Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Private Chapel and Winter Cabin

The holiday season is upon us. It begins with the Harvest Festival in November. In the States, this is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day. Although the season of Advent does not begin on this date, Thanksgiving has come to represent the start of the Winter holiday season.

On Thanksgiving Day, Wolves Bain sent a notice to his Group announcing the gift of a private Chapel. This is a gesture that defines this particular builder, a man who is generous and ever-helpful to those who appreciate his work.

The Chapel now is on display and for sale on Castle Row.

Throughout my childhood, I dreamed of having a chapel of my own. Having devoured every book written by Alexandre Dumas, the concept of a private chapel fixed itself in my imagination. Royals had them in their castles with private chaplains to officiate at daily Mass. Members of the aristocracy often had chapels of their own as well. Perhaps I suffered from grandiose ambitions or visions, but I think what appealed to me most about the concept was the idea of peace and quiet and privacy. Silence seldom existed at home, filled always with visitors and aspiring musicians. My mother was aggressively social and I suppose my own fantasy of living in a castle with a private chapel of my own denoted ultimate control over my own environment with the ability to raise the drawbridge whenever I chose. In Second Life, I find that I often am happiest when I am alone creating a landscape. It probably comes from that childhood sense of never being able to find a spot that was free from 'invasion', however well-intentioned the invaders might be.

Churches to me are places of peace, quiet and solitude. I spent a holiday in my teens in Roma with my grandmother. She was a spiritual person herself but she joked afterwards that she never wished to set foot in a church again, having been dragged to every church in Roma by me! I loved those churches with their dim lighting and emptiness. When I think of a church, I do not think of social gatherings during Mass or other religious rituals. Instead, I think of the Church when it is virtually unoccupied, a place for an individual to find quiet sanctuary. It is a place of prayer certainly but more than that, it is a place where the ordinary hustle and bustle of the world does not intrude. In that sense, it is only those Churches that are open to the public at all times that are true 'houses of God' because I believe that the Divine is found most often at moments of solitary communion with oneself and not in any social gathering or 'sermon'.
When I first discovered Second Life, I spent an entire day exploring places of worship. I never dreamed that I would have my own chapel one day!

My Chapel at present is situated on a platform as shown in the photograph. Some stained glass as well as a tree have been added to the interior, but the original includes the altar, pulpit, a set of five pews as well as a single pew. The chapel in its original pristine condition gives an impression of simplicity and purity. I tend to clutter my landscapes, and I probably have not improved this one with my own additions. To see the original, please visit Castle Row.

I had no room on the ground for the Chapel at present, having decided to create a small winter corner on my land. A delightful Winter Cabin created by Wolves' partner, the charming and talented Darks Adria, now is situated there. One photograph shows the Winter Cabin.
It can be found at the Winter Wonderland created by Darks near Castle Row. The efforts of Wolves and Darks inspired me with a holiday spirit that transcends the limits of time and space.

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