My childhood is a series of vivid memories in isolation, woven into a net of vague knowledge and a sense of time passing. It's less sepia toned and more like vivid bright spots rising out of the darkness that swallows most of my past. I have a sense of the childhood and adolescence that should be - a hundred different should bes in a hundred different stories, all of them different. I thought of some of those stories, the dry stories that stick in the back of your throat, while I wandered around Whiskey Monday's latest build on Nothing Endures But Change. The ground is parched and dry, the tall grass gray golden from the sun; you can almost taste the dust in the air and the grit which clings to everything, shading it all grey and brown - the sepia so unlike my vivid, technicolor remembrances. It draws me to other memories, though; the fictional memories which remain so powerfully in my mind, and which I revisit now and then, looking for changes in myself. Dorothy grew up in a gray world much like the one Whiskey has built here, a farmland of a single color with everything bleached much the same.
"When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a somber gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.
Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke.
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little back dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly."
I love that book dearly, and all the ones who followed it from L. Frank Baum's charming, dreamy, self-indulgent pen writing novels for girls who love adventures. There's a lot to point out now in what he made, the flaws in the blatantly imperialistic mores, the disturbing images of married life which show up now and then, but the cast of characters can't be beaten and they thrive in my mind like old friends, as vivid as anyone I met outside of the pages of a book. I always wanted to be Ozma, the gentle and commanding ruler of Oz who was so beloved that she was served willingly. I loved her sense of morals, expressed more bluntly when she was Tip but still just as clear when she travels to the kingdoms of the Gillikins in order to stop a war between neighbors. In many profound ways, the world which grew out of Baum's gray house filled with gray people in a gray landscape inspired my deepest morals, my ideals of peace and prosperity for all, and my belief that sufficient kindness can overcome all ills. It is an idealism to be sure, an oddly gray and sepia one in the roots, but my brightest, youngest self lives in hope and a memory of a world which is made of magic.
( More pictures here. )
Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Sparkles: Folly, Rainbow Sheen
Hair: Ploom, Daisy
Ears: .:Soul:., High Elf
Horn: Scadenfreude, Gilded Moonchild (Collabor88)
Eyes: .:Soul:., RooMee
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Glasses: katat0nik, Strawberry Glasses
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Jewelry: Primalot, Fairy Dust
Body, Hands and Feet: SLink, Rigged Mesh Body, Hands and Feet
Nails: A:S:S, Unicorn
Outfit: katat0nik, Fantasy Dress (Collabor88)
Shoes: Boom, Olycena Bow Pumps
Pose: Adorkable Poses
Location: Nothing Endures But Change
Light Settings: Phototools, Absinthe Light
Water Settings: Mirror Water
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping