Thursday, October 05, 2006

Labyrinth Designs

I recently completed a series of labyrinth designs for my back yard. A man of affluent means living on a hundred acres in the middle of rural Nova Scotia, I have the luxury to indulge my passions, and chief among these passions is a passion for earthworks of all types, especially for labyrinth designs. It goes back, I think, all the way to my studies of Greek myths as a child, and the story of the fantastic labyrinth designed by Daedalus to hide King Minos' dirty little secret, and the bane of the Theban youth, the Minotaur. I always used to imagine labyrinth designs worthy to trap and hold such a monster, how its chosen victims would be forced into the labyrinth, and unable to find their way back out, trapped as fodder for the Minotaurs insatiable appetite. Of course, nothing beats my first real experience in a labyrinth. It was with my first girlfriend, Sheila. We were sixteen and she was a Wiccan, rebelling against her parents' Christian orthodoxy. We found labyrinth designs in a supposed book of magic and witchcraft, and began to construct one in the woods. The labyrinth design could be built with nothing but cornstarch, but we decided to get more elaborate than that and cut it out of the overgrown hedges which grew down by the pond in the woods, on the edge of town. We picked one of the more complex labyrinth designs, and were unable to actually complete it, running out of shrubs long before we were done, but we did have quite a bit of fun in the back of the half-completed labyrinth, a first for the both of us. The labyrinth designs I have been building lately are of more sturdy stuff. They are built of huge flagstones, conveniently located at an abandoned quarry some thirty miles from my home. Every day, I drive out there in my pickup truck, and come back with a flatbed full of rock, which I then spend the rest of the morning, and most of the afternoon laying. I made the labyrinth designs myself, and one of them is already complete, with the next one well on its way. I hope to be finished by the summer solstice, when I will have all my friends over to get completely drunk and hopelessly lost in the labyrinths. They will be talking about it for years.


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