Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Welcome to Dunwich

I’m currently perched in my favorite chair at home, which is upholstered in tapestry fabric with dragon heads carved as the finials on the arms, my laptop balanced on one knee and a teacup balanced on the other, and to say that I am happy to be home is the understatement of the damned century. My home town, Dunwich, is a gorgeous place at this time of year. When I came home to visit during the winter, the trees were unwelcoming skeletons. Now they’re fully clad in leaves so green it makes the mind spin and the mouth water. This is the place where I grew up for the most part, and just the smell of sun warmed chlorophyll sends my mind rocketing back to a childhood spent playing in and amongst the estates and the mysteries that dot Dunwich.

It’s a place with more than its fair share of eldritch secrets. Wandering in the woods can and will lead the intrepid into the amazing and the bizarre. There is the sensation that one has walked out of reality and into some parallel dimension, like the realm Ofelia supposedly hails from in Pan’s Labyrinth. Old manor houses, beautiful gardens, statues abandoned in the darkness of the woods, all can be found if one knows the way in and knows where to look. And like Ofelia or the girl from Arthur Machen’s The White People, I know the way in and have known since my childhood. Running wild in those woods provided me with a plethora of strange stories. None of them are fantastic or beyond the bounds of reality, but when you grow up with what amounts to a fairy tale world for your backyard it can be taken for granted that you will come out with some odd tales. And from those weird experiences grew the roots of my interests in so many areas, from my desire to become a museum curate to my obsession with Mycenaean Greece and the Minoan Empire.

And with that, I welcome you to Dunwich. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Next week I’m going to Innsmouth for several days before heading to the World Steam Expo. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue posting, but Innsmouth internet access can be a tad unpredictable, so don’t be surprised if there’s a brief lull in activity.

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