I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda, One Hundred Love Sonnets, XVII
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When I did the original article “The Carnival Is Over” back in April, I strung the photos I selected to the lyrics of an old Seekers song, and included a clip from an Australian television show at the bottom to give everyone the chance to hear the actual song, one of my favorites.
But I had all these photos that I shot — I try to take at least 15 photos for any session I do, other than landscape and candid work, so I can pick the best from the collection’s contact sheet for use in an article, as well as on Flickr. And, while I was fiddling around the other day with things, I realized I have the tools to make a sort of video from all those photos; and so I said to myself, “Self,” I said, “you’re gonna make that video!”
The sad thing is that Mignonne region, where I did the camera work, is now closed and sunk beneath the tides of the Great Virtual Sea. I wanted to go back and see if I could do some more work to better fill in the story, but that was now impossible. However, I think I did a respectable, if not Oscar-worthy, effort with the 30 photos I did have, and I offer it to you for your enjoyment. Please tell me what you think!
I had to go someplace before I could do any real playing or setup with the new version of the Firestorm viewer. Some quick thoughts from the first day:
- This is version 4.7.3; it’s finally made it out there, and it’s a “major” release, which means that one or two older versions will be blocked. As the previous version was considered something of a “working beta,” it would probably be a very good thing to update to this one, as many pernicious problems have apparently corrected, including an attachment bug.
- Your antivirus may trigger as you open the setup executable. I checked on this in support (via going in world with the Linden viewer), and it’s definitely a false positive. If you get a warning, click Allow to let it through.
- Be prepared to do some resetting of your preferences, even after “saving and restoring” preferences — unless I messed something up during the clean install that Firestorm really really encourages you to go through to put in a major version. I can say that I needed to turn transcripts back off (I hate transcripts on chat and IM for the most part), rejigger my graphics, reset a bunch of other clickoffs that needed clicking, and put all my buttons back into the locations I like them — and I’m still not sure I got everything where I like it to be. As with everything involving computers, Your Mileage May Vary. Usually depending on the phase of the moon, the height of the tides, the flip of a celestial coin, and whether or not you have sacrificed a she-goat, if not a higher and purer form of life. (Darned hard to find a virgin when you need one….)
- After working past that, I quickly found one of the obvious goodies I’ve wanted: the dynamic hover height control. If you find yourself floating too high, or slogging through the dirt at ankle level, right-click and select this control, and you can adjust your hover height ± 2.000 (you can fine-tune it to the thousandth, yes) over the current shape default. This comes in very handy for situations where you put on a fresh pair of shoes and you find yourself at odds with the current ground level. This is a keeper!
- I haven’t been able to play with a promised goodie, the ability to pile on up to 60 attachments combined, all types, instead of only five attachments of any one type. I may take a proof-of-concept photo of myself wearing 6 or 7 tattoos — though at least one of them will be like a hairbase — to see how well this works, and publish it.
- I may try some experimentation with posting directly to Flickr or Facebook (using the included logins) from in world as well. However, that will be more to get something up that I want to have a quick snapshot on, instead of a polished, finished piece. Blessed be Paint Shop Pro X8, and health to all its subroutines.
Most other things, as far as I can see right now, are beyond my interest, leaning toward the more technical end of a complex piece of simulation software. But if anything strikes my fancy in the future, I’ll surely note it here and on my other methods of communication.
I’m standing (or, more accurately, hovering) in front of the Lowndes County Courthouse in Hayneville, Alabama. Hayneville is like many of the towns in the Black Belt of Alabama (so called because it’s one of the few regions in the state where the soil is black earth instead of red clay): small, sleepy, economically challenged if not outright dying. Once a year, though, visitors descend on Hayneville — not for a festival in the sense most people think, but to remember a life of dedication to service and faith, to courage, and to the beginning (pray God) of an end. Yearly, around August 14, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama holds a pilgrimage dedicated to the life and death of a man not from their region, but who shook up the region in ways nobody could foresee at the time.
Daniels as a VMI cadet.
Jonathan Myrick Daniels was a New Hampshire man, the son of a doctor. Born in 1939, he applied himself well enough to enter Virginia Military Institute, from which he graduated in 1961 as the class valedictorian. He was awarded a valuable scholarship, and entered Harvard University to major in English.
Plans can change, though. Daniels had been brought up a Congregationalist, but questioned his faith while at VMI. However, in 1962, while attending an Easter service in Boston, he felt a renewed calling, and chose to change career paths. He enrolled in the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge in 1963.
Things changed again in 1965. As many of us may recall who were alive then, 1965 was a turbulent time, to put it mildly. American involvement in the Vietnam war was increasing; more importantly to this story, the civil rights movement was meeting with huge resistance from the southern states it was at work in. Hearing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for more white clergy to get involved in the black voter-registration work going on, Daniels, now a seminarian, looked deep into himself, doubted his feelings for a time, but ultimately answered the call when he felt sure that God was asking him to help. He set off for Selma in the summer, and the work he entered into ultimately led him to the town of Ft. Deposit.
The building which housed the store in front of which Daniels was killed. The owner of the building had it torn down, along with the apron where Daniels died, in 2014.
Daniels was arrested on August 14, along with other protesters involved in picketing “whites-only” stores in Fort Deposit. They were transported to Hayneville and held in the jail there; some were released early, but several others, including Daniels, refused to go unless all were given the opportunity to make bail. After being held in an steamy jail for six days, the group was finally released without explanation on August 20; none of them had paid or been offered bail. No transportation was supplied for them to return to Fort Deposit; while one of the group went to telephone to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for a ride back, Daniels, Father Richard Morrisroe (a Catholic priest) and two African American students walked to a store which was willing to sell to blacks, to get some cold drinks. Outside of the store, Thomas Coleman, a former deputy sheriff, barred the way with a shotgun, and aimed it at Ruby Sales, one of the students. Daniels reacted on instinct and pushed Sales out of the line of fire; in doing so, he took the shot himself, and died on the store’s concrete apron. Father Morrisroe, attempting to escape with student Joyce Bailey, took a second shot, but survived his wounds and is alive today. Coleman was charged with manslaughter, but claimed self-defense, saying that he had been threatened with a knife and a gun. He was acquitted by an all-white jury, which the Attorney General of Alabama (!) deplored as “[an example of the] democratic process going down the drain of irrationality, bigotry and improper law enforcement.”
It took the death of a courageous man to break through some mindsets, but it was effective. Much of the Episcopal Church began re-evaluating positions following the murder, which was characterized by Martin Luther King as “one of the most heroic Christian deeds of which I have heard in my entire ministry….” Daniels was eventually proclaimed a martyr of the church, and his name added to the calendar of Lesser Feasts. August 14 is the day set aside for remembrance of him, and an annual pilgrimage of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama walks the courthouse square of Hayneville each year on or near that date to commemorate him and remember his death, as well as others who died in Alabama working for civil rights.
O God of justice and compassion, who put down the proud and the mighty from their place, and lift up the poor and afflicted: We give you thanks for your faithful witness Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who, in the midst of injustice and violence, risked and gave his life for another; and we pray that we, following his example, may make no peace with oppression; through Jesus Christ the just one: who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.