‘When your back’s to the wall
When you’re starting to fall
You got something to lean on
Love is everything’
The end-party of the Fantasy Faire, a gathering of all Fairefolk and party-peeps from allover the grid, did not happen this year.
It was not held on The Rose, and certainly not in the pool. 78+ or more people did not dance and there was no fun. Nope. Nothing. Happened.
“Sitting alone with many friends who have lost their fight in the ACS “Catt Gable” Memorial Garden, I had a chance to reflect on the many things that give me reason to relay and why it is important to me. Our team is very special and a very global team in relay. We are all very close. One event that draws all of us together is Fantasy Faire. The magic of the Fairelands affects each and every one of us. Some come as DJs, performers, others as merchants, sponsors, builders, sheriffs, Jailbirds, bloggers, shoppers and photographers. Speaking for all of us, Fantasy Faire brings together our rules: smile, have fun and do pawsum things. Our motto is “Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.” The Magic of the Fairelands brings that together for all of us, no matter how we present ourselves in this wonderful world of Second Life.
One lovely addition to the Fairelands this year completed by Shiran Sabra and Secret Rage is the Survivors and Caregiver’s information build on Kakushi Pasu. It is a lovely spot to sit and reflect, get information, or chat with others. There are support groups year round in SL to “allow people to share their experiences, fears, anger, helpful information and more importantly the knowledge they are in a “safe place” among people who are going through or went through similar experiences. They are not alone, the group understands…they all have their own journey. That support may help each member manage their own emotions and pull from the courage of others.”
Also on Kakushi Pasu is another important part of that sim related to Relay For Life. The Mission Info Area created by Ms. Kitty Gumbo is very special. We have used the mission statement for the American Cancer Society in all of our thank yous for any and all contributions. “Fantasy Faire thanks you so much for your generous donation to Relay For Life. The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.” I believe in this mission and have used the ACS website for information on many occasions: www.cancer.org.
On a more personal level, my father had laryngeal cancer. He was treated with radiation and the cancer was gone. However, the remnants of the treatment caused a hardening and thickening of the carotid arteries. He was on blood thinners which left him very bruised. One day, I got that call, he had fallen. I left as quickly as possible – to be with my mother and brothers. He passed within 42 hours. He was a survivor but my mother was alone for the first time in over 62 years.
Several things interfered as they do with every family and their struggles. I live three hours away from my hometown. Every week for 7 years, I made a trip to do all the grocery shopping, laundry, dr. visits, and during hospital stays and her eventual diagnosis of cancer, I would stay full time for weeks sometimes months. She had a rare form of blood cancer that was taken care of with 8 chemo trips. Cassie and I stayed in touch through Second Life. At night, we were able to dance, build, and relay together. My mother recently passed in November of 2016 as a survivor at age 90.
I honestly do not know what we would have done without Second Life, and Relay For Life gave it even more purpose. I am not a builder – (my boxes are great) I am not a scripter. But as a retired teacher, I am an events coordinator. I found a place where I fit in, in Second Life. My mother got involved in relay also. She thought I was a silly bobcat and would laugh. Fantasy Faire and all the special folks and friends involved mean so much to Cassie and me. Thank you all for being there when we needed you most.”
– OldeSoul Eldemar,
High Sheriff of The Fairelands Watch,
Captain of Team ACTS
Mysterious fliers about a super secret (siikret) rave party have been appearing all over the Fairelands! Is this a bold attempt to abuse the exhaustion of the Pawlice? A cunning plan to blind you with glowsticks? An infiltration into the Mists by hiding in the rose bushes?
The grapevine whispers of samba dancing dinkies and macarena tookie totems, tiki bars and disco balls, and all naturally in absolute hush-hush silence so the authorities don’t find out!
The party might possibly take place around 2 PM SLT at a Very Secret Location! (Please keep an eye on the Fantasy Faire group chats for more information, either the public Fantasy Faire Fans or the Backstage.)
With the Fantasy Faire 2017 nearing its end, we still have some days/hours to wander around the amazing sims and keep making memories of yet another wonderful event.
One of the things, the many things, I love from being part of the Faire is: you all. The Fairefolk. The elves, the dragons, the tinies, the monsters, the wizards, the humans, the furries, the poets, the builders, the hosts, the performers…..everyone. Without you all, there would be no Fantasy Faire.
I will miss the ongoing 24/7 groupchat, because even though I did not always actively participated in chats, I had the window open and read most of it.
The other night I had time to chat and somehow it ended in an impromptu Gangnam Style party on San Mora, thanks to all who showed up and danced with me!
One of my favourite memories of the Fantasy Faire 2017 was made that night and I have a video to prove it!
I will be around for as long as the Fairelands are here, so no goodbye yet from me, but a ‘see you on the Faire!’
I know that the tribe of people we collectively refer to as “Fairelanders” are just that. They are people.
It is clear to me that Beryl is not really a big, black cat, no more so than Oldesoul is a tiny, grey one. I know that Gar is not a dragon, and Sonya is not a bunny. Alia is not a Fallen God, no more than David is a demon nor Kasi a drow. I know that Avariel is not a unicorn, Zaps is not a mermaid, and Vasa is not a satyr. Encaiteron is neither a Tookie (whatever the heck that is!) nor a detective.
And I know that the Boss Fairy, Elizabeth is not – well, no. I am pretty sure she actually IS a fairy. Still!
I know these things, and yet…
As the Faire has risen from the virtual mists each year for the last nine years – and for that brief, precious window of time before they dissipate into mist again – that is precisely who each of these people truly is.
If the internet provides some of us with the opportunity to sink to the lowest level that is within them, to others it affords the chance to rise to the best idea they have of themselves. Unfettered by the mortal coil that was thrust upon them, freed from the constraints of the so-called “real” world, these people lock arms, wings and fins, straighten their whiskers, polish up their horns and set about the doing of a mighty task.
They come to do battle with a monster.
Some have argued that it is not productive, nor accurate to personify cancer in this way. They warn us of the dangers of employing too martial a language in the Survivor’s struggle to get from one day to the next. Maybe they have a point. I leave it to those far wiser than me to say.
But I watched my father battle cancer and that is exactly what it was. It was a battle, one that left him with many a bruise and scar. It was a battle that ultimately claimed his life.
So, when the American Cancer Society sees fit to urge each of us as Relayers to, “Celebrate, Remember, and FIGHT BACK” who am I challenge their choice of words?
And who am I to see the form each of you chooses to take in our shared, magical realms, and hold back so much as an ounce of belief in the deeper truth that form reveals. The shape you take is the truth of your spirit and there is ample evidence everywhere I look that the truth of that form exists on a level much deeper than the avatars we stroll about in outside the world in which the Fairelands exist.
I Relay with dragons, elves and fairies, with cats both large and small. I Relay with satyrs and unicorns, with angels and demons, mermaids and werewolves and wizards.
If I invest my belief in the forms that take shape before me, it is only because that is the debt I owe to Fairelanders of all shapes, sizes and forms.
Because nine years ago, they did the same for me. I claimed to be something I was not: an organizer of Fantasy Faire. Fairelanders chose to look past the fact that I had never done anything quite like that before. They believed and- in the nine years that have followed – they transformed a fiction, a fantasy, into reality.
I believe in magic, because by magic was I transformed from a broken, grieving son into an empowered Faireland Relayer. Be the best idea of yourself, bring that personification to the Faire.
Monday evening saw the big closing party at the Faire, and Tuesday morning I had to go to work after a long weekend spent between two worlds, the tangible and the virtual one… well, maybe the balance was tilted a wee bit more towards the Fairelands, but only a wee lil bit. A teeny-weeny wee lil bit, you know.
I caught a very early train and, being the polite commuter that I am, I promptly reached for my lovely new pink hat with the froggies to take it off, and for a brief second it crossed my mind that I should also curl up my fluorescent pink Burbaglur antennae, as the light might disturb my fellow passengers. (Pssst… if you don’t know what, better to say who a Burbaglur is, ask Kilik Lekvoda. He will be happy to help…)
Then I almost slapped my forehead in realisation. Damn. I was traveling on a RL train, and the only body parts I could curl or fold or bend were my RL limbs… and the funny pink hat with the froggies was left behind in another realm.
Yes, Dear Reader, this year I could spend more time in the Fairelands than ever before, thanks to some well-placed RL holidays… and boy, did I live life to the fullest. I talked a lot. A lot, I say… I met creators I had previously known only by name, who turned out to be nice, smart and funny people. I rode the Candy Bus together with a black unicorn, the driver’s seat occupied by a penguin. I modelled at a Mermaid group picture shoot.
I went to a jail-and-bail where I ended up in the cage with the tag “Jailbird” above my head, and I shared my prison with some tiny cats and a bathtub full of bottled beer. I received so many wonderful gifts, and I also handed out some. I saw breathtaking dance and theatrical performances. I chatted, I laughed (a lot!), I shot pictures, I was standing around in the Fairelands in absolute awe of the genius that made them emerge from the mists.
It is a weird coincidence (but do coincidences exist at all?) that the scheduled topic to discuss with my med students in class during Fantasy Faire Week is one of the toughest and most difficult… end-of-life issues. How to communicate with terminally ill patients, how to face and manage the hardest kind of loss, the loss of a human life.
I always bring many, many stories with me from the Fairelands… life stories told between a Deera stampede and a Gangnam-dancing flashmob, burdened with suffering and pain, both physical and psychological, memories from hospital visits, the gut-wrenching fear before the result of a biopsy is revealed… and I also tell my students how you relay, Faire Folk, how you are able to find immense pleasure in what you do, how you appreciate the moments of shadow-free mirth. I have been enjoying the Faire differently, too, ever since I got the diagnosis of “The Big C”… because serene moments are dear and precious for us, Reader, and our laughter rings with this deep understanding.
… by the way, I know a small milliner shop in town. Maybe, if I bring a nice picture, they can make me a pink hat with froggies perching on the brim… just like the one I wear when I’m a cute pink Burbaglur in Second Life.
Monday was our surprise extra event day! As you might remember, Faire Folk donated for an extra day of the Faire at the Lindens Jail & Bail and so we wanted to give them a party to celebrate their generosity and their love for the Fairelands.
We partied six hours at Opal Flight with the Fantasy Faire Radio DJs Elrik Merlin, David Abbot and Zander Greene.
The party was dedicated to the One Team Spirit of the Relay For Life of Second Life and we had invited six fantastic RFL Teams to come and Relay with us. They brought their own team’s donation kiosks, and the Fairelanders helped them reach closer towards their goals.
The magic of the Fairelands moved five teams to Rising Star: Core Charities, Hope Haven Heroes, Mieville Steampunks, Team Too Tough To Die, and Foundation For Life. Meli’s Maniacs only made Rising Star last night with a donation from their captain, but they are almost Bronze now. In total the Faire Folk raised 125 578 lindens in the name of these teams. That’s the Spirit of the Fairelands!
DJ David Abbot’s shift saw a certain challenge fulfilled: he had promised to wear a dress if the Fairelanders Relay 7 million lindens, and high heel boots if we get to 8 million. Mr. Abbot might be a demon, but he’s a demon of his word!
David also made sure to pass the Torch of Fabulous onto Zander Greene, challenging him to make a similar promise next year. Make note, Faire Folk, next year we’ll get Zander in a dress! I think he’ll have to wear green, if for nothing else than name-symbolism. (Plus it’s clearly his colour.)
Silent Auction wrapped up during the party, making a lot of Fairelanders happy with their new shinies. Speaking of new shinies, the Fantasy Faire Hat Gacha has been a hit! If you don’t yet own your favourite one to flaunt throughout the year, go play! You can find the gachas for example in Opal Flight and at The FaireChylde in Kakushi Pasu.
Our official scheduled events are over now. Always a strange feeling when that happens. But sigh not so, Faire Folk, but be you blithe and bonny: Fantasy Faire stays open through May 4th! (Hey Nonny Nonny!) Quest is playable, shopping possible, exploring encouraged! Surprise impromptu parties might sprout up. Come and cherish the Fairelands for a few more days before they fade into the mists.
Fantasy Faire has relayed L$ 8,461,463 ($ 32,544) by the end of the twelfth day of the Faire. Keep up the fantastic work, Faire Folk!
The Fantasy Faire 2017 is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: Abstract Soul, [ Aleutia ], AviewTV, Building Daydreams, Dandelion Daydreams Factory, Dark Unicorns of Lovelace, Dragon Magick Wares, DRD, Epic Toy Factory, Faida, Fallen Gods Inc., Kei Spot, Little, Big Designs, The Looking Glass, The Lost Unicorn Gallery, MacMoragh an Gabha, meadowWorks, Merchants of Dreams, The NeoVictoria Project, OtherSkin, Poliak’s Emporium, Rivendale, Roawenwood, Ruins of Xenark RP Community, Sanctuary RP Community, Satyr’s Moon, Silvan Moon Designs, Solarium, Spyralle, Steelwood, TIS Club Equipment and Animations, Titans, Velvet Whip and Vengeful Threads.