In January 2019, I dropped into -Paradiso-/Cor meum, a quarter Homestead region designed by Cain Evergarden as a restful setting mixing water and islands to create a place of escape for those who needed (see: A quiet corner of Second Life). Some time after that, the setting apparently vanished; so I was delighted to recently learn, courtesy of Annie Brightstar, that it has once again returned, this time occupying an entire Homestead region of its own and offering a very different environment.
Paradiso has always been a personal setting for Cain, as he explains in a note card available within the current region:
I made the region for my Grandfather who passed away two years ago. I offer my condolences to him and Reproduce my own heart. The region is always raining because the rain in my heart has not stopped yet. It’s a sad story, but I hope you can feel it and enjoy it freely.
– Cain Evergarden
This is a heart-rending statement, and one with which any of us who have lost a loved family member will identify. Thus it presents Paradiso as a place where we might allow memories to flow free. However, even for those who might not have such memories, Paradiso is also a place for anyone who simply wishes to find a moment of peace, or who loves water-based settings will also appreciate.
The primary landing point lies towards the middle of the region, alongside one of several points of interest that rise from the sapphire waters and reside under a midnight sky that is itself in part cut through by the path of the milky way. Ringed by clouds that clouds that tick their way around the region with a steadfastness that is mindful of the second-by-second passage of time – and life -, this is a setting without recognisable landform, but with water shallow enough the wade through.
The grassy setting with its single tree alongside the landing point sits as a field of blue roses over which pale butterflies fly spirit-like. Rain patters the water, perhaps encouraging visitors to scuttle over the water to the nearby looming mass of a run-down theatre. Hidden within this is what appears to be a dance club of a most unique styling. The stage stands as a melding of stage, equipment and giant roses, a pair of hands to either side raised almost in supplication towards the projection of a white dove flying against the rear wall. Taken as a whole, it suggests a place of both remembrance and celebration.
A second roofed structure lies to the west of the landing point, a pavilion that is home to the region’s guestbook in which comments on the setting and / or notes of remembrance might be left. Further off to the west lies a more surreal setting: a portal rises from a bank of wildflowers watched over by a large bird cage whilst a school of fish circles overhead, perhaps ensuring the clouds of hovering fireflies do not stray far from the portal.
This portal – which I’ll return to in a moment – is somewhat mirrored by cloud formation that sits on the northern edge of the region. Forming a vertical ring encircling a shimmering ring that suggests it is a gateway to heaven, awaiting the souls of those who have passed as the continue their journey.
But to return to the stone portal: touching this will allow visitors to teleport up to a small sky platform. This presents a town setting put together by NEOs Klaar. This is a very different setting to the ground level, offering a place that is dominated by the presence of shiro0822’s Matsuri cats – characters who remain as cute as when I first encountered them a year ago – as they run an open-air marketplace with a second DJ stage. It’s a space that offers an interesting melding of Japanese and Chinese influences, with the latter in particular carrying my to Hong Kong and childhood (more than adult) memories of Wan Chai thanks to the billboards to one side of the setting.
With several places to sit and pass the time, and backed with the hissing sound of falling rain, Paradiso’s current appearance is very different to the quarter region I visited in 2019; however, it retains that certain touch of attractiveness that tends to both encourage a visit and to spend time within the region once you’ve arrived.
- Paradiso and Monster Mansion (My Beloved, rated Moderate)