On the metro last night on my way to see an old friend, in town for a long weekend as she moves from her sunny California home to the fluctuatingly-frigid northeast, I was struck by a story. I created the idea of SnowHill Asylum a few days ago, as just a plot story with which to play. First came the line:
The house on the hill has no power.
While admittedly very political-noir (especially in the dark light of House of Cards), the line actually refers to the 72-hour blackout at my dad’s house from a few weeks ago. Our house is on a hill, and there was no power.
It was only after I said the line out loud did I begin to consider other options for its meaning. But what type of aspiring writer would I be if the only options were so obvious and obtuse? I took a hint from authors like China Miéville, and began to imagine metaphors and obscure relationships, plays-on-words and discreet analogies.
This house, on the hill, is an asylum. SnowHill a hospital for the mentally insane, the deranged. It’s a place of solace for family members and society, but a prison for its inhabitants. It removes individuals from the greater world because someone sees them as a danger to the community: a physical danger, an emotional danger, a social danger.
It’s a dark place for some, but there are those inmates who find some form of comfort being in this place. Being on the Hill makes them feel safe, and protected, and living without distraction allows time for meditation, thought, and consideration of the world they were forced to leave, the world in which they are forced to live, and the world to which they will inevitably go when they leave SnowHill: heaven or hell, perdition or purgatory, or, for some, the real world.
The Hill still serves breakfast, but often with a side of medication. Hard-boiled eggs are allowed, and two are even available if behavior’s been good this week.
The change in title will not affect the blog’s tone or messages: this is still a place for me to post and publicize my journal entries, my creative writings, and my considerations of my travels, activities, and interactions.
However, the change does signify a growth, a progression. A more concrete schedule of publication, and a greater sense of continuity. There are too many “false starts” here, and this is my way of apologizing for them and attempting to preemptively rectifying mistakes and lost hopes.