Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Pearl

Sometimes I'm an idiot.

One of my best friends, whose time I can't seem to get enough of, is Italia Villota. Tali is an energetic DJ seeking opportunities to do what she loves. She and I have grown closer as friends over the months, and I thank Jacks, her boyfriend, for being both understanding and trusting about that.

In early December 2007 Tali came to me excited with some news. She said she was SL pregnant! She said it in such a way that I knew she was very excited, but also tentative. Her friends began giving her a hard time about it. Tali has never been a mother in RL, although she has dedicated her profession to children.

Just like everyone else in SL, I have been in groups where SL fetuses announce to the world that they are pressing on their mommy's bladder, or want apple juice, and I found it as annoying as the next guy or gal. My reaction to Italia's news was exactly what she didn't need. It was not the reaction of a friend who understands her excitement, rather one who prepared to be annoyed by chat messages from her belly. Tali was understandably upset with me. She had already become very sensitive as one after another she received the same reaction from her "friends". She stopped communicating with me. I mean she stopped really communicating. Although she would speak with me she stopped sharing her thoughts like we had come to do.

I knew I had some growing up to do.

Why, I asked myself, would a young lady want to be SL pregnant? What is it about the experience that is so important to them that they'd risk snide comments from friends and strangers? The moment I asked myself the question the answer was obvious. By nature's way a woman's entire body is dedicated to the creation and nurturing of children, of course their mental mechanisms and instincts would be also. This is an aside from individual choice and circumstance, of course.

SL is a place to try what you haven't ever experienced in RL. I immediately made my apologies to Tali and let her know that I not only understood, but also deeply respect her decision. She accepted my apology, but it didn't go far in helping me make amends to myself for my immaturity that caused a friend discomfort.

Although I realize that as a man I can never quite fully comprehend the pregnancy experience (nor would I want the reality of it wreaking havoc on my body), I began talking with my friends who have young RL children about what it's like to make a life.

Harper Beresford gave me an outstanding explanation I listened to intently and thought about for hours. Alanna Vantelli created an experience on the posing stand as we talked about the instincts and feelings she has for her son, and what it was like for her to be pregnant with him. How the work connected to its self took shape. My main goal was to try to capture the glow that women have when they are building a life. As Alanna stood there she mentioned that her mother knew she was pregnant before she did by the glow in her eyes. To me, the glow is pearlesque, which shines from within and only appears through the surface.

While I built the piece, I tried to describe both men and women, the emergence of matriarchy from novice motherhood as love matures into pride, the constant evolution and hand-over of generations, the glow of the woman whose entire being is made to create what she is creating.

The necklace was modeled to exactly match the dip of the collar in front of the neck where the heat from the body uplights the face from the hearts within. Over the shoulders, looking back on generations, are individuals become anticipating couples. I draped the necklace to highlight the shoulders there, which take on a new softness of their own during pregnancy. In the back the necklace ends with two more glorious pregnant bodies lying down across the back of the shoulders at such an angle as to bring attention to the curves of the back. In this way, hoping to explain that a woman's entire body - front, back, top, bottom, mind and soul, are designed themselves for the task of creating life for us all. And they glow naturally, even when there's a tiny elbow pressing on their bladder.

There is no ring or bracelet. She would only have to take them off because of the swelling.

Tali, I understand and not only respect your decision and your new experience, but I also hope your SL pregnancy has given you the experience you are looking for. Thank you for clearing my mind up on the topic of SL pregnancy. I think now I understand better.

Tali's and Jacks' baby is due tomorrow :)


Sans said...

The Pearl set is indescribably lovely, Random, thank you for making an homage to mothers. What a wonderful story, too!

<3 Sansarya (mother of 4, heh)

Cherie Parker said...

This is so lovely... and your telling of how you came to make this is just so touching. Thank you for sharing that.

Sammy Barrett said...

Random, I have always thought very highly of you. And after reading this story I have even higher respect for you. Congrats on your new creation and to the new parents to be. Thank you for sharing this story.

Arianna Psaltery said... find the most simple things in life and make them beautiful :)

very lucky girl... said...

I think he finds things very complex things and makes them simple and beautiful too :-) He is an artist! A true artist that makes us feel with his creations.

Firehorse said...

Thank you for making me laugh and giving me another bad case of the "I wants". Mr Calliope, your designs are very bad for my resolve to get no more jewelry.

Ryker Beck said...

Beautiful story and motive behind the jewelry, Random. Truly, you are an inspiration to all jewelry creators, myself included. :)