any sort of underlying one-ness to everything, in fact I felt very isolated and alone.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: But I did see very early on in life how common many religious stories were, how they seemed to be stories that were telling of a same event, or idea, just spoken by different people, changed by the distance of time.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I became almost fanatically determined to find “The Source” of these religious stories, and studied archeology and very diverse world religions on my own to trace back to this all-encompassing thread!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I wanted to learn about the cultures that these stories arose from, to see what these stories could mean. It felt like it was some kind of code that I just had to break! I still feel this now, the echo of that actually, but the pressure to Know has been released somewhat.

    SophiaSharon Larnia:Whether this is from PaB or not, or a natural fluctuation that I would‘ve taken on my own, I can’t really say, but I do think PaB had a part in that.
    Eliza Madrigal: This reminds me of the line in Wild Geese "Your place in the family of things"... were you searching for that...?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I'm not familiar with that, should I google it :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Feeling a sense of oneness and wanting to 'prove' it perhaps... or at least be able to make a case?
    Eliza Madrigal: It isn't too much about inter-dialogs... but conveys a sense of belonging perhaps
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Well, I honestly don't know, I don't think I was looking for my place in things.
    Eliza Madrigal listens
    "The Thunder, Perfect Mind"

    SophiaSharon Larnia: I was propelled forward in this round of spiritual exploration, by 'The Thunder, Perfect Mind', believe it or not.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, What is that? 
    SophiaSharon Larnia:
    Eliza Madrigal: quite powerful
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Reading this poem for the first time 3 years ago was like someone banging a gong over my head
    SophiaSharon Larnia: seriously
    Eliza Madrigal: Such intensity... like you have been wrestling with something very large for a long time
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and wrestling is not too strong a word to use
    Grounding What is Groundless...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I may have left SL if not for PaB and the way PaB acted as a springboard for the way my spirituality in general progressed. This would have continued no matter where I explored (as I have a been a searcher my entire life), but PaB brought more focus to my flitting to and fro around various concepts, that for me are spiritual. PaB became a home base, of sorts.
    Eliza Madrigal: It takes a kind of shameless determination to share in this way... to really grapple and
    question and to be willing to 'babble' if necessary. I really enjoy that about you.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: In the 9 second practices, and applying them to real life
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Grounding what is groundless
    Eliza Madrigal smiles. 
    Compartmentalization, Integration...
    Eliza Madrigal: What can you say about that? I know that in RL you work in high pressure situations... impermanence....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: A very integral piece of PaB, for me personally, was to bring some insight and learning experience to my ‘real life’, and like many many others, my ‘real life’ involves my workplace. It is through my profession and school that I have either met my friends or work presently with them. So this is a part of my life that could not be ignored. It has been an interesting experience that I'm still processing.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I have, in the past, completely separated myself from my home life and work life,
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and became compartmentalized to a distressing degree.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, so integration...
    Eliza Madrigal: Are there examples you might share? Ways perhaps that you have been able to engage work and the practices together?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I didnt even realize this, until I found PaB.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Well, in some work situations, there is no such thing as 'taking it lightly', at the time, in a PaB sense. But I can take the impact of those work situations lightly.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    SophiaSharon Larnia: The emotional aspect, and the ethical and spiritual questions that arise from them.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, I see, yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: It is something that I'm still exploring,
    SophiaSharon Larnia: And don't have many answers yet.
    Eliza Madrigal: I imagine that it is a challenge to be present with whatever is going on, without defaulting to your distancing tools....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, thats what it is, distancing myself emotionally...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: As most of us do.
    Eliza Madrigal: you know that seems what it is all about, yes

    SophiaSharon Larnia: It's tricky to let some of that in, I've learned it has to be done carefully...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and have taken some odd turns.
    Eliza Madrigal: This seems very important. Anything you can share about this I'm sure would be appreciated by others...
    Eliza Madrigal: I know it is a little difficult to articulate, and ongoing!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Unfortunately, to say more is very personal, and I haven't been able to find the words for it yet.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, that's fine, of course. :)
    Spiritual Exploration...
    Eliza Madrigal: So let's move on a slight nudge...
    Eliza Madrigal: I can hear that taking things lightly and the 9 second pauses have resonated with you...
    Eliza Madrigal: Are there other explorations you find especially significant?
    Eliza Madrigal (is always told she asks a lot of questions... here it seems to be okay ;-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Well, my spiritual exploration have seemed to rest in many concepts of buddhism, and I am attempting to find my voice again through writing.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: laughs
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes (looks back at the altar), and I notice Tara has personal meaning to you...
    SophiaSharon Larnia feels odd when she is the subject!! and prefers to ask the questions!!
    Eliza Madrigal: hahaha
    Eliza Madrigal: That will be helpful with what we're going to discuss soon...
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    SophiaSharon Larnia: haha
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Tara is one name of the energy that I have been trying to touch for a long time
    Eliza Madrigal: What evocative phrasing...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: To me, it is just a name, a concept, of something that is present in many forms and names.
    Eliza Madrigal: and representative of something comforting? Or strengthening?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: this energy to me is both comforting and strengthening... and painful... touching love and compassion that I've walled myself off from by compartmentalizing for so many years.
    Eliza Madigal: Tara has strong resonance with others also, which is very interesting... like she's involved in PaB!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: But Eliza am sort of afraid for that to be in the log.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, okay :) Making note
    After discussion, SophiaSharon and I happily decided that Tara was a soft and important part of the interview... 
    SophiaSharon Larnia: A representation of an energy that exists, that Is
    SophiaSharon Larnia: being
    Eliza Madrigal: When you write that I experience a sense of Presence
    SophiaSharon Larnia: It's like, seeing something that is there already
    Eliza Madrigal: We don't need to dwell there, but in the interview or out I think it is a fasciating vista :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, it is
    Eliza Madrigal: "To see what is before our eyes requires a constant struggle" George Orwell
    SophiaSharon Larnia: nods
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm... which brings a word in that reminds me of our struggle dialogs...
    Eliza Madrigal: Struggle, wrestling, searching...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: relaxing that, taking that lighly, and letting in what is ready to be seen
    SophiaSharon Larnia: or should I say, what this consciousness is ready for
    SophiaSharon Larnia: dropping the barriers
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Which I have much work to do!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm... that may be where you and I find the most in common, Sharon... this idea of relaxing our compartments... not shutting others out...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: But then work implies struggle, too
    Princeton and Pema...

    Eliza Madrigal: I think we were both very brave, for instance to room together for retreat when we'd only met in SL!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes! I was very surprised I did that.
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, I was so relieved... so happy!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yay!
    Eliza Madrigal: I felt instantly comfortable with you online.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, the retreat was a very different but fun experience!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I was so nervous. I’ve never met anyone in person that I’ve met online. On of the great coincidences of PaB that I thought was so funny, was how I was not far away (as other people are around the world) from Pema‘s main location. It also seemed like some sort of sign to me (I’m a sign looker).
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I was both very comfortable immediately, and nervous the whole time. I’m extremely introverted, so meeting people from PaB in real life was a big step for me.
    Eliza Madrigal: I felt as though we'd known one another for a long time already... and seeing you in person was the same... You have one of the brightest smiles I've ever seen!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ha!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Me too, with you!
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm so glad :) You were my security blanket there a bit...
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    SophiaSharon Larnia: awww :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I think that we all relaxed very quickly though... What were your impressions?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: But it really was so much fun, a pity that it was a mini retreat
    Eliza Madrigal hopes that you will attend one of the longer ones too... maybe Nova Scotia ? hint hint
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Well, I agree that we all relaxed very quickly, and was taken a bit back by Pema's openness
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, Say more?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Sharing his life
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: He's very open online and yet hm, you are right. I was surprised too.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Important lesson for me in that
    Eliza Madrigal: Trust?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, that's the kind of thing that makes me pause and consider what an amazing adventure this is...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Just saw the Nova Scotia inquiry, yes, I think I'm going to go, but have not made plans yet
    SophiaSharon Larnia: It is an adventure :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I doubt any of us signed onto SL thinking that we would become less um...
    Eliza Madrigal: escapist
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Well, I did sign onto SL thinking I could find spirituality/philosophy groups
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, you were ahead of me then... hehe
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and then got distracted by the graphics/playing for a few months, and left because of computer issues.
    Eliza Madrigal: That has great value too... I'd imagine that when you work in such a high stress environment, it is good to have something to put your hands in, and SL lets you work with large scales...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: From the very start, on a old laptop barely powerful enough to even load SL at all, I saw the potential for creative expression. I have absolutely no experience in formal graphic art, computer programming or in using the various programs that create virtual environments.
    Eliza Madrigal: Wow, you've learned quickly then!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I dont think so :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Eliza Madrigal: You mentioned writing earlier...
    Eliza Madrigal: Will you talk more about how writing matters in your life?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I've been here for over a year, and just saw in the last month that I need to learn blender to do what I want to do.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Most of what I’ve written has not been shared with many people; my writing has always been a very personal
    and difficult process. Unlike art projects, words written out represent a reflection of reality that I feel is processed very differently than seeing something visually.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I’ve had some early life experiences where I verbalized things and then been punished for that. Some lessons you don't forget easily.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I relate to you in this too... In writing one can get out the unshareable thoughts... and then destroy the evidence, hehe
    SophiaSharon Larnia: For me personally, I feel that when I write something, I’m only able to access things that I’m consciously comfortable with. Writing out of my comfort zone creates anxiety and then the writing degenerates into a nice, tidy story. In creating some kind of art, in whatever form it may take, sometimes it is possible for me to show “myself” something that I would not have otherwise been ‘strong’ enough to do.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: This is one of the reason that I enjoy creating objects in SL. They are personal creations that probably won’t be shared with a large audience, if anyone. They are my attempts to both learn about my internal environment and to bypass the ‘guards at the gates‘, in the form that I learn and explore the best.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I am very visually/ tactile oriented (maybe too much so) and learn best by seeing/doing. “Show me and then let me do it”.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles, Yes... that quality definitely comes across strongly!
    Eliza Madrigal: Your writing, though, I must say just from reading your scribes over the last several months... is quite expressive...
    Eliza Madrigal: It seems funny that you don't experience it that way?
    Eliza Madrigal: I know with scribes we are working with others words... but it takes creativity to create a frame...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: No, it's a difficult process, and has been edited so much to not resemble what I start with
    Eliza Madrigal: to choose out the rhythm and to see patterns...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, that's the fun part!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: seeing the patterns
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, you mentioned enjoying 'signs' :))
    SophiaSharon Larnia: although they are seen subjectively
    ::::DRUM ROLL:::::

    Eliza Madrigal: This brings me to our announcement :) Ready?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sure :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I am completely delighted that you've agreed to bravely begin as Chronicle Writer this year. It is such a natural fit, and something I hope (and think) you will enjoy doing
    Eliza Madrigal: I think Being tricked you into it... haha... and that may be a great sign :)
    A little background here that Sharon and I emailed about this when she was at work and in busy-mode. She replied YES before processing my entire request. :)

    SophiaSharon Larnia: I'm happy for the chance to contribute, and return in some way the benefits I have received from being a guardian of play as being
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I may have been tricked (not really of course!) but I have to admit, it's not a bad fit
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: Glad to hear that.. It is an important work within the group...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Adams has done such a wonderful job!!
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, Adams has written from love and care...
    Eliza Madrigal: really watching over everyone and PlayasBeing ... sharing very openly.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: It is Adams who started and maintained them, the format is so good I will continue in the same way
    SophiaSharon Larnia: And that is another exploration :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, Sure. You also have a unique voice...
    Eliza Madrigal: so I hope that you won't hesitate to share with us all from personal perspectives...
    Eliza Madrigal: Your love of writing shows...
    Eliza Madrigal: Or maybe I should just say your love shows
    Eliza Madrigal: because that is more to the point. :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: thats nice, i never thought of it that way
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: Isn't it funny... so shy at first to share but when one feels a sense of hm...
    Eliza Madrigal: larger purpose then the shyness can be overrided perhaps
    Eliza Madrigal: Do you feel that way?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes, like I have said, I've learned to keep much to myself, to let that go, and find a voice, is something that can not be assigned a value
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, beautifully put
    Happening into a bare and vulnerable moment, which we bravely leave in the interview...

    Eliza Madrigal: I have one more question...
    Eliza Madrigal: Something Adams asked me and I'd like to keep tradition...
    Eliza Madrigal grins
    SophiaSharon Larnia: waits patiently...
    Eliza Madrigal: "If you were interviewing SophiaSharon, what would you ask?"
    SophiaSharon Larnia: laughs
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh boy!
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah
    Eliza Madrigal: Feel free to take a 9 sec pause :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ok !
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh my goodness Eliza, I should've anticipated this one
    Eliza Madrigal: hahaha... its a goodie
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hmm i cant think
    SophiaSharon Larnia: What might be my next step?

    Eliza Madrigal: That's okay... It is an interesting question...

    SophiaSharon Larnia: Taking steps in exploring being further, to relax the barriers to expressing what I see in Being
    Eliza Madrigal: Relaxing barriers.. that is such a perfect way of describing this adventure
    SophiaSharon Larnia: the things that I have only so far intuited and not been able to put into words

    SophiaSharon Larnia: To find the voice that I have lost

    Eliza Madrigal stops to pause with that line...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its the only true answer
    SophiaSharon Larnia tips into an abyss
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: strikingly obvious and very strong
    SophiaSharon Larnia: (cries) :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh... sacredness...
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you, Sharon

    Eliza Madrigal: Sometimes we're pushed?
    Eliza Madrigal: we'll never think we're ready
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh! I dont think being pushes us until we are ready
    SophiaSharon Larnia: when we are ready but dont think 'we' are
    Eliza Madrigal: has been pushed and pulled and flipped like taffy...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: laughs!
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    SophiaSharon Larnia: that is the barrier
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh.
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i think, anyway, im open for hearing other points of view though!!
    Eliza Madrigal smiles... Well. I know a place...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: giggles...... me too!!
    Eliza Madrigal: hahaha

    SophiaSharon Larnia: "end scene"



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    Almost a year after this interview, I've discovered that this 'voice' is not what I thought it was. It's something much more layered then I imagined, and the desire to develop this from simply chronicling was rather naive.
    Posted 09:37, 22 Jan 2011
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