Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Thin end of the wedge
I grew up on an estate owned by The Theosophical Society. Most of our neighbours resembled Mrs Wilberforce in The Ladykillers. Their houses were crammed with mementoes of Empire. They wore scarabs given to them by Howard Carter, kept great auk eggs in drawers and hinted at dark pasts of political intrigue in distant lands. One ex-resident sent his beard-trimmings back from Nepal to be burned on the estate bonfire. Younger, hippyier residents inhabited houses full of string sculptures and Blake prints and conducted interminably miserable affairs with each other. Memorably, the local vicar confessed to my mother that—as a vegetarian—he felt more guilty eating a prawn in a spring roll than cheating on his wife. Indeedy. I’d like to say that this mystical environment had no affect on me whatsover, but perhaps I was wrong. Both me and housemate C have discovered a strange reaction to a certain area of land in Upware/Wicken Fen. Walking along a particular stretch of fields produces a strange feeling. In my case, it’s a pressure in the sinuses, and a strong dizziness. And it’s highly directional. Shut my eyes, and whichever way I’m standing, I have a tendency to fall back or forward towards the same point. C and I, despite our rationality, have cross-correlated this phenomenon to the point that we can pretty much trace a line across a map. I’m loath to believe it’s entirely imagined, yet I’m loath to believe it’s real either. Over the past year I’ve had exactly the same experience at Weeting Castle and near Gloucester Cathedral. Ye gods, is this a ley line, or underground water, or something? Is this the thin end of the wedge? And am I going to end up dressing in floaty clothes, talking to dead people, wandering the streets with glassy eyes, festooned in amulets and beads? I'm terribly worried.