What is Mask and Mien?

“You see, there’s a fundamental connection between seeming and being. Every Fae child knows this, but you mortals never seem to see. We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.”

– Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

I have always loved stories. Whether they’re told through music, illustration, or the written word, these narratives have been my motivation, my inspiration, for as long as I can remember. As a child, I was encouraged to dream, to love music and stories, and to nurture every bit of my natural creativity. I wrote a lot and loved every minute of it.

And there has been no greater influence on my writing, maybe even my world view, than the concept that our dreams shape our reality. The quote above these paragraphs, from an amazing novel called ‘The Name of the Wind,’ (and you need to read it if you haven’t already) is a good example of what I’d like to achieve in this blog but even now I realize that’s probably too ambitious. Instead of aiming for something profound, then, perhaps we can all take a step back and look at the malleability of a place like Second Life (SL) where we can literally make, do, and be anything we want (within reason, of course).

Sometimes I’ll look at an avatar, at a sim, and wonder how these creations came to be. I wonder at the influences that might have shaped this person’s contributions to SL; could their avatar bear some resemblance to a relative or an old friend? A childhood hero or adult infatuation? Are their works inspired by music or film? Fantasy or science fiction? How does what they do here affect their real life? Is it an escape for them to be here? A creative outlet? Their livelihood?

Then I wonder if the people behind the keyboard are aware of these choices themselves, if they make them happy.

I hope it does.