Love of Life

gallery poster

There is a retrospective exhibition of my pictures starting at the DixMix gallery tomorrow, the landmark is here. After spending years politely refusing to exhibit my pictures, and with Furillen re-opening yesterday, some of you might be asking what’s going on.

I am not usually given to public statements about my private affairs, but in this instance I feel it is appropriate to ‘clear the air’ and avoid misunderstanding. For over a year now, I have been living with cancer. I spent most of last winter receiving chemotherapy, and it was brutal. The treatment worked, but nothing is forever and my ‘struggle’ will be ongoing. During illness one inevitably spends time looking back and reflecting, and although DixMix had (and still has) no idea about my circumstances – hardly anyone within SL does know – a ‘retrospective’ exhibition seemed like something I could and should be doing right now. Likewise, it felt right to re-open the sim I always felt would be my ‘legacy’ in SL, and which I am incredibly fond of.

I am passing this news on not to elicit sympathy, nor – God forbid – to suggest that I’m going to expire any time soon. But my motives have occasionally been misconstrued in the past – sometimes quite hurtfully – and I want to avoid any misunderstanding now. I am all too aware that cancer touches many, possibly all, of us at some time in our lives. I am also aware that many of you who are reading this may have gone through, or are going through, a similar experience to mine, either directly or indirectly with friends or family. To all of you – solidarity.

Furillen started out on a region called ‘Love of Life’ and that always felt to me to represent what the sim was about – for all of its melancholic atmosphere, it was intended to be a place where visitors could reflect, take time out, and find their own peace. One of my favourite pictures carries a title which I believe expresses this sentiment well. The words – ‘nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness’ – are from EE Cummings:

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surpass

11 Replies to “Love of Life”

  1. Hi Serene,
    It’s so very hard to find the right words in such situations but i find it incredibly brave of you to open up like this and i admire you greatly for it and know how difficult things must have been and still are.
    I lost most of my Family to this horrible illness, i myself am a survivor (9 years free of it now) So i know it can be fought and successfully beat!
    But it’s not about me, it’s about you, so stay as strong and as positive as you can and keep fighting, you bring so much joy to a lot of people with your creativeness and i read everywhere how many were happy you re-opened Furillen, incl myself. 🙂
    I wish you all the best in your struggle and hope you will stay with us for a long time,♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful and positive message, I appreciate it more than I can say. It’s fantastic to hear survival stories, and I will hold on to yours for sure. Bringing Furillen back has been quite inspiring, I’ve been so pleased by the positive reactions, having been somewhat nervous about this revival. Best wishes to you, Serene

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  2. Serene, being blessed to not have to deal with cancer myself, but having seen my mom, dad and sister fighting it (all of them successfully), I just wish you the very best in your struggle. You have reason to live and I am positive you will win the battle.
    To reopen Furillen might also be a source of support and inspiration for you. So many people including myself have made so many beautiful memories on that sim and will be happy to go back there. To me your sims have always been my SL haven, peaceful and inspiring. Furillen has been the location for many great events, for gatherings of lots of creative and fun people, and you are surely a valued contributor to the Second Life community.
    I wish you strength for what you have to face now, and be sure the thoughts and prayers of many of your virtual friends will be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Micky, as I said when we spoke earlier today – you have a knack of finding exactly the right things to say. I am hugely grateful for the conversation we had just now, and for your continued friendship. At times like these, we learn about who and what people are. Thank you. And yes, you are right about Furillen. Revived on a whim, but I have been surprised by how good it feels ….

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  3. I am very glad you opened Furillen again, I admire the magic way you create what for me as a swede is a typical November winter. I also like very much the realism softly mixed with the surreal. I made 12 pictures and put them into my sl facebook account where I cannot find Serene Footman so I cannot tag you.
    I have visited your other builds but Furillen is the most outstanding for me.You have totally captured the ambiance of the place.
    I read above about your tough and painful struggle and I wish you all possible wellness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this. Furillen was always my favourite sim – partly because it all started here, but also because the place seems so magnetic, and is now associated with so many memories. I will search FB for your pictures, Serene Footman does not have an account. And thanks for your good wishes regarding my health – it’s a struggle but one I am facing with all the strength and positivity that I have. Best wishes to you, Serene

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  4. While I passed these comments to you in-world, I wanted t repeat them here for you.

    I wanted to say three things: 1) congratulations on your exhibition at DiXmiX ; 2) thank you for bringing back Furillen (I plan to cover both this coming week), and 3) to offer sincerest best wishes in you in solidarity in dealing with cancer; I’ve had one (albeit minor) brush with it directly in the last 3 years, and it has also been an unwelcome visitor within my immediate family.

    Actually a fourth thing: your legacy is not just Furillen; it is all that you have brought to Second Life, the designs you have shared so openly with people from around the world, your words and pictures. You have literally touched thousands through all you’ve done and all you continue to do; and I’m sure thoughts from those people are with you as you deal with cancer’s intrusion. Stay strong; looking forward to seeing more of your creativity in-world in the future, and as you feel the inspiration to build.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And in the same spirit I am sharing my reply, with sincere thanks >> Inara – I hardly know what to say, thank you so much for these messages. I appreciate your thoughtful words and sentiments very much indeed. We learn much about ourselves and others during a crisis – and in both lives, I have been amazed by the strength and sheer humanity of many, many people. Thank you again for reaching out, Serene

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