one aspect of having a vivid imagination is that it takes you a lot of interesting places — many of which, in fact, probably do not exist.
have you been to babel yet?
your version probably doesn’t look like mine. that’s okay.
i would be a little scared if it did, actually.
here’s what i mean. you know mumford & sons? their new album, which came out in late september, is called babel. i think i like it better than their first album, sigh no more. but that is beside the point.
i listened to half of the album last night for the first time, in the eleventh-hour darkness of my personal new year’s eve. i was a bit soul-sore; twenty-four was not a bad year by any means, but it was hard in ways that 22 and 23 hadn’t been. and 23 was hard — but in the ecstatically, painfully beautiful sort of way. 24 was a lot of not knowing and learning things i didn’t want but needed to know about myself.
i was tender and tired and raw as i lay there with eyes closed, listening to the song stories unfold. they were wistful and painful, triumphant and resolved. it seemed appropriate, somehow, a saga of love and light and loss and resolution. i had made my own resolution shortly before, and wondered where it would take me on the adventure of the new year.
the mumford & sons men — i don’t know their names; i forget to know things like that — have fascinating voices.
as my mind drifted around in the music i came to a stone house, somewhere in what felt like english countryside. no one lived there, but i might have. it looked like it should have belonged to an old mill or have been the abode of a blacksmith, once upon a time. to the left of the house was a little hill or bank faced with stones. nearby was a lane with trees growing thick and close on either side. the house was old, abandoned, yet still in good repair. in the iron workshop it was cool and pleasantly musty, and full of memories. as empty as the scene was of people, except for me, it was crowded with memory-figures of people who had loved there, lost love, and looked for it to return.
the imagining almost felt like it was a memory itself, nearly intersecting with another imagining tucked away in my mind. i have no idea what it was.
but i wonder if, somewhere, the house is real.