There can’t be many who aren’t aware of the story behind the Beatle’s song from which today’s title is derived. According to the legend, Julian Lennon proudly showed his dad the picture he’d painted in school – the sort that you stick on your fridge door to show off proudly to anyone who visits (the painting, not the school!) – a girl flying through a diamond and star-studded sky – when asked who it was, he replied – “it’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds” – the rest, of course, is history. i’ve no idea whether it’s true or apocryphal but i’d like to believe that it is true – the alternative suggestion, that Lucy is a LSD inspired hallucinatory drugfest just doesn’t have the same element of romance.
One of the things that particularly strikes me about the song is the vivid picture it paints of a complete fantasy world – a world where the most bizarre and surreal ideas find expression and, somehow, it all seems right… i’m remarkably comfortable with the concept and have no difficulty in visualising what such a world might be like. i’m sure i’m by no means alone, either – anyone who’s spent any length of time in sl is likely to have not only experienced some pretty weird and way out scenarios but will, fairly rapidly, have little trouble in taking them for granted and will even come to a point where the surreal and remarkable – the kind of thing we will never experience in rl – are completely expected and commonplace.
There was a time when i’d imagine myself having my own little parcel of land in sl – in my mind’s eye, there was a loose sort of plan that i’d conjured up, all based on Lucy In The Sky, right down to the marmalade skies, cellophane flowers and newspaper taxis. i knew how it was going to be, even though i had absolutely no idea of how i’d achieve it. Then, one day, almost without warning i found myself in the glorious position of being able to realise my dream… except, it never really turned out to be what i expected!
i can’t speak for other people who are custodians of land in sl – i’m sure that they range from the urban town planner, with drawings, maps and plans for everything in their parcel, all planned out in advance and following a grand scheme of design. Then there will be the complete scatterbrains, for whom the words ‘design’ and ‘planning’ have no meaning – people whose land is a bewildering array of erratically dumped objects and buildings, with little in the way of cohesion ever evident. There must also be people like me – those who have a vision and know what they want, even if it’s never actually planned out in real detail – and i wonder how many of them, like me, have ended up with something incredibly satisfying and pleasing, that nonetheless, bears no relation at all to the original idea?
What has happened is that all those wild and wonderful plans to re-create Lucy Land somehow never came to the fore when i saw the parcel that was destined to become Nowhere Land… For a start, it was on the coast – something i’d never really considered, which led to the beach and the jetty, the gulls and the lighthouse – with a sort of Edwardian feel about it all, (now where on earth did that come from?). It was also a lot bigger than i’d ever expected – a vast open space that demanded something to fill it – something natural and peaceful, and so the meadow has crept in, with its butterflies and birdsong, (i’m toying with the idea of naming it ‘Strawberry Field‘! 😉 ). The natural landscape felt just right… i suppose it was only to be expected that some gorgeous trees would make an appearance – and so the little copse in the corner… Norwegian Wood took shape.
Funny how our ideas can be shaped by the landscape, rather than the other way round! By now, i’d realised that Nowhere Land was never going to be that surreal, cartoonish, psychedelic wonderland – what was becoming more obvious by the day was that this was to be a place of peace and serenity: An escape from the harsh realities of everyday life and a haven of tranquillity… alright, an idealised and wistful expression of pseudo reality, but since when did that become a crime? What has actually transpired is a place that i’d never have conceived from forward planning, but somewhere that i’m profoundly grateful has developed in an organic and almost undirected manner.
It’s by no means finished yet – it’ll change and develop as time goes on – and there are still one of two empty spaces; blank canvasses that are yet to reveal their true colours… it’s all very fluid and interesting! Then there’s the question of somewhere to live: Over time that’s changed from the old mill to a tent, then a treehouse, followed by a gypsy caravan, (which is so lovely, it might just become a permanent feature!) – i’m currently working on the next chapter of the story – an almost faithful reproduction of a Tudor period farmhouse from North Wales, built in 1544. It’s been hard work but, when it’s finished, i think it’ll be entirely in keeping with its countryside setting.
Tangerine trees, marshmallow pies and plasticene porters with looking-glass ties? Maybe not, but you know what? As an expression of that childlike wonder and joy in the sheer boundless freedom that sl offers us, Nowhere Land for me at least, is beyond compare.
I’d show it off on my fridge door any day!
Did they tell you
You should grow up
When you wanted
Metric – Twilight Galaxy