Yesterday I posted comments about the Zen Gardens of Achemon, but the issue of Achemon’s financial problems has lingered in my thoughts today. In my post, I forgot to mention that Achemon’s origins trace back to 2004 when it was much smaller than now. Today, the garden’s plot is about 7,000sqms, and the gardens are backed up by surrounding plots that are more or less synergistic with the garden’s theme. In SL terms, the garden has enjoyed a phenomenal run, five years.
The problem at Achemon has reminded me of what can happen to troubled sites. In particular, I was reminded of the sudden disappearance of the Zen Retreat at Rieul; literally, it was reverted to rough terrain one night, poof. In that case, the group owners had issues that caused them to move, but thanks to the heroic work of Dakini Rhode, the Zen Retreat was restored, improved on and remains viable today. There are many other cases of enjoyable sites disappearing, and if you’ve been in SL for more than a year, you’ve no doubt experienced the sudden disappearance of some of your favorite places. It’s not like real life where at least the buildings and landscaping remains.
The point is, many places we enjoy in SL are fragile and transitory. Some creations have strong financing, committed supporters, a focus on improvement, and as time passes they have established track records for stability. This is one of the reason’s I love Junkyard Blues, Little Yoshiwara, Phat’s, Sailors Cove and Hosoi Ichiba. And fortunately, there is a long list of other established sites. However, many places run into trouble and if they fail, sometimes they disappear, sometimes without a trace.
And so I’m mulling the the survivability of Yordie’s Zen Garden. My garden has been in existence for about one year. My investment in lands and objects is probably ~L$50,000, and my monthly costs have run ~US$40. That’s not much money for hours of entertainment, but I’ve invested hundreds of hours (yes, hundreds) into terraforming, building and landscaping the garden. That investment of time has been it’s own reward, but there’s something else.
This may sound presumptuous and self-important, but I consider my garden to be a work of art (/me blushes). Seriously, it is a type of three dimensional art that can only exist within the SL universe, but it is a form of art. My garden represents my notion of beauty in Second Life. Yes, there is better art, much better, but this is my art and it’s the best I can create. So, the certainty that some day my garden will simply disappear is disturbing. This is not something I worry about, but it reminds me how fragile this second existence really is. Sort of like life itself perhaps?
Anyway, these are my thoughts this lazy Summer morning.